OAKLAND – The Warriors have had a roster vacancy all season, and they’ve been unwilling to fill it until the right person came along at the right time.
The blockbuster trade Thursday between the Mavericks and Knicks stands to bring the defending champs closer to that moment.
There is a high likelihood that center DeAndre Jordan and shooting guard Wesley Matthews, two of the players going from Dallas to New York, will be bought out and thus become free agents.
Though the Warriors would have interest in both, the need for Matthews is greater than the need for Jordan.
Now that the Warriors have seen DeMarcus Cousins make an immediate positive impact in only five games, the desire to add another big man has diminished. They would be comfortable entering the postseason with Cousins and Kevon Looney handling to bulk of the minutes at center.
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Which brings them back to the only other concern they have with the roster. They never really replaced Patrick McCaw.
That’s where Matthews, at 6-foot-5, is the right person. He’d immediately become the No. 2 shooting guard on the roster, an improvement over those who filled that role before, from Kent Bazemore and Leandro Barbosa, to Nick Young and McCaw.
Matthews, at 220 pounds, also is strong enough to play small forward against certain opponents.
In 44 games with the Mavericks this season, Matthews averaged 13.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 29.8 minutes. What’s important here, though, is that he shot 38 percent from beyond the arc.
Should Matthews, 32, become available in the coming weeks – by March 1 to be available for the postseason – there would be mutual interest.
One of most repeated comments by general manager Bob Myers – “You can never have too many shooters” – is one he truly believes. He’d like to place a shooter in that final roster spot.