By Alex Lamport on June 6, 2014
2014 was a disappointment for the Golden State Warriors. Despite adding another marquee name in Andre Iguodala, their young guns stagnated in development and the team was eliminated from the playoffs a round earlier than the year before. Here’s how the franchise can start moving back in the right direction.
One of the biggest differences between 2013 and 2014 was the absence of Jarrett Jack. As talented as Stephen Curry is, he’s no pure point guard, and the Warriors’ offense suffered at times without a rudder. Getting a solid backup point guard like Devin Harris or Ramon Sessions would do wonders for their offensive flow.
In a lot of ways, it was the players beneath the surface who let the Warriors down this year. Jermaine O’Neal is a prime example. It’s a mystery why he’s still in the league. Andrew Bogut has glass for bones, so the Warriors’ backup center needs to be a more consistent player. Someone like ageless wonder Nazr Mohammed comes to mind here.
Iguodala was the high-profile acquisition last season, but he showed his limits as a player as much as he did his abilities. He has always relied on his athleticism, but he’s now 30 years old and has done nothing to reinvent his game as he’s gotten older. You want similar production from a better athlete? Put Barnes in the starting lineup. He can provide a carbon copy in terms of production and, unlike Iguodala, he has room to grow.
The Dubs have a solid collection of assets to trade for a big star, but reports are they won’t budge on moving Klay Thompson. That’s a misguided approach. Thompson is a nice young player, but he’s not bringing nearly as much to the team as a star player would. And there’s not much else he can add to his game to change who he is. The Warriors needs to understand that and shop him around so they can acquire more talent.
This is the move that can really take the Warriors to the next level. Kevin Love alongside Stephen Curry would give them a terrific one-two punch that, in theory, would be absolutely devastating running a pick-and-pop two-man game. Defense would be a concern, of course, but David Lee might be the one power forward worse on defense than Love. If you want to build a contender out west, Curry can’t do it all by himself.
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