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Do the Warriors need a veteran center?

Or are Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss enough?

Detroit Pistons v Golden State Warriors Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

In each of the last two offseasons, the Golden State Warriors signed a center who had been drafted in the lottery by the Sacramento Kings. I’m guessing that trend won’t continue next year.

It didn’t work wonderfully in the past. The Dubs signed Willie Cauley-Stein prior to last season, but the athletic big man struggled with injuries, never quite found his groove on an injury-riddled team, and was eventually traded.

The year before, they grabbed All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, who was rehabbing a torn Achilles. He debuted about halfway through the season, but never really returned to form.

Before Cousins and Cauley-Stein, there were the veteran big men whose tenures went a little bit smoother: Zaza Pachulia, David West, JaVale McGee, and Andrew Bogut.

None of those players, or players who fit that role, are currently on the roster.

In fact, Golden State enters the offseason with just three centers on the roster: Kevon Looney, Marquese Chriss, and Alen Smailagic. Whenever the next NBA season commences, there will be at least one more center on the roster.

But will it be a trusty veteran?

The Warriors have limited funds, limited roster spots, and plenty of holes to address. They surely will look at shooting for the bench, wing defense, and point guard depth, in addition to another center.

The holes that are prioritized might be rewarded with the mid-level exception or the traded player exception. The holes that fall to the bottom of the prioritization totem pole might be addressed with just draft picks and minimum contracts.

For the Warriors, much comes down to two questions.

Question #1 — Do they trust Looney’s health?

Looney battled health issues all year long, but reported to the team’s recent minicamp and said he was the healthiest he’s been in years. And Steve Kerr made it clear that Looney will be counted on big time if that health continues.

Question #2 — Do they trust Chriss’ skill?

Chriss was one of the bright spots of an otherwise dismal 2019-20 season for the Warriors. He was expected to make the roster, and ended up being one of the team’s top players.

But do the Warriors trust him to maintain that performance when the team is actually good again? For all of Chriss’ improvements, he still showed some defensive issues, and an at-times one-dimensional offensive game.

If the Warriors trust Chriss’ skill and Looney’s health, then they’ve got their center minutes figured out, and can handle garbage time and injury minutes with Smailagic and either a draft pick or a minimum contract.

But if they don’t trust those two, then they’ll need to prioritize the center position, and use some of their limited funds on one of the big-minute available free agents, such as McGee, Dwight Howard, or Aron Baynes.

Which would you prefer?


Do the Warriors need a veteran center?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    (418 votes)
  • 37%
    Depends on other offseason moves
    (305 votes)
  • 9%
    Rather spend funds elsewhere
    (80 votes)
803 votes total Vote Now

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