Monday, July 8, 2013


Well it looks like the Warriors ended up working out a Sign-and-Trade with Denver afterall. They now have an $11M trade exception a $3.2M trade exception, and the $5.2M Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception. This gives the them loads of flexibility to strengthen the bench and build towards contender status. Even though they have the means to spend more money, they should remained disciplined with the contracts they pursue or hand out in order to keep the cap flexibility in 2014. That means the Warriors should (1) pursue quality players with expiring contracts using the exceptions, (2) target young, cheap, and movable pieces, or (3) sign a player to a deal which allows the Warriors to opt out in 2014.

With Landry gone and Ezeli on the mend until at least the rest of the year, their number one priority should be a backup big man who can play both PF and C.

Ekpe Udoh was a fan favorite when he was a Warrior and is a terrific defender who can play PF and C. He is not particularly good at much else, but has proven that when he's on the court, the team is almost always on the plus side because of the hustle and little things he does that don't show up in the box score. His help defense is impeccable, he alters many shots, is mobile, and he times blocks well. I suspect we can get him for almost nothing since Bucks are stacked at PF/C with Sanders, Ilyasova, Ayon, Gooden, Henson, and now Pachulia (recently signed).

Udoh makes
$4.5M 2013-14
$6.0M 2014-15  Qualifying Offer which we would decline to maintain cap flexibility

ESPN Scouting Report
Scouting report
+ Lean, athletic shot-blocker who moves well defensively and can protect rim.
+ Has 15-foot range but very poor offensive instincts. No moves or handle.
+ Very poor rebounder for size. Needs to reduce fouls. Makes free throws.
Udoh can't rebound or score, but man, can he play defense. Synergy again rated him as one of the best defenders in the league, and his teams once again had a major defensive improvement with him on the court. Golden State gave up 10.7 points per 100 possessions less with him on the court, while in Milwaukee the change was 5.2 points.
Opposing centers racked up a decent player efficiency rating against Udoh, but that's because he was busy playing sheriff. He ranked fifth in blocks per minute among centers and in the top third in steals. He's both a capable pick-and-roll defender and a very strong rim protector, and despite his inexperience his defensive instincts are all on key. He's a bit undersized for a center and at age 25 he may not improve much from here, but defensive value alone makes him a very good backup. Fouls, however, remain a problem, as he had one every 7.4 minutes.
Udoh would be a starter if he could play offense, but he's pretty bad at this end. He can make open jumpers and hit 38.4 percent of his shots beyond 10 feet, but he just doesn't have the instincts or ball skills to get himself easy chances near the basket. He's a low-mistake player, at least, cutting his turnover rate sharply last season, and his 75.4 percent from the line was very good for a center.
Surprisingly, he's also a terrible rebounder. Udoh was the league's third-worst center in both defensive rebound rate and overall rebound rate. This is partly because of how often he's going for blocks, but regardless he'll have to do better.
Udoh fills a need without adding salary that could jeopardize their 2014 cap flexibility.

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