The Golden State Warriors recently signed the 26-year-old power forward, Marreese Speights to a three-year, $11 million deal. This was a move to add depth to the frontline and was done on the cheap.
The signing is somewhat comparable to the deal the Warriors signed Dorell Wright to a few years back, a career bench player signed to a small three-year deal with the hopes he can help the team in limited minutes. It is a low risk, fairly high-reward move, a signature type move for general manager Bob Myers.
If there is one way to describe Speights, it is that he is a strong power forward who specializes in finishing around the rim. His career has been made dunking home dishes off of pick-and-rolls or just hanging around the rim waiting for a guard to penetrate the lane.
After dumping Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson to the Utah Jazz, the Warriors obviously needed more depth on the frontline, and Speights will fill that role perfectly. He can slide over and play a bit of center, but he will work best as David Lee’s backup and Mark Jackson could work in some clever small-ball lineups with both Lee and Speights on the floor.
The idea behind having both Lee/Bogut and Speights on the floor is that Speights works great with good passing big men. He has already shown that he can flourish around guys like Marc Gasol, who is an excellent passer. Lee brings his own brand of elite passing, which should help Speights get some easy buckets around the rim.
Although Speights doesn’t do anything flashy, he is a nose-to-the-grind-type player and won’t demand big minutes. If he needs to sit for an extended period of time, there should be no issues. If the Warriors end up dealing Lee and get more depth up front, which pushes Speights farther back on the depth chart, he should accept that role. Should Lee go down with an injury, Speights could potentially step into the starting lineup. This is the flexibility that he brings to Warriors.
Another great aspect of Speights game is that he is an energy guy and doesn’t need plays ran for him to keep him happy. He will gladly clean up the glass or grab an offensive rebound and kick it back out to a shooter. He won’t be a burden on the team, and that is essential to the chemistry the team is trying to build off from last year.
Speights hasn’t had much team success, he was on the Grizzlies when they made their deep playoff run this past season, so he understands the grind that comes in a 90-plus game season. Speights was a cheap, under-the-radar signing that should go a long way in improving the depth of the Warriors bench.