He’s a former DPOY
Marc Gasol would bring the defensive presence to the Warriors that they hoped DeMarcus Cousins was going to be able to give them last season. He’s, in theory, a 7-footer that knows how to play the paint and, yet, at the same time, can get out on the perimeter and defend guards.
That’s what the Warriors need most.
While Kevon Looney provided some ability to do that the last time the Warriors were in the playoffs, he limited them offensively, and to be fair, we really have no idea how Marquese Chriss will play against top-tier competition and on a fully healthy Warriors’ roster.
That said, it was almost a decade ago that Gasol was given his Defensive Player of the Year honor, but that hasn’t stopped him from behind an impactful defender since. This season, Gasol has posted the second-highest defensive box plus/minus of his career.
He’s stopped being the athletic shot blocker that he was during his 20s, but he’s continued as a force in the paint. Gasol led the league when he posted a 3.1 defensive box plus/minus so his 2.7 this season is something to marvel at.
He’s not going to be the most dominating defender in the game, but Golden State doesn’t need that. They need somehow who can play both ways while also defending on the perimeter.