May 2, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry (7) celebrates after a basket against the Denver Nuggets during the third quarter of game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Nuggets 92-88. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors Could Andray Blatche Be More Effective Than Carl Landry?

Could Andray Blatche bring more to the Warriors than Carl Landry?

Last week, fans saw that Carl Landry finally made his decision of opting out of his final year of his contract to test free agency. It is most likely that he will not be returning to the Golden State Warriors next season due to cap space issues.

Landry was perhaps one of the most consistent players for the Warriors this past season. Playing in 81 games and averaging 10.8 points per game, the Warriors have a huge void to fill on the bench.

This year’s free agent market does not offer superstar players, but it does contain a few players who can make an impact on a team. One player that can be an ideal forward to replace Landry would be former Brooklyn Net Andray Blatche.

So far, Blatche has had an interesting career. In 2005, the Washington Wizards drafted him out of high school in the second round. He was once sought to be the face of their franchise. However, after seven seasons, the Wizards waived him for his lack of maturity.

Many franchises lost hope in the former high school star, but the Nets decided to give him a chance in 2012 thus sparking the revival to his career.

Currently, Blatche is an unrestricted free-agent. Towering at 6’11, he is a possible prospect for the Warriors to look at to replace Landry. Can Blatche provide more than what Landry supplied?

Blatche and Landry are two different players. Landry tends to operate in the post better than Blatche is able to. However, Blatche’s lack of post-up game can be made up with other aspects of his game.

In the past three seasons, Blatche has averaged 11.9 points per game. His scoring comes in a variety of ways ranging from jump shots to penetrations. However, what is the most impressive part of his game is his tremendous ball-handling ability.

Blatche is a 6’11 big that can comfortably put the ball on the floor. Utilizing his moves, Blatche can create his own shot and get to the basket. Although scoring is important, his ball-handling skills can be more serviceable for the Warriors than just scoring.

It is safe for Warriors fans and the organization to assume that Jarrett Jack will not return to the Warriors. Blatche can provide the Warriors with another ball-handler. He may not have the playmaking abilities of Jack, but with a coach like Mark Jackson, he can learn to be one.

Blatche can free Stephen Curry up from dominating the ball. Coaches will begin to realize that pressuring Curry is the best way to stop him from scoring. With Blatche on the floor, Curry can break away from double teams and get open for shots.

The downside to Blatche is that he can get carried away with his ball-handling ability.

His basketball IQ is not where it should be for a player with seven years of experience.  For the past season, Blatche’s assist-to-turnover ratio was at 0.667. It was well below the league average, which was at 1.6. But there is still room for improvement. Although Blatche has been in the NBA for seven years, he is only 26 years old. There is still room for growth in his game for the years to come.

Blatche is a talented player that can bring versatility to the Warriors. His size and guard-like abilities can impact the Warriors in a positive way. With him on the floor, the Warriors can play with a bigger lineup as opposed to the small ball lineup fans are used to seeing.

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Tags: Brooklyn Nets Golden State Warriors NBA Free Agency

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