by Julian Michelucci
The Golden State Warriors have dramatically revamped their roster in this summer of 2013. For the most part, it has been for the better.
Before we get to their signings, I want to address the players that recently have departed. Carl Landry, their back up power forward last year to David Lee, who was an essential part of Golden States bench last season, agreed with the Sacramento Kings to a four year, $27 Million Dollar deal.
Jarret Jack, the teams closer and arguably the best 6th man last year, signed a 4 year, $25 Million Dollar Deal with Cleveland, in which he will likely back up point guard, Kyrie Irving.
3 other Warrior players were traded to the Utah Jazz: Brandon Rush (Yes unfortunately), Richard Jefferson, and oh yes, Andris Biedrins.
Trading away Andris Biedrins was one of the biggest surprises of the summer. Who would have guessed a team would be willing to gamble with his 9 Million Dollar a year salary? Perhaps Utah, who is in rebuilding mode and in exchange Golden State gave up the rights to their future draft picks. Brilliant move for both sides.
Now, that wasn't a small amount of players that departed from Golden State, by any stretch of the imagination. They lost Brandon Rush, a very talented and explosive scorer, and decent wing defender. They lost 2 very good players off their bench.
All that was worth it once they made their moves. The first player that the Warriors signed was the 6 foot 6 versatile guard/forward Andre Iguodala. That's right, Iggy. The former Nuggets guard who the Warriors defeated in their epic playoff run, which is still relatively recent.
Andre Iguodala I may add, was perhaps one the reasons why Denver went 55 and 27 last year, their highest record in franchise history. Iggy makes the Warriors better period. He makes up for the departure and loss of Jarret Jack with his ball handling and savvy passing ability. He automatically changes the Warriors defense and puts them in the top 5 defensive category. He is one of the most versatile players in the NBA. Some call him a poor man's Lebron. There is reason for that. Iguodala can play the 2 position, the 3 position, and in limited minutes can even play the point guard or at least play point- forward.
Also, one of the keys for Golden State to improve has been they need a player than can create for himself, create for others, and get to the foul line. Andre does just that with his slashing ability, ability to invite contact, and his no fear mind set. The guy is a winner.
Now that wasn't the only splash that the Warriors made this summer. Perhaps, they did indeed replace Jarret Jack and Carl Landry's presence, at least to a certain degree.
Mareese Speights, aka Mo, was picked up by the Dubs earlier this month to a 3 year, $11 million deal. His 6 foot 10, 245 pound frame adds much needed size and toughness to offset the loss of Landry.
Toney Douglas agreed to a 1 year contract with the Warriors for just under 2 million. Thought not known for the typical point guard who can handle the ball excellently, Douglas is a great 3 point shooter and can defend solidly.
Lastly, Jermaine O'neal. Yes that's right. Although plagued by injuries over the last few years, O'neal can still play, and he had a bounce back year with Phoenix. I think he is the perfect back up to Bogut, and they will need back up, especially with center Festus Ezeli out for the first couple months.
The signings of O'neal and Speights have off setted the loss of Landry. Losing Biediens and Jefferson was huge. Utah took on an extra $20 million in salary between the 2, and that enabled the Dubs to go after their guy, Andre Iguodala, who they have wanted for the last few years. Iguodala is an elite NBA veteran. He more than replaces Jack in my opinion, he was also an All Star in Philadelphia, where he has led them to the post season many times.
This definitely makes the Warriors contenders. They have size now, something they have longed for. They already have the shooting. Now they have the defense, and perhaps with Lee, a healthy Bogut, and Iguodala, they are one of the better passing teams in the league. The only question is, how will Barnes fit in, assuming Klay Thompson and Iggy start? Guess we'll have to see, but that is a really Nice problem to have! Maybe nice enough to put them over the top when the Western Conference finals come!