Golden State is looking forward to a landmark season next year. They added former MVP Kevin Durant as a free agent and kept their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green intact.
All of this was accomplished without sacrificing bench staples like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. But, even with all of this firepower, Steve Kerr is worried about his new-look unit.
The coach told CSN Bay Area: “The thing that’s different will be a lack of rim protection. We had great rim protection from Bogut and Ezeli, but those guys are gone.”
Andrew Bogut was traded to Dallas in a move to make room for Durant and as soon as the new sharpshooter was on board there was no room to re-sign Festus Ezeli.
Both players might not have been huge offensive cogs for the Warriors but, they held down the paint for the Splash Brothers and Co.
So how will they shore up the middle besides betting on rookies and JaVale McGee? Here are three free agents that can help with that:
The former Sacramento King was close to joining the historic campaign in The Bay last year. Now with the chasms in the middle, he could be looked at as an option again. He has never been known as a shot blocker but his size is hard to come by in the league.
One important distinction that Thompson has that separates him from other inclusions on this list is that he would allow the Dubs to maintain their spacing on offense because of his shooting ability. He wouldn’t just be loafing around the paint while allowing defenses to load up.
For a long time, Sacre was a glorified cheerleader at the end of the Lakers bench. However, in the lean times of the franchise, he was allowed to play more in recent years. The big man didn’t set the world on fire but, he was serviceable.
The Warriors don’t need a dominant center. They just need a big body to swat the occasional shot and jump for the occasional lob when teams try and double their stars. Let’s not forget one of the oldest adages in basketball: you can’t coach height.
Longtime fans of the NBA will likely wonder how he’s still in the league. The Caveman has been around long enough that his old nickname now feels strangely apt. He was an All-Star for the Clippers in what seems like an eternity ago.
As the league has evolved towards small-ball, big bruising centers like Kaman have seemingly been rendered relics of eras that have long passed. They can still be useful to teams that have a lot of perimeter firepower and I can’t think of a better shooting team than the one that plays in Oracle.
He will stay ready and provide minutes however he can. The veteran presence will likely not cause any trouble and he’s got to be hungry to contend this late into his career. All great reasons to at least kick the tires on the seasoned center.