Let's take a look at our current roster after the official waiving of Scott Machado, Kevin Murphy, and Dwayne Jones.
PG: Stephen Curry / Toney Douglas / Nemanja Nedovic
SG: Andre Iguodala / Klay Thompson / Kent Bazemore
SF: Harrison Barnes / Draymond Green
PF: David Lee / Marreese Speights
C: Andrew Bogut / Jermaine O'Neal / Festus Ezeli
Green is versatile enough to play back up minutes at either forward spot, but since he's slimmed down and gained quickness, it's not hard to imagine him getting more of his minutes at SF.
Andre Iguodala's extreme versatility allows him to cover 3 positions (4 if you feel bold on select nights). Initially, I was thinking he would start at SF alongside Thompson and Curry, but if Barnes' improved shooting can continue, it might be better for the team to have Thompson coming off the bench to spark instant offense. Iguodala can provide lockdown defense alongside the less than capable defender, Curry. Last year, according to 82games.com, Iguodala logged in 59% of the total team minutes at the SG position and 9% at SF. Starting Iguodala at SG gives the Warriors an immediate size and defensive advantage most nights.
Toney Douglas is an underrated addition who's lock-down defense will prove invaluable vs. the toughest guards in the league. He's PG-sized, but SG-strong, so he has the ability to play alongside Curry and guard the 2 spot while running the point on offense to allow Curry to work off the ball. In addition to his defense, he can shoot the 3 very well.
Marreese Speights is another versatile player acquired this offseason. His natural position is PF, but he can easily slide over to C because of his size. He plays with toughness, can block some shots, and rebounds well. Speights' best trait, however, is his shooting. His offensive game may duplicate Lee's, but he provides a little more resistance on the defensive side of the ball.
The entire team with the exception of the three centers, Bogut, O'Neal, and Ezeli, could easily play multiple positions. This makes it easier for Mark Jackson to shuffle lineups to adjust to opponents' strengths and weaknesses or provide different looks to force the opponents to play a style they are not used to. I love the overall make-up of the team but there are only a few missing pieces I see.
In order of importance:
- Athletic, shot blocking, defensive-minded PF
- Reliable stretch PF
- True PG
Athletic, Shot Blocking, Defensive-minded Power Forward
Level of Need: 6 (scale of 1 to 10)
The Warriors are loaded at center with defensive players, but they are missing a PF who can be called on to lock down mobile bigs and provide good help defense and shot blocking. Lee and Speights are terrific offensive players, but their defense leaves much to be desired. Speights is a more physical version of Lee and can block some shots, but Warriors need someone with more athleticism. Barnes can step in as a small ball 4, but will have trouble handling the larger PF. Green is capable as a backup PF, but with his lack of size and mobility, he will struggle to stop bigs as well. It would be nice to have a rim protector who can guard the pick and roll effectively as well as close out on stretch 4's.
- Ekpe Udoh (Bucks)
- Malcom Thomas
- Jackie Carmichael
- Tyrus Thomas
- Alexi Ajinca (?)
Reliable Stretch Power Forward
Level of Need: 5
Green is the closest thing the Warriors have to a Stretch 4 and that's not saying much. He showed up big time in the playoffs after struggling mightily during the regular season, but as we saw in the Las Vegas Summer League, his perimeter shooting, as of now, is too unreliable. Lee has talked about extending his range. If he can do that, the Warriors would be vastly improved and extremely dangerous. Lee shot very well from the left-corner 3, but he needs to become a reliable threat from other areas in order to prevent teams from packing the paint. Until Lee does that, it would be nice if the Warriors can add a Stretch 4 who can space the floor for drivers like Iguodala, Bazemore, Nedovic, and Barnes.
- Austin Daye
- Charlie Villanueva (Wizards)
- Antawn Jamison
- James Southerland (?)
True Point Guard
Level of Need: 3
Curry has improved his point guard skills considerably since entering the league, but the Warriors might want to add a natural, pass-first guard who can handle presses and extreme pressure and get to any spot on the floor while keeping his dribble alive. Toney Douglas was added to the roster as Curry's primary backup, but he is more of a defensive specialist than a distributor who can command the offense and dictate tempo. With Curry's injury history, it would be wise to add that true PG and not have to rely on Douglas, Iguodala, Bazemore, or Nedovic as your guy to keep the offensive rolling.
- Peyton Siva
- Nick Calathes
- Stefhon Hannah (?)
- Jerome Randle (?)
Warriors have two spots open. It would be nice to address two of the three remaining holes in the roster, but it may be more prudent to sign someone with upside to a non-guaranteed contract and keep the other slot open unless there is a player the Warriors just have to have. There is no sense of urgency to address any of these needs yet, but as the season plays out, injuries take place, and a clearer picture of what's lacking in the roster develops, the Warriors can hang back, enjoy what they have, and let the cards fall where the may.