The Golden State Warriors have only one traditional center on their roster. Is that enough?
With the addition of Willie Cauley-Stein, the Golden State Warriors are hoping they have finally filled a position of need dating back to the first departure of Andrew Bogut in 2016.
The question is do they have enough depth at the position?
However, the Warriors haven’t found a long-term option to pair with Green in the frontcourt and might have just found their man in Cauley-Stein.
With the D’Angelo Russell sign and trade handicapping the Warriors, options on the free agency market were limited but General Manager Bob Myers pulled off a coup by signing former sixth overall pick in Cauley-Stein while trading the largely disappointing Damian Jones to the Atlanta Hawks for Omari Spellman.
The former Kentucky man has struggled to make an impact in his short career thus far but enters a favorable situation as he nears his prime, Cauley-Stein is capable of rebounding, playing defense and scoring from the post. All skills the Dubs will look for this season.
Although trading Jones was the right call considering his lack of progress thus far, it leaves the Dubs short of out-and-out centers.
Depth at the position is scarce, to say the least, but Looney can still operate at the five as can Draymond and both will likely do so in small-ball lineups, but that is as far as depth stretches as Alen Smailgacic is set to feature at power forward at NBA level.
While the situation isn’t ideal, it isn’t catastrophic considering Coach Kerr’s regular use of small ball lineups and factoring in the fitness of Cauley-Stein who has missed under 20 games in the past three seasons combined. Providing the Dubs stay healthy it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
In addition, the increased usage of the pick and roll could potentially see more opportunities to play a power forward at the five position with Looney and Cauley-Stein both potentially becoming a part of a pick and roll duo with Russell or superstar Steph Curry.
Regardless of what happens fitness will likely be crucial as the Dubs prepare for the start of a potential championship pursuit.