The Golden State Warriors have experienced an assortment of changes to the roster this summer, but the major offseason move was acquiring Andre Iguodala in free agency; a move that may push promising young starter Harrison Barnes into the role of sixth man.
If Iggy becomes the Warriors’ new starting small forward for the 2013-14 season, Barnes will be forced to make an impact off the bench. There’s still a chance that Iguodala could take over at shooting guard—leaving Klay Thompson as the odd man out of the starting lineup—but in all likelihood, Barnes will be leading Golden State’s second unit next season.
Regardless of which starter gets moved to the role of sixth man, there will be big shoes to fill following the departures of Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. Those two super subs anchored a very prosperous second unit for the Dubs last season. Without them, the Warriors would not have had such a successful playoff run.
Coming off the bench usually comes with the bonus of lowered expectations, but that’s simply not the case in Golden State. At just 21 years old, Barnes will have added responsibilities as the leader of a totally revamped bench unit.
Barnes’ shift to the bench could work out in the long run, but as is the case with any major change, there are sure to be pros and cons.