April 12, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) reacts to a call the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Lakers won 118-116. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors: Is David Lee the Odd Man Out After the Andre Iguodala Signing?

Feb 9, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) guards Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Warriors 116-91. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Even though there is a lack of NBA action on the court, there is no shortage of NBA buzz going around the NBA hemisphere. It is “sources say season,” the time when Twitter blows up and goes lots of tangents pertaining to free agents.

The Golden State Warriors were one of the first teams to make a major splash this offseason, trading away Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush to the Utah Jazz to free up cap space, a  move that was the perquisite for the signing of former Denver Nugget small forward Andre Iguodala.

With Iguodala likely to take major minutes away from players such as David Lee and Harrison Barnes, both arguably become expendable as possible trade bait. But trading power forward Lee would be premature and would lead to a possible step back for the Dubs next season.

Player “A” averaged 13.0 points,  5.3  rebounds and 5.4 assists per game last season in 35 minutes of play per game. This player shot 45 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from three-point range and was one of the top defenders at his position.

Player “B” averaged 18.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last season in 37 minutes of play. Player B shot 51.9 percent from the field and was a rebounding and double-double machine.

The Warriors are incredibly deep at the guard and wing positions. They have lethal perimeter shooting and dribble penetration even after the loss of Jarrett Jack. Even though Iguodala is one of the top wing defenders in the league, not to mention a lethal slasher, Player “A,” Iguodala, could take shots way from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and halt the development of Barnes.

Player “B,” Lee, is still necessary and needed to provide an inside presence for the Warriors. Iguodala may be a perfect small-ball four option for the Dubs, but Lee is still a necessary piece of the Warriors puzzle. While Lee’s defensive rating is three points greater than Iguodala’s, a stat that indicates Lee’s defensive woes in comparison to Iggy, Lee is still a rebounding force and needed to defender bigger players.

While in small-ball lineups Lee would likely sit on the bench allowing Iggy to play the four, Barnes the  three, Thompson the two and Curry the point, Lee would still be needed in multiple matchups.

Now that the Houston Rockets have signed center Dwight Howard and still have Omir Asik, they  tons of depth at the small forward position, the Warriors will need Lee to guard the Houston frontcourt.

The Los Angeles Lakers take a step down in terms of size, but the Los Angeles Clippers are still big and strong up front as well.

Though the addition of Iggy to the Dubs makes David Lee more expendable today than last year at this time, his possible areas of contribution are still unique to the current Warriors squad, and his production is a necessity if the Warriors want to achieve playoff success next season.

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Tags: Andre Iguodala David Lee Golden State Warriors Harrison Barnes Klay Thompson NBA Free Agency

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