Warriors

Matt Barnes identifies his 'one concern' about Warriors, how to fix it

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Matt Barnes identifies his 'one concern' about Warriors, how to fix it

Ever since Steve Kerr became Warriors coach in 2014, the team has lived by the "Strength in Numbers" mantra.

Not only did the Warriors have a dominant starting lineup, but they prided themselves on having a deep, reliable bench.

But this season, the Warriors' bench is averaging just 29.5 points per game, the lowest mark since Kerr joined the franchise.

Former Warriors forward Matt Barnes is worried about the defending back-to-back NBA champions' depth.

"If I have one concern," Barnes said Monday on 95.7 The Game. "It’s that their bench hasn’t been as strong as it’s been in the past. So these guys really have to figure out on the fly where they can be most effective at."

Barnes is right. Here's what the Warriors' bench has averaged in the five seasons under Kerr and where that ranks in the NBA:
2014-15 -- 36.4 PPG (9th)
2015-16 -- 33.7 PPG (22nd)
2016-17 -- 32.8 PPG (21st)
2017-18 -- 33.0 PPG (22nd)
2018-19 -- 29.5 PPG (28th)

Instead of having savvy veterans such as David West, Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee helping Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, the Warriors have Quinn Cook, Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie trying to provide quality minutes. Jonas Jerebko is the one veteran role player the Warriors added over the summer. Once DeMarcus Cousins debuts, the Warriors' bench will get stronger with the addition of Kevon Looney.

But for now, Barnes believes the next few months are important for the bench players.

"I think it’s time for these young guys to really start to step up and find their place on the team," Barnes said.

Andre Iguodala heard banned Warriors owner faces equity consequences

Andre Iguodala heard banned Warriors owner faces equity consequences

Early in the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors, Toronto guard Kyle Lowry went after a loose ball on the sideline and crashed into the courtside seats.

Golden State minority owner, Mark Stevens, pushed Lowry and cursed at him.

The following day, the Warriors and the NBA announced that Stevens is banned from attending NBA games and Warriors team activities for one year and fined $500,000.

Dubs forward Andre Iguodala was a guest Tuesday morning on The Breakfast Club radio show out of New York, and had an interesting response when DJ Envy said the one-year ban was "whack."

"There's more to it. It's not just banned for a year from what I heard," the 2015 NBA Finals MVP said. "There's more consequences as far as his interest that he invested in the team.

"Like, all that's gonna be gone, too."

Hmmmmmm. Does this mean Stevens is going to be forced to sell his stake in the franchise?

Iguodala is not the first person to raise this possibility:

Stevens joined the ownership group in August 2013 when he purchased the equity interests that were previously held by now Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive.

As Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen wrote earlier this month:

Stevens owns an estimated 8 percent stake in the team, which could mean a profit of roughly $180 million, after factoring in team debt, on his original investment six years ago.

[RELATEDWhy Iguodala believes Mark Jackson blackballed from NBA]

"The dude's worth $2.4 billion," Iguodala said. "I'm pretty sure if Kyle was a different color he wouldn't ... he wasn't in his right state, but at the same time that was him reacting naturally.

"Like, that was kind of crazy."

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Why Warriors should bring back Damion Lee, give him real playing time

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Why Warriors should bring back Damion Lee, give him real playing time

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.
 
With free agency starting Sunday, June 30, the Warriors are about to enter one of the biggest crossroads in their franchise history.

Will they be able to retain injured stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson? Can they afford to bring back "foundational piece" Kevon Looney? Could DeMarcus Cousins re-sign on the cheap to take on a bigger role this season? These questions will all be answered soon.

But in the meantime, the Warriors will have to do what they can to fill out a depleted roster.
 
Last week we highlighted under-the-radar unrestricted free agents that the Warriors could pursue. Some of them might be too expensive at this point for the Warriors to sign, others may be looking for longer contracts than the Warriors are able to offer.

But with the team desperately searching for floor-spacers and scorers to help Steph Curry and Draymond Green do their thing, one player that the Warriors should consider for a spot in next season's rotation comes from within, and that's former two-way player Damion Lee. 
 
While Lee might have originally caught the Bay Area's attention for being Curry's brother-in-law, it was his shooting and effort on the court that led to many clamoring for him to make the postseason roster. The 6-fot-6, 26-year-old guard out of Louisville had quite a busy season as a two-way player, appearing in 24 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors, 32 games with Golden State, and constantly shuttling back and forth in between.

While you'd think that the constant shuffle might lead to some fatigue on the court, Lee posted impressive numbers in both leagues. 

Lee averaged 20.3 points per game in the G League while shooting 39.8 percent from deep. In the NBA, Lee averaged 4.9 points over 11.7 minutes per game while making 39.7 percent of his 3-pointers. He also had some eye-opening games, scoring 20 points and hitting four 3-pointers in a late season win over the Pelicans.

His most impressive game of the year came when he made four 3-pointers for a severely short-handed Warriors squad as they battled for a hard-fought win in Philadelphia. 
 
Lee plays with constant energy and hustle, making up for some limitations in playmaking and defense. He is quick and elusive off the ball, finding openings on offense to either cut to the rim or pop-out for an open 3. With Lee standing behind the 3-point line in the corner or above the break, Curry and Green will be able to find adequate spacing.

On defense, his height and length helps him against opposing guards, and his solid instincts guides him to jump passing lanes and come up with steals.

[RELATED: Warriors have decisions to make on nine players]
 
Going into the offseason, Lee is a two-way restricted free agent, which essentially is similar to a common restricted free agent, as it will be up to the front office to decide if they want to extend him a qualifying offer. As it stands, the Warriors' roster has three guards: Steph Curry and two unproven guards in last year's first-round pick Jacob Evans III, and this year's first-round pick Jordan Poole.

With Klay Thompson expected to re-sign in free agency, and then miss the majority of the regular season, Shaun Livingston undecided on his return and Quinn Cook's future with the team up in the air, there is an opening for Lee to solidify a spot on the  team with a minimum deal. And with all the uncertainty and fluidity with the Warriors' roster, it's time to give him a real shot next season.