David West has announced his retirement from the NBA. How will the Warriors overcome the loss of their veteran big man next season?
After two years with the Golden State Warriors, forward David West has announced his retirement from NBA.
He played a key role in both of the team’s championship campaigns, providing much-needed scoring and toughness from the bench.
He played in 73 games last season and averaged 6.8 points and 3.3 rebounds shooting 57.1% from the floor. Even though it was his 15th season in NBA, he managed to increase his stats from the previous season in all those key numbers.
However, his numbers declined in the playoffs. He played 3.3 less minutes per game in this year’s postseason compared to the 2016-17 playoffs, and both his scoring and rebounding averages went down.
When the Warriors went into this offseason, it was thought that the team would re-sign only one of Javale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, or David West, as Kevon Looney saw his role increased by a considerable margin in the playoffs thanks to his lateral quickness and ability to guard multiple positions.
However, it turned out the Warriors will keep none of their veteran post players. David West announced his retirement, while Javale McGee opted to sign with the Los Angels Lakers in free agency, and Zaza Pachulia packed his bags for Detroit.
Do these losses totally deplete Golden State’s frontcourt rotation? Probably not.
The Warriors currently have 15 players on their payroll, and 6 of them can play either the power forward or center position.
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Once healthy, DeMarcus Cousins will pair with Draymond Green to form a more than formidable starting front court. Kevon Loony re-signed with the team this offseason on a one-year contract and will continue to improve as he develops.
Jonas Jerebko signed as a free agent. He is a reliable shooter from long-range and averaged 41.4% from beyond the arc last season for the Utah Jazz. He can provide much-needed space for the Warriors’ offense, especially when DeMarcus Cousins returns from the injury.
Another huge boost to the Warriors frontcourt rotation is the return of Jordan Bell to full health. He can do everything Javale McGee did for the team on the offensive end and projects to be a much better defender.
He is an excellent lob catcher and rim protector without the occasional head scratching plays we saw from JaVale. Bell’s improvement should come along nicely as he continues to learn how to defend multiple positions even against taller opponents from Draymond Green.
Damian Jones needs to improve quickly to remain in the roster. Being a 7-footer, he has yet to prove that he’s a better rim protector than Jordan Bell, who is three inches shorter. This is certainly a make-or-break year for Jones as he might finally get some playing time after the retirement of David West.
Though it is sure to take some time to adjust to the absence of West’s voice in the locker room and his mid-range jumpers on the court, his departure will likely open up more opportunity for the young big men, and the Warriors have a plenty of them.