Sunday, June 30, 2013


Every year, the Warriors field one of the top Summer League teams because every year, they seem have a lottery pick to showcase. This year, when an actual Las Vegas Summer League Title is at stake, they won't have the highly rated rookie class they're used to seeing. Their only draft pick, Nemanja Nedovic, may not even play due to Serbian National Team commitments. Festus Ezeli was supposed to participate, but recent surgery keeps him out until the end of 2013. Nonetheless, the Warriors are able to field a respectable team headlined by 2nd year players and a few interesting prospects fighting for NBA roster spots.

Kent Bazemore - Old Dominion
SG/PG: 6'-5", 201 lbs, 07/01/89
6'-11.5" wingspan

Ian Clark - Belmont
SG: 6'-3", 175 lbs., 03/17/91
6'-6.5" wingspan, 8'-2.5" standing reach

D.J. Cooper - Ohio
PG: 6'-0", 173 lbs, 12/06/90
6'-5" wingspan, 7'-11.5" standing reach

Dwayne Davis - Southern Miss
SF: 6'-5", 224 lbs., 11/27/89

Michael Eric - Temple
PF/C: 6'-11", 240 lbs. 25 y.o.

Lance Goulborne - Vanderbilt
SF/PF: 6'-8", 230 lbs.. 04/06/89

Draymond Green - Michigan State
SF/PF: 6'-7", 230 lbs., 03/04/90
7'-1.25" wingspan, 8'-9" standing reach

Cam Jones - Northern Arizona
SG/PG: 6'-4", 185 lbs. 05/04/89

Dwayne Jones - St. Joseph's
C: 6'-11", 248 lbs., 06/09/83
7'-2.75" wingspan, 9'-0.5" standing reach

Scott Machado - Iona
PG: 6'-1", 205 lbs. 06/08/90
6'-3" wingspan, 7'-10" standing reach

Gary McGhee- Pittsburgh
C: 6'-11", 250 lbs., 10/28/88
7'-2" wingspan, 8'-11.25" standing reach

Nemanja Nedovic - Serbia
PG/SG: 6'-5", 224 lbs., 06/16/91
6'-6.75" wingspan, 8'-3" standing reach

Craig Smith - Boston College
PF: 6'-7", 265 lbs., 11/11/83
6'-9.5" wingspan, 8'-7.5" standing reach

James Southerland - Syracuse
SF: 6'-8", 215 lbs., 04/28/90
7'-1" wingspan, 8'-10" standing reach

Alex Young - IUPUI
SF: 6'-6", 212 lbs., 10/17/89
6'-11" wingspan

Of the four player currently on the Warriors roster (Green, Bazemore, Machado, and Dwayne Jones), only two are likely to remain. Jones is a virtual lock to be cut before his contract becomes guaranteed on August 1st. He is scheduled to make $1.1M and the Warriors need every bit of cap space to fill out their roster. Same situation applies to Machado to a lesser degree. He plays a position of need, is rather skilled as a distributor, and his contract is not high ($789K), but he needs to prove that he's worth keeping.

Machado's biggest competition comes from undrafted free agent 6'-0" PG, D.J. Cooper of Ohio. He's a dynamic, quick true PG with incredible court vision and creativity. Unlike Machado, who worked hard to turn himself into a functioning true PG, it all comes natural to Cooper. ESPN's WARP stat has him ranked as the 8th overall prospect in this year's draft. He will start off playing for the Magic's summer league team, so if he does well in Orlando, Cooper may end up signing with them before he gets to dawn a Warriors jersey.

James Southerland was ranked 30th overall according to the ESPN WARP stat. He had a terrific senior season from distance and used his length to record 1.5 spg, .9 bpg, and an impressive 23.91 PER. The Warriors are always looking for size and Southerland brings it at the SF position. He's a good candidate for a stretch 4 in small ball situations.

PG: Machado / Cooper / C. Jones
SG: Bazemore / Clark / Nedovic?
SF: Southerland / Young / Davis
PF: Green / Smith / Goulbourne
C: D. Jones / McGhee / Eric

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Here's an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel detailing how Scott Machado has been spending his offseason:

D-League Basketball: Former Santa Cruz Warriors guard Scott Machado looking to make impact in summer league

Although we need Jarret Jack to re-sign, it may not be the end of the world if Machado and Nemanja Nedovic ended up being the backups PG's to Curry.

They are two very different types of players who can be trotted out onto the court, depending on the situation. One is a true PG and the other is a fearless, athletic attacker who plays above the rim and can create for others on the drive and dish.

Stakes are high for Machado. If he does really well in Summer League (high efficiency and leads team to Finals), he might be enough - otherwise, Warriors need to look elsewhere. It may sound like a risky proposition going with two young backup PG's, but if they can team up to give Curry 15 minutes of rest per game, than it may be enough. With Brandon Rush back and Kent Bazemore improving, there won' t be as much a need for Curry to slide to SG. Curry can play almost exclusively at PG until Nedovic gets up to speed. If, by the trade deadline, it's clear the Warriors need to upgrade at backup PG, they can make a move.

Hopefully, Nedovic can play Summer League so we can see how far he is to contributing quality minutes. Serbian Nationals Team obligations may force him to miss the valuable evaluation phase in Las Vegas. In addition, Nedovic and the Warriors have to agree to a buyout from his current team,  Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius. Regardless of how ready he is now, he needs to be signed so his development can start under the Warriors' close watch as soon as possible.

The plus side of going with Machado and Nedovic is that we can use more of the available salary on a big man who's able to backup PF and C. More importantly, the Warriors will be able to minimize additional salary going into the 2014 offseason, allowing them to be major players in the Free Agency market.

PG: Curry / Machado / Nedovic
SG: Thompson / Bazemore
SF: Barnes / Rush / Richardson
PF: Lee / FA / Green
C: Bogut / Ezeli / Biedrins

J.J. Hickson
Marreese Speights
Andray Blatche
Elton Brand
Ivan Johnson
Byron Mullens

Some of those names may seem beyond reach, but the Warriors appear to be under the tax apron enough to use the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception of $5.150 million. Landry took a paycut, so one of the first three on the list may do the same.

If Machado can show the Warriors that he is capable of manning the backup PG position, it opens up a lot of options for them this offseason.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


6' 2", 185 lbs
Born Feb 24, 1988 in France (Age: 25)
Drafted 2009: 1st Rnd, 25th by OKC

Made just $2,227,333 last season. Restricted Free Agent, but no way Mavs will match while going after Dwight Howard. Beaubois has his flaws, but perhaps a year under Mark Jackson, playing behind Stephan Curry, and a change of scenery will get his career on track.

Massive 6'10" wingspan, athletic, among the top PG's in blocks and rebounds.

With Rush coming back and Bazemore working on his game, the Warriors could play Steph almost exclusively at PG and give the backup minutes to Beaubois. When matchups are favorable, Beaubois and Curry can both play on the floor for a small ball look with better ball handling and movement.

ESPN Scouting Report:

+ Speedy guard who can score. Penetrates but doesn't see court well. 
+ Gets out of control on drives. Inconsistent shooter. Good rebounder for size. 
+ Active, athletic defender but needs to improve strength and fundamentals. 

Beaubois intrigued everybody with an impressive rookie year but has gone sideways since, doing just enough to stay relevant but not quite enough to give his career any traction. The problem starts with his being a classic "2 in a 1's body" -- unless he can improve his passing numbers some more; last season he was 47th among point guards in pure point rating. 

Beaubois can score, but he's not efficient enough. Last season he averaged 16.4 points per 40 minutes, which was higher than his previous two, but he neither makes 3s nor draws fouls, resulting in subpar true shooting percentages. Last season Beauhois shot 28.8 percent on 3s and 36.2 percent on long 2s, and the season before wasn't any better. Meanwhile, he was in the bottom third of point guards in free throw rate. 

The tantalizing part is that if he did either of these things -- create for teammates or convert his own shots -- just a little bit better, he'd have some real value. But right now he's just another low-efficiency creator. 

Whether he can become more is an open question. His instincts as a point guard aren't great, I'm not sure his left hand is up to snuff, and while I wouldn't call his jumper broken it's not exactly fluid either. 

Defensively it's a similar story. Beaubois is an impressive athlete who led all point guards in blocks per minute and ranked fourth in rebound rate, but his overall results weren't that great. He was overmatched size-wise when asked to guard 2s, and his plus-minus and Synergy numbers were poor.

If the Warriors want to go cheap, they could probably get Beaubois and Earl Clark or Brandan Wright for a total under $5M. It cuts into the 2014 cap space a bit, but with another year off Lee's deal, it may be easier to trade Lee to create additional cap space to pursue a max salary free agent.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Although the Warriors are a long-shot to acquire Howard, I keep going back and forth on this, and it's giving me a headache.

Does the roster look better in the next 4 years by making the trade or standing pat?

Consider what we are losing: Barnes (or Klay), Bogut, draft picks (likely 2014), cap flex.

We gain the #1 center when healthy, but what if Bogut comes back to Denver Series form? Frankly, I'll take a healthy Bogut over a healthy Howard because Bogut is such a more well-rounded player, plays with aggression, and is Aussie tough. I understand that he probably won't ever regain his offensive game of old, but if he can change the game enough like he did vs. the Nuggets, that's plenty. With a summer of rest and proper healing, it's very possible that he does return much better than what we've seen as a Warrior.

With Howard (assuming Barnes is traded)
PG: Curry
SG: Thompson
SF: Rush / Green
PF: Lee
C: Howard / Ezeli

* that's an incredible starting 4
* legit Finals contender
* capped out in 2014
* no 2014 draft pick, likely other future picks as well
* have to rely on contract exceptions to add quality depth to that roster
* buyers remorse if Howard's back and shoulder issues return
* regret if Barnes becomes an All-Star and things don't turn out as planned with Howard

Standing Pat
PG: Curry
SG: Thompson
SF: Barnes / Rush
PF: Lee / Green
C: Bogut / Ezeli

* 2014 draft will be historically good
* we'll have greater cap flex to upgrade the bench
* in the conversation for contender IF key players remain healthy
* we'll have max money if we decide not to retain Bogut and about $12M to spend if we do

Although the Warriors would be instant contenders if they pulled off a Howard deal, I wouldn't be mad if we didn't come to fruition. There are a lot more options on the table if the Warriors stand pat. We'll be able to bring back the key players and add to it in 2014. If they continue to get better as expected, adding a star player to the mix in the $12M range would make this team a serious contender. The Warriors are now considered an up-and-coming franchise and with all things equal, the better free agents will choose to sign here.

We'll be able to watch Barnes grow and develop his game as a Warrior. Admittedly, I wasn't convinced he had the 'it' factor when they drafted him because he looked too mechanical on the court, didn't rebound consistently well, didn't have a high assist rate, and disappeared at times. As his rookie year progressed, he became more confident in going to the rim, his shot began to fall in big games, and his freakish athleticism began to translate on the floor in the form of good defense, blow-bys, and thunderous dunks. All the typical signs of a struggling rookie disappeared while playing on one of  the biggest stages the NBA has to offer.

Going for a title with Howard is less of a gamble than going after a title with the the group we have (plus cap space and draft picks). But, if the gamble that the Bogut gives us what he showed vs. Denver, Rush returns to form, internal development of Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Green, and Ezeli take place, and the Front Office target the right players and make the right moves....this team is set to make a more sustainable push towards the ultimate goal, an NBA Title.