Thanks to Bob Myers and his team, it's been an amazing offseason highlighted by the unlikely signing of Iguodala, the savvy acquisitions of Speights, Douglas, and O'Neal, the drafting of the 'Euro Derrick Rose,' Nemanja Nedovic, and culminating in the crowning of the Warriors as Las Vegas Summer League Champions.
The Warriors are a likely to cut three of the four non-guaranteed contracts: Scott Machado, Kevin Murphy, and Dwayne Jones. Bazemore was considered a keeper going into the offseason, but his MVP worthy performance in Las Vegas elevated his stock to rotation player, securing him a spot on the team. That leaves two open roster spots. What should the Warriors do with them?
Normally, I would suggest signing a free agent to a non-guaranteed contract and leaving the last slot open for an emergency add later down the road, but there were two undrafted rookies that thoroughly impressed me in the month of July - Ian Clark and Jackie Carmichael. It will probably take a guaranteed contract to get both of them to sign with the Warriors.
After a stellar start in Orlando, the Miami Heat urged Ian Clark to stay with their Summer League squad as they transitioned to Las Vegas. Fortunately, Clark honored his commitment and decided to team up with Bazemore, Green, and the Golden State Warriors. Clark proved to be one of the deadliest 3-point threats in the entire 2013 Draft Class and showed hints of why he was named Atlantic Sun Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He capped off a great start to his professional career by scoring 33 points on 7-10 shooting from 3 to clinch the Inaugural Las Vegas Summer League Championship Title.
After his MVP winning performance, Clark is in demand around the league. Shooting is a coveted skill in the NBA and GM's have taken notice of his game. It may seem that there is no room for Clark, but if you consider that drafted rookie, Nemanja Nedovic is more of a combo guard than a pure point guard, you can easily make room on the roster to develop a prospect like Clark. One can never have too many shooters on the team - especially ones with a great work ethic, high skill level, impressive floater, and high character. His Christian background will mesh well with the current group of guys and he would benefit greatly from joining a great organization that has proven to be able to develop raw, young talent (Bazemore, Green, Ezeli) through quality coaching (Darren Erman, Pete Myers, Jerry DeGregorio, and Brian Scalabrine.)
With the 15th and final roster spot, I would tap one of my favorite prospects of the 2013 Draft Class, Jackie Carmichael. I was shocked that a player of his size, athletic ability, toughness, and post presence went undrafted. Perhaps teams were put off by his age (23 y.o., born 1/02/1990) or were weary of his accomplishments coming from a small school. Nevertheless, he silenced critics with his strong summer league showing.
The Warriors saw first hand the potential this man has off the bench. He's a high energy, defensive big who gives it his all every second on the court. Carmichael recorded 7 blocks against the Warriors and had several other good games in Las Vegas and in Orlando. As with Clark, Carmichael's stock has risen and he has shown he is worthy of a camp invitation. Ideally, you would like to offer him a non-guaranteed contract, but the Warriors may have to offer him the same kind of deal it will take to land Clark if suitors are plenty. Dallas will probably offer him a guaranteed deal to jump from their summer league team to their NBA roster. It's going to take a sweet offer from the Warriors to lure him away.
Currently, the Power Forward position is void of a defensive-minded player. That is where Carmichael would fit in perfectly. He needs to develop more offense in the post, but he is ready to contribute in other ways with his smart play, defense, and blue collar hustle.
Playing time may be hard to come by for all of the rookies, including Nedovic, but rest assured, they will be able to build a solid foundation, be a part of a class organization, pay their dues with the Santa Cruz Warriors D-League team, gradually improve their games the right way, and develop into the best players they can be.
Starters: Curry / Thompson / Iguodala / Lee / Bogut
2nd Team: Douglas / Bazemore / Barnes / Speights / O'Neal
3rd Team: Clark / Nedovic / Green / Carmichael / Ezeli
Go get'em Myers!!!