Andre Iguodala is the highlight of the Warriors' offseason.
The Golden State Warriors have had a highly unpredictable offseason, but they managed to acquire Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights, Jermaine O’Neal, Toney Douglas and Nemanja Nedovic to fill up the roster.
The biggest free-agent acquisition by far this summer was Iguodala, and it was a real surprise during the Warriors’ chase for Dwight Howard. Iggy was very impressed with the organization during the playoffs and had expressed interest in joining the squad.
The Warriors also made some smart decisions by finding players with the same skill level to fill vacancies left by PF Carl Landry and Festus Ezeli's injury. Speights and O’Neal will be on the floor for less than 20 minutes each night, and they can maximize their energy and skill level.
Toney Douglas came over from the Sacramento Kings, and the Warriors sneaked into the draft to pick Nedovic in order to fill the vacancies left by Jarrett Jack and Brandon Rush.
The squad will have to adapt to the new talent coming in, but there is a lot of diverse skill coming off the bench. With that being said, let’s see how each new addition will fit into this exciting Warriors team.
Andre Iguodala is the most exciting addition to the Warriors since probably Baron Davis joined the squad before the “We Believe” days. He brings a multitude of offensive moves, but he also knows how to defend the premier players in the league.
Iggy will get his points, but I don’t expect him to score above the career high he put up in Philadelphia during the 2007-08 season. His offensive stats have generally declined since that time period, and there are a lot of prolific scorers on the floor at all times.
He will get his set shots, but I see Iguodala more of the floor man in motion. He'll move without the ball, take passes and make athletic moves to the hole. He is also a great disher; he averaged 5.4 assists per game last year.
He will need to work hard on his free-throw shooting during the preseason. His percentage has dropped each of the past three seasons. Since he takes about three to four trips to the charity stripe per game, the extra points could help secure victories.
Projected Stat Line: 13.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.6 APG
Marreese Speights is a physical forward who can adequately replace some of the production Carl Landry brought to the Warriors’ lineup. He comes over after playing last year for both the Memphis Grizzlies and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He is roughly the same size as Landry, but he's a fraction taller and heavier at 6’10” and 255 pounds. Speights knows how to play the Warriors system, and he brings toughness and versatility with him.
For a man that large, Speights can really run the court and rebound off the offensive glass. He is also a good shooter. He has a career 47.2 shooting percentage, including going 50 percent from 16-23 feet in his time with the Cavs last season.
Speights signed a three-year deal for $11 million, so he will be around the team for the foreseeable future, unlike the one-year deal Carl Landry had.
Speights will need to improve his finishing abilities at the rim and be consistent on both sides of the ball. His statistics last year would be a great start in filling the backup power forward void, and anything he can improve upon would be icing on the cake.
Projected Stat Line: 8.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 0.8 APG
O’Neal has seen a lot of the league in his time spent with the Blazers, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. He might be 34 years old, but he is still very useful as a big man.
He will come in to fill the spot left by the injury to Festus Ezeli and the gleeful departure of center Andris Biedrins. Last season in 18.7 minutes, O’Neal averaged 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.
O’Neal will be looked upon to play more of a defensive role and continue the Warriors’ rebounding success. At the very least, he can help mentor the younger guys, a role similar to what Andrew Bogut did last year when he was on the bench injured.
I don’t expect O’Neal to put up numbers closer to the production he had with the Heat in 2009-10, but he should be a very serviceable frontcourt player who will help the team grow into a perennial power.
Projected Stat Line: 6.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 1.2 BPG
Toney Douglas is a legitimate point guard replacement at a more economical price than Jarrett Jack. He will not be as clutch a shooter as Jack from the get-go, but Douglas has the abilities to get there.
"Potential" is the key word that gets attached to Douglas. He hasn’t stuck with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets or Sacramento Kings so far in his career. He is looking for a less conspicuous opportunity to succeed with a team that is on the rise.
Douglas is a proven defender, so when he comes into the game, the team will be better on the defensive side of the ball. As for the offensive side, he is athletic, but he needs to work on his shooting percentage.
Douglas shot a little over 40 percent from the field last season and less than 38 percent from behind the arc. If he can increase the percentages just a bit, he can increase his confidence and probably his playing time.
I see Douglas fitting in well with the Warriors' style of play, and if he can relax and take better shots, he will come close to filling Jack’s shoes.
Projected Stat Line: 6.5 PPG, 2.5 APG and 1.5 SPG
Nemanja Nedovic was a surprise pick in the 2013 NBA draft, since the Warriors didn’t have a pick going into the draft. Bob Myers and his scouting staff did their research, and the Warriors' front office attended the 2013 Adidas Eurocamp to get a better feel of what he could do.
He is considered one of the best guards in Europe, and the Warriors could not pass up the chance to fill one of their biggest needs. He has been given the nickname “European Derrick Rose” because of his size and athleticism, but he also fits in the “tweener” category.
He will get his chance to play both guard positions, but coach Mark Jackson will determine where he is more comfortable playing Nedovic. The room for growth is there for Nedovic.
He will be a factor for the Warriors this season in incremental steps. He is a project, but a player GM Bob Myers and company see as another piece that can improve this team now and in the long run.
Projected Stat Line: 3.7 PPG, 2.1 APG and 1.2 SPG