Grant Liffmann

Warriors brief: Roster nearly set with additions of Cousins, Jerebko

Warriors brief: Roster nearly set with additions of Cousins, Jerebko

With the news of DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Warriors and Jonas Jerebko planning to sign with the team once he clears waivers on Monday, here are some thoughts on the refurbished roster:

Assuming good health, Cousins’ biggest impact on the Warriors will come in the second unit

Yes, his addition to the starting lineup will create an offensive firepower the league has never seen. What was once a position of general mediocrity and fill-in level talent, now has been replaced with one of the more uniquely offensively talented big men in NBA history. That skill set will benefit the Warriors most, however, in the beginning of the second and fourth quarters most likely. You have to be really nit picky to find a weakness with this Warriors team, but over the last couple seasons the team has struggled to create consistent offense with Durant and Curry off the floor, and Klay and Draymond as the two All-Stars in the lineup. Enter Cousins, and that all changes. Cousins will be able to fully unleash, not having to concede shots to the top scorers, which in turn will create more space for Klay to operate. Let’s not forget Cousins is also one of the best passing big men in the league, which will benefit the team even more when shooters are surrounding him. 

Speaking of shooters surrounding Cousins, it is being reported that the Warriors have agreed to terms with recently waived forward Jonas Jerebko 

Warriors fans will see a lot of similarities between Jerebko and recently departed Omri Casspi. Both are active, tall, stretch 3/4’s that shoot from deep at a good clip and also are not afraid to cut and attack the hoop. Unlike Casspi, Jerebko is used to the type of bench role that he will most likely have with the Warriors, and probably not shy away from launching from distance in his minutes. With Nick Young unsigned, the Warriors currently have a three-point void on the bench. Jerebko may fill that role for potentially 8-10 minutes a game. 

Warriors brief: Game 4 of the NBA Finals may be last time fans see favorite role players

Warriors brief: Game 4 of the NBA Finals may be last time fans see favorite role players

You never want to expect a championship, but now that the Warriors have taken a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals, it is hard to fathom them blowing a historically unbeaten lead. But if Friday's Game 4 is the final game of the series, it also may be the last time that Warriors fans may see some of their favorite role players in Warriors uniforms. 

By the Warriors' historic standards, the 2017-18 season was their version of tumultuous. They dealt with a rash of injuries, some inconsistent play, and overall apathy. The fire and desire to take on a challenging, long regular season was lacking, though justifiably. In order to bring a new fresh energy to the team next year, many expect the Warriors to do an overhaul of their bench. Here is how the roster may play out next season:

Under contract and not going anywhere:
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Jordan Bell, Damian Jones, Quinn Cook

Not much needs to be said regarding Curry, Thompson and Draymond. They will be with the Warriors next season and contract extensions will be discussed for the latter two. Iguodala and Livingston are under contract and are still valuable to the Warriors both on the court and in the locker room. Any attempts to trade or dump their contracts most likely would only be a realistic option following next season. Jordan Bell and Damian Jones are expected to have much bigger roles next season, bringing a youthful energy and athleticism into the lineup. Quinn Cook will serve as Steph Curry's primary backup and fill a need off the bench that was lacking a majority of this season.

Free agents but expected to re-sign:
Kevin Durant, Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney

Durant is not leaving the Warriors. You can ignore the hot takes that are floating around the news recently. He is very happy with the team and has no intentions on leaving. McCaw is a restricted free agent, and many thought that he would play so well that he would out-price himself from the Warriors' plans to match any offer made to him. Unfortunately, inconsistency and injuries ruined McCaw's season. It is very likely he does not receive an offer big enough that the Warriors would not match. The team before this season did not exercise Looney's option for next season, so therefore he will be an unrestricted free agent. Looney has had an unexpected large role with the team this year, playing the role of the finesse big man that could use his length and agility to switch and defend smaller wings and guards. What hurts Looney's potential pay day this offseason are question marks regarding his fit with other teams that aren't nearly as talented as the Warriors to make up for his shortcomings, and the fact there is significantly less salary cap space to go around this offseason. The Warriors can give Looney up to $2.2 million for next season, and while he may be able to land a little more money, it is doubtful he will find a team that will utilize him as much as his current squad. 

Veterans that are unlikely to return:
Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee

Warriors fans might be seeing these three for the last time in their home team's jerseys on Friday. Young never found the consistency with the Warriors and never fit into the role that the team had envisioned before the season. It is likely they use the money spent on Young to find a more athletic wing next season. Zaza Pachulia has fallen out of the rotation and probably will not return with the team, despite how well-liked he is. Perhaps he will eventually fit as a coach some day. McGee is the one that could possibly return, but it is still unlikely. He has played a role off and on these playoffs and throughout the season, and if he were willing to come back on the minimum again, perhaps the Warriors would be intrigued. But like last offseason, McGee searched for better offers only to finally land back with the Warriors. It is hard to see that situation panning out the same way again. 

Up to him:
David West

While West's role has diminished considerably these playoffs, he was perhaps the Warriors' fifth most important player the first half of the season. The Warriors would probably welcome back West's leadership and consistent play if he were willing to take the vet minimum again, though many believe the Warriors might seek a youth movement instead. As it stands, West is deciding between retiring and playing another season for the Warriors. He is very unlikely to sign elsewhere.

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 124, Cavs 114 (OT)
Game 2 Warriors 122, Cavs 103
Game 3 Warriors 110, Cavs 102
Game 4 Cleveland -- Friday, June 8 at 6pm
Game 5 Oakland -- Monday, June 11 at 6pm
Game 6 Cleveland -- Thursday, June 14 at 6pm
Game 7 Oakland -- Sunday, June 17 at 5pm

Warriors brief: Klay Thompson bouncing back this postseason

Warriors brief: Klay Thompson bouncing back this postseason

The Warriors are now in Cleveland awaiting the start of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday, leading the series two games to none. Here are some notes regarding the team.

Klay Thompson is making you forget all about his substandard playoff performance last season.

It was just about a year ago that the Warriors were wrapping up a tremendous 16-1 playoff run to win the NBA title, but apart from Klay's consistently strong defense, he was not much of a factor. Through 17 games last postseason, Klay scored 15 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting (which was second-worst on the team) and 38.7 percent from deep. With Durant and Curry's great success, the Warriors were able to overcome Klay's cold streak and march to the title.

However, this postseason has been a completely different story. To begin with, Curry's injury hindered the Warriors at the start of the playoffs and thrust Klay into the scoring spotlight. He has not disappointed.

Even with the pain of a knee injury in the Western Conference Finals, and a pretty severe leg injury in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Klay has put up playoff totals of 20.7 points per game on 47 percent shooting overall and 43 percent from deep through 19 games. With his health recovering, expect more of the same from Klay Thompson.

Andre Iguodala's absence from the Warriors during these last six games cannot be overlooked.

Because the Warriors have four All-stars on the team, including a couple of MVP's, no one will pity the team for being down a man. But outside of the Bay Area, not many know how much Iguodala actually means to the team. Yes, he is the fifth piece in the famous "Hamptons 5," but he also is the most senior and fundamentally sound of the group.

So far in the playoffs, Iguodala is second on the team in assists-to-turnovers ratio. That's only behind David West, who does not play more than 10 minutes per game. Iguodala was third on the team in steals per game and fourth on the team in assists per game before his injury. If you exclude West's one make from deep last game, Iguodala is also third on the Warriors in three point percentage at 35.5 percent during the playoffs.

Do not forget that he is also the second-best defender on the team, and would have been the primary defender on LeBron James (as well as James Harden late last round).  He may come off the bench most of the time, but Andre Iguodala is anything but a simple role player on the Warriors. 

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 124, Cavs 114 (OT)
Game 2 Warriors 122, Cavs 103
Game 3 Cleveland -- Wednesday, June 6 at 6pm
Game 4 Cleveland -- Friday, June 8 at 6pm
Game 5 Oakland -- Monday, June 11 at 6pm
Game 6 Cleveland -- Thursday, June 14 at 6pm
Game 7 Oakland -- Sunday, June 17 at 5pm