With Andre Iguodala in the fold, the Golden State Warriors got an upgrade at the wing position which was supposedly going to be one of their strengths going forward.
If you have been a hole recently, Iguodala signed a four-year, $48 million deal with the Warriors. In order to obtain Iguodala, the Warriors sent Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, Brandon Rush and draft considerations to the Utah Jazz to free the necessary cap space. The kicker, though, was that the Warriors had to renounce their rights to Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry to free up the necessary money. Therefore, as of right now, there is no backup point guard behind Stephen Curry. Well sort of. Just check out the lineups.
Potential Starting lineup – Andrew Bogut-David Lee-Harrison Barnes-Iguodala-Curry
Moving Thompson to the bench would be tough in any event, but Barnes provides a better post-up game and running option with two certified ball-handlers in the backcourt in Curry and Iguodala. Plus, Barnes is a better overall rebounder than Thompson.
In terms of style of play, it does reduce the three-point threat partially, but it provides a solid offensive lineup nonetheless. If anything, this lineup’s versatility in terms of scoring is what makes it dangerous, and that starts with Iguodala. He can be a shooting guard who can slash to the basketball and get to the line. In addition, he can slide to the point which woud allow Curry to play shooting guard so he can….shoot more (never a bad thing). But, overall, this lineup spreads the flood (Barnes and Curry), gets to the line by (Iguodala) and has low block presence (Bogut and Lee).
Potential Starting Lineup 1a – Bogut-Lee-Iguodala-Klay Thompson-Curry
The obvious other option. Moving Thompson back into the starting lineup spreads the floor much the same way it did previously. But it still keeps the aforementioned Curry off-the-ball option with Iguodala on the floor.
This lineup won’t rebound as well and may be reliant more on the jump shot. But I think it may be better defensively because Thompson is similar to Iguodala defensively. Therefore, there will be less instances of matchup problems.
Either way, this is a viable, and perhaps the more likely possibility come Opening Night.
Likely Small Ball Lineup – Lee-Barnes-Iguodala-Thompson-Curry
This lineup may rival the “We Believe” lineups in terms of entertainment value. Obviously, without Bogut on the floor, there’s a huge defensive hole in the middle. But who do you guard? They can post you, stretch the floor, run, flip pancakes. It’s all there in terms of fun, just offensively.
Now, the defense wont be as bad as the Lee/Carl Landry closing group that Golden State put on the floor last year, but it may be ugly, depending on progress of Thompson and Barnes.
Other Small Ball Lineup – Bogut-Barnes-Iguodala-Thompson-Curry
Defensive anchor, check. This lineup was one used throughout the playoffs that led to some of the most exciting stretches during the postseason. One exception is that you can switch Draymond Green for Iguodala–upgrade is an understatement. Green played above his head but he has obviously doesn’t have the skill set of Iguodala, who will do everything that Green did and much, much more.
Bench Mob – Festus Ezeli*-Draymond Green-Barnes/Thompson/Iguodala-Bazemore, Nedovic
Obviously, the rotational players along with Green, Kent Bazemore and Festus Ezeli will likely be substituted in and out as part of normal play. So, this lineup is pretty weak and unproven, but not totally horrible.
Nedovic likely will not play much this year, if it all (except garbage time)–no one’s sure if he will play in the NBA next year or stay in Europe. The true improvement of Green (jump shot), Ezeli (health and hands) and Bazemore (ball-handling and shooting) will determine the seventh man on this team. All guys can make a contribution to the squad depending on their improvement from year one.
The key is probably Bazemore who is also a combo guard and can likely guard multiple positions, but needs to become a better ball-handler and decision-maker before he could legitimately become a possibility as a backup point guard.
All in all, this likely moves the Warriors ahead of the Nuggets, by subtraction, in terms of playoff seeding. Again, the season will be dependent on health of the center position (Bogut and Ezeli) as well as development of the young guns (Barnes, Thompson, Green and Bazemore).