The Golden State Warriors management made it clear before the All-Star break that they weren’t going to stand pat and let the deadline pass without improving their team.
Wednesday night, the Warriors traded Kent Bazemore, MarShon Brooks, and a trade exception to the Los Angeles Lakers for point guard Steve Blake.
Here are the winners and losers of the deal:
Winner: The Warriors bench and team in general
The Warriors bench is the worst in the entire league. They average only 24.1 points and a league-worst 4.1 assists per game. Blake was playing quality basketball in spurts for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has played in only 27 games this season and averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 assists per game for the Lakers. In his five games since his return from a 26 game absence, Blake is averaging 8.5 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.7 rebounds and recorded a triple-double against the Cavaliers.
He will bring the Warriors another playmaker and a true backup point guard. The Warriors are adding a capable player and losing only two bench players who seldom were productive for the team. They are adding production and losing very little. That’s a win in my book.
Loser: Jordan Crawford
Crawford is averaging only 16.8 minutes per game with the Warriors and was scoring 6.3 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.8 rebounds per game before Blake’s arrival. Now with Blake becoming the backup point guard, Crawford’s role on the team will decrease even more.
Winner: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson
Curry is playing 37.7 minutes per game this season. Thompson is playing 37.6 minutes per game.
Now, with a true backup point guard on the roster, coach Mark Jackson will hopefully cut Curry and Thompson’s minutes just a little bit, resting his team before a deep playoff run. The Warriors will finally have two capable backup guards to play behind the Splash Brothers. Maybe the Dubs will go stretches of games without playing Thompson and Curry to excess.
Winner: Fans of Bench Celebrations and Robert Sacre
The arrival of Kent Bazemore to the Lakers means that the Showtime bench will be even more of the show. Center/bench-warmer aficionado Robert Sacre is an equally good bench warmer as he is player. His celebrations are well-regarded and one of the most entertaining parts of the 2013-14 Lakers.
Now with Bazemore on the team, the Lakers have arguably the two best bench-warmer dancers in the entire league. If and when the Lakers make highlight plays, watch for Sacre and Bazemore performing a duet on the sideline. Watch these two tribute videos of the leagues’ best bench celebrators.
Winner: MarShon Brooks
Brooks has never been a good defender. Luckily for him, he has just been traded to a team coached by Mike D’Antoni, who hates defense as much as Brooks. Expect Brooks to regain his rookie year form when he averaged 12.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 29 minutes of play.
Loser: Andre Miller
It is widely known that Denver Nuggets guard Andre Miller does not plan on suiting up for the Nuggets again this season. The Warriors were one of the teams interested in Miller and it seemed like the two parties would be a good fit for each other. The addition of Blake to the Warriors means that Miller and the Nuggets will have to look elsewhere.