Options for the Warriors’ 15th Man
The NBA buyout deadline is next week, and the Golden State Warriors, thanks to the exit of Patrick McCaw, have a vacant spot on the roster.
The Warriors’ front office have been leaning towards filling that 15th roster spot for added depth in the playoffs. The general consensus is that the Warriors will probably fill the spot with an extra big or a wing. One of the names that’s been popping up in buyout rumors is Chicago’s Robin Lopez.
In Lopez, the Warriors will have the added depth that they will need at center. Lopez has the ability to set strong screens and be an added playmaker for the second unit. However, it’s not likely that the Bulls will buy him out before the March 1st deadline. So what are the Warriors options if they want to sign a big?
Gortat as a possibility
After his buyout with the Los Angeles Clippers, Marcin Gortat expressed his desire to sign with the Warriors. Gortat reportedly rejected offers from several teams in hopes to join the Dubs. As a Clipper, Gortat averaged 3.6 screen assists (15th in the league). He’s also averaged five points and five rebounds per game. In the Warriors’ schemes, Gortat could be a viable option because he’s willing to set screens and provide extra rim protection. While DeMarcus Cousins continue find his way, a backup like Gortat wouldn’t be a bad thing.
A look at the talent grades from our site show that Gortat brings a couple distinct strengths to his play, or at least used to. Minimal and poor play this season give him very bad grades, but even last season you can see a decline from performance of years’ past.
On one hand, it makes sense for the Warriors to sign a big for insurance. On the other, an extra wing player wouldn’t hurt. While there haven’t really been any wings on the buyout market that the Warriors have been linked to, they may have to look internally for a wing.
All in the Splash Family?
For wing depth, the Warriors may turn to Damion Lee, and it’s a logical choice. For most of his two-way contract, Lee has spent more time in Oakland than in Santa Cruz. While in Santa Cruz, Lee’s been solid and consistent. For the Sea Dubs’ Lee’s averaging 19.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2 assists per game. For the Warriors, Lee’s averaging 5 points per game. However, his three-point percentage is 40.5.
Our talent grades for Lee from last season, where he played 404 minutes, show him adding value in several areas. He didn’t shoot as well as he has this season in the G-League, but exhibited value as a perimeter defender, finisher, and cutter. All three of those areas would mesh well with what the Warriors would look to him for.
Since Lee’s spent most of the season on the Warriors, he has developed and established chemistry with the roster. He’s earned the opportunity not because of relation (Stephen Curry’s brother in law) its because of his ability. Lee could add shooting depth to a bench that desperately needs it.
If the Warriors decide to fill the 15th spot with a wing player, converting Lee’s two-way deal is the most feasible and sensible route given the team’s salary cap space.
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