Kent Bazemore's defense could land him a backup spot next season.
Though the Golden State Warriors are losing 23.7 points per game in the tandem of Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, it isn't time to panic and look to swing a trade that barely benefits the short-term while hurting long-term prospects.
More likely than not, the Warriors will feel the same way as the 2014 free-agent class nears the extensions to Andrew Bogut (barring health), Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson.
Golden State contingent including owner Joe Lacob, GM Bob Myers and Mark Jackson will meet w/ Dwight Howard in LA next week, sources tell Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 29, 2013
General manager Bob Myers is looking at all his options, and although it's unlikely he can swing a sign-and-trade with a divisional opponent, it shows that the Warriors are ready to put up the money to win. This was immediately evident as they were able to trade into the first round and maneuver until they got a player they wanted.
The Las Vegas Summer League roster is available, and it includes some interesting names like Craig Smith and Dwayne Jones—perennial D-League players—but the likely replacements for Jack and Landry might come from Kent Bazemore and Draymond Green, respectively.
Bazemore essentially got into the league with his excellent defense, and if he can hit a couple threes and handle the ball a bit better, he could become a serviceable backup.
As for Green, there are high hopes for him because of his versatility to guard both forward spots and his ability to shoot the three, especially during the postseason.
The Warriors also made three trades on draft night before selecting Nemanja Nedovic with the last pick of the first round, and of David Stern's colored color. His scouting report states he's less of a shooter than a slasher—though Thompson and Curry should cover the scoring slack. He should play as a creator of sorts off the bench.
To end what should be a group effort to replace Jack and Landry from within, the wing combination, and perhaps the most athletic players on the team, Barnes and Brandon Rush, represents the scoring punch necessary.
Barnes exploded down the stretch, looking much more confident and assertive in slowly unlocking his potential.
With Rush coming off an ACL injury, there's no way to predict his play, but if he can regain his defense and shooting, there's a lot to like there.
The Warriors lose some size and veteran experience but more than make up for it in athleticism and scoring.
Andrew Bogut deserves his own category because of what he can do on defense. There are perhaps five or less defenders in the NBA who can protect the rim as well as he can, when healthy.
At times, he looked like the Bogut of old, and even at around my speculation of 75 percent, he was able to shut down Tim Duncan and the Denver Nuggets' driving finishes.
He hurried his return from an ankle injury too quick last season and suffered through it to middling offensive play.
Bogut now has an offseason to recover, and if he regains 90 percent of what he once was, he can replace Landry's regular-season minutes and much more.
Cheap Free-Agent Pickups
There aren't many options abound, but we were probably thinking along the same lines before Bob Myers swooped in for a late free agent Landry to supplement his under-the-radar Jack trade.
Some players to look at are Marreese Speights, who is an adequate perimeter shooter with the toughness to rebound and defend inside.
However, the reason Speights opted out of his player option is because he most likely wants more money, which works against the Warriors' favor.
Other players who are both veterans and could be cheap are as follows: Beno Udrih, Darren Collison, Elton Brand and Jason Maxiell.
What is the best option to replace Landry and Jack?
The options aren't sexy, but the players are solid. Did we really think Jack and Landry would make the impact they did last season?
Udrih is a heady veteran who is a capable backup who won't turn the ball over much while shooting fairly decent from mid-range.
Collison is a relative bust of a player who could break out under the right circumstances.
Brand is a mere jump shooter at this point in his career, while Maxiell is athletic enough to bang on the inside.