Golden State Warriors: 5 Free Agents Who Could Help at Center
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While the team could be exploring trade options to find a big man, Golden State could spare some of their trade chips by signing a free agent.
Granted, free-agency pickings this time of year are usually pretty slim, but here are five players who could potentially help fill the void in the frontcourt.
Mbenga lacks the athleticism of his youth, but could still make a splash off the bench for the Warriors.
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Perhaps best remembered by fans for his days with the Lakers, Mbenga is the type of low-post defender Mark Jackson idealizes in his rotation.
His seven-foot frame would give the Warriors a go-to option off the bench to help lock down opposing big men, and his shot-blocking ability a solid addition to the frontcourt rotation.
Mbenga's versatility is a concern, however, appearing in just 41 games last season, and at age 31, has lost much of the explosive ability which defined his post presence earlier in his career.
Still, Mbenga could be a solid, relatively cheap boost to the Warriors' roster.
Though still a work in progress, Ajinca could make an immediate impact for Golden State.
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The 7'2'' Ajinca adds much-needed length to the Warriors, and while a very average post defender, the 23-year-old possesses the tools to become a solid finesse post defense presence.
Ajinca is very light on his feet at 248 pounds, and his blocked shots average has steadily increased in each of his three seasons, finishing last season averaging .6 blocks per game in just 11 minutes per contest.
Given the right amount of playing time, Ajinca could develop into a solid role player for the Warriors. However with the team already banking on the growth of Jeremy Tyler, the team could be hesitant to take on another player in the works.
Etan Thomas (right) could boost the Warriors' post defense
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He played in just 13 games with the Hawks behind Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia last season, but Etan Thomas could give the Warriors a physical prowess down low.
Thomas' best days are behind him at age 33, but if he could even come close to his career averages of 5.7 points per game, 4.7 rebounds and a block per contest, the ninth-year veteran would make a substantial contribution to a depleted Warriors frontcourt.
Dampier has great career numbers as a role player, but is starting to show signs of age.
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Dampier performed well in a limited role with the Miami Heat last season, averaging 2.5 points 3.4 rebounds and .9 blocks per game in just 16 minutes per contest in 2010-2011. His defense last season was above-average down low and thrived splitting time with Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Joel Anthony last season.
However, at age 36, durability has to be a concern for Dampier, who hasn't played more than 55 games the past two seasons. The lockout-shortened season gives players less days off between games so this year's schedule could prove to be grueling on the aging big man.
The risk could be worth the reward though as Dampier is just two years removed from averaging 6.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game and could push Biedrins for the starting job.
Przybilla could be the ideal fit for the Warriors, but does he want to play in Oakland?
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He's had two knee surgeries and comes at a risk, but Przybilla gives the Warriors both a consistent post defender and superb rebounding ability.
His long 7''1' 245 pound build gives him the body type to defend some of the leagues' elite.
Przybilla averages 6.3 boards and 1.5 blocks per game for his career, and while it's unlikely he'll return to those averages, he could make a splash off the bench or usurp the starting role should his knees not give out.
While a contender might be able to lure Przybilla out of retirement, it would be a challenge for a 6-12 Warriors squad to coax the 32-year-old center.