NBA Preseason: Golden State Warriors Trade for Brandon Rush
Bay Area News Group beat writer Marcus Thompson first announced the deal that agent Mark Bartelstein has since confirmed.
For the Warriors, who knocked off the Sacramento Kings 107-96 in their preseason opener last night, it’s a terrific deal, turning excess frontcourt depth into usable backcourt help.
Rush, 26, gives the Warriors a capable scorer plus a defender to back up guard Monta Ellis and small forward Dorell Wright on the wings. His presence also relieves some pressure off rookie Klay Thompson, who was drafted to fill this exact role.
Last season, Rush averaged 9.1 points and 3.2 rebounds over 26.2 minutes per game for the Pacers. The 2008 first rounder out of Kansas was once considered a building block for Indiana, but has simply failed to meet expectations. Perhaps a change of scenery could be exactly what he needs.
Offensively, Rush is a solid outside shooter, knocking down 41.7 percent of his three-pointers last season (40.2 percent over his career), but has showed little else during his stay in Indiana. Despite his 6’6" 225-pound frame, perfect for a slashing wing, Rush has been nearly non-existent inside the arc, ranking near the bottom among shooting guards in usage rate and “tends to float through games," writes ESPN’s NBA analyst John Hollinger. A fast-pace offense like Golden State's could help to change just that.
On defense, Rush adds even more to the undersized Warriors backcourt. A lockdown defender, Rush utilizes his big body and athleticism well and could be called to match up against some of the Western Conference's bigger guards.
In a new system, Rush can certainly thrive. He’ll no longer be expected to run the 27 minutes per game he’s averaged over his career, but certainly has the skills to succeed as a 10-15 minute per night rotation player off the bench.
In return, the Warriors gave up forward/center Louis Amundson, who became expendable with the additions of Kwame Brown and rookie Jeremy Tyler this offseason to a rotation already featuring Ekpe Udoh, Andris Biedrins and David Lee. While limited offensively, Amundson fits in well with the Pacers as a high-upside rotation player.
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