The Golden State Warriors have had an incredibly active and productive 2013 NBA Free Agency thus far. Not only did they lock down one of the best wings on the market in Andre Iguodala and they also ridded themselves of the horrendous contracts of Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins as well as parting ways with the oft-injured Brandon Rush.
Another much less heralded move that the upstart Warriors made this off-season was to sign backup power forward Marreese Speights to a three-year, $11 million contract with a team option in the third year.
Over his five-year career, Speights has played 16.4 minutes per game in 344 games and has averaged 7.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He hasn’t shown any signs of being s star in this league, but he’s definitely shown that he can be an effective backup in the NBA.
The problem with the Speights signing for the Warriors is that it really complicates how they are going to handle their rotation. With the addition of Iguodala, that likely puts Harrison Barnes, who’s coming into his sophomore season in the NBA, out of the starting rotation in favor of a Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Iguodala.
In the 2013 NBA Playoffs, the Warriors found a lot of success with using Barnes at the power forward and playing small-ball. However, bringing in Speights is just going to limit the amount of time they can use them. Essentially, the Warriors have made just enough additions that it’s going to limit the amount of minutes Barnes can get on the floor.
In all likelihood, head coach Mark Jackson will find a way to get a young talented player like Barnes on the floor for an ample amount of time. However, it’s going to be a lot more difficult now that Speights is in house in Golden State.