After the Golden State Warriors’ hugely successful offseason, which saw Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack leave the Warriors for multi-year contracts, and Andre Iguodala come to the Bay, the Warriors may have an excess of scorers. This could lead to one of their expensive players slowly being phased out, and more likely than not, that player will be David Lee.
Let’s take a look at the best and worse case scenarios for David Lee next year.
- He puts up averages of 20 points-10 rebounds-five assists, and feeds off Andrew Bogut in the post with Andre Iguodala cutting through the lane.
- He leads Warriors to a top three seed in the Western Conference, and makes the All-Star team alongside Stephen Curry.
- He asserts himself as the best passing big man in the NBA. It’s not as far-fetched as you may think. He is already in the company of both the Gasol’s, Joakim Noah and Al Horford, and if he starts putting up more than five assists a game, he will be in a league of his own.
- He improves his post defense to passable. At times last year, Lee still looked disinterested in keeping anyone out of the paint. If Lee could play 50-plus games alongside Bogut, he should be able to go for steals more often, knowing he has rim protection behind him.
- He plays through inevitable injuries, which he has done all throughout his career. Lee’s toughness and heart have never been more on display than when he returned during the Warriors’ playoff run after tearing his hip flexor earlier in the series. He is gritty in the sense that no injury will keep him down for long.
- He extends his shooting range. If Lee could add the 22 footer to his range, it would open the lanes up for Iguodala and Curry to work their magic in the paint, hopefully leading to easy buckets.
- He leads NBA in double-doubles again. Last year, Lee had 56 of them. That is pure consistency. He has no issue reeling in every hustle rebound to get his numbers, but he will get 10 rebounds no matter what court he steps on.
- Lee may begin to feel like the odd man out. Not getting all the touches he has been use to the last few years, he could clash with management about how he is used in the offense.
- Although it doesn’t seem possible, if he regresses on defense, Lee may take the title for the worst defender of all the power forwards in the league.
- How is the hip flexor in the beginning of the season? It seems like every year Lee comes up with some freak injury. A few years back it was Wilson Chandler’s tooth in his arm, then during the tank job of 2012, he had surgery to ensure his health, and of course, going down with this hip flexor injury in the playoffs against the Nuggets.
- Maybe he doesn’t mesh with Igoudala, or his lack of jump shot doesn’t clear the lanes enough for Lee. Lee doesn’t do great against double teams, but this seems unlikely.
- If he decides to stop chasing down his “hustle rebounds,” he won’t get close to 10 a night. His lack of integration into the offense could lead to his disinterest on grabbing those boards that would go out of bounds anyways.
- Lee is a very mature person, but all players are sensitive about hearing their name in trade rumors. Joe Lacob has stood behind Lee through his entire tenure so far, but this offseason, Lee’s name was thrown around because of how well the Warriors played without Lee in the playoffs.
- If Lee becomes upset with the front office, or how he is used in the offense, there could be a clash with Mark Jackson. While these immaturity issues have never come up with Lee, he has always been a featured member of the team, and a reduced role could get the gears turning in Lee’s head that he deserves more.