Look, the Golden State Warriors are stuck with Andris Biedrins for two more years. There’s just no getting around it. And while there might still be a faint glimmer of hope that he’ll somehow rediscover the promising form he showed three or four years ago, it’s more likely that he’ll just quietly collect the last $18 million on his contract from the bench.
Ruling out a miraculous rebirth, Biedrins’ role with next season’s club will, at best, consist of providing a little bit of rebounding off the bench, and little else. If he can support a (hopefully) healthy Andrew Bogut for 15 minutes per contest, he won’t be a total waste of a roster spot. Of course, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Biedrins will even be the first center off the bench this year.
Rookie Festus Ezeli is already brawnier than Biedrins, and he’s got room to grow. Biedrins’ development, on the other hand, seems to have ceased sometime around 2009. If Ezeli shows much of anything in training camp, it’ll bump Biedrins down the bench even farther.
When you also consider that coach Mark Jackson could also play David Lee at center in a small-ball lineup (although he never, ever should), it starts to look like Biedrins might not play at all this season.
Ultimately, it seems like there are a range of possible roles for Biedrins, but none of them are significant. It will be surprising if he contributes more than just a few minutes (and probably four or five fouls) per game. If he gives the team anything beyond that, it’ll be an unexpected boon.
For Biedrins, things have gotten past the point of fans or coaches asking him to give more, to play harder, to return to form. Now, he doesn’t even really matter. Neither will his role this season, if he has one.