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Does GR3 or Burks fit Warriors better in NBA free agency?

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Editor's note: Each Thursday for through Oct. 29, we’ll take a comparative snapshot look at two free-agent wings that are financially realistic candidates and presumably are on the big board in the office of president and general manager Bob Myers.

The Warriors are not in a position to offer much more than veteran-minimum deals unless they like someone enough to offer their $5.9 million taxpayer midlevel exception or use their $17.2 million trrade exception. For the purposes of this exercise, we're looking solely at free agents, so that's off the board.

We’ll compare five categories: Shooting, defense, athleticism, baggage and measurables. You choose. Debate.

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This week, like last week, we consider two former Warriors: Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III, both of whom were on the roster last season:

SHOOTING

Burks: Played 48 games (18 starts) with the Warriors before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers (18 games, one start). He scored in spurts with a poor Golden State team but was more efficient with the playoff-bound 76ers, shooting career-best 41.6 from deep, compared with 37.5 percent for the Warriors. He has a very good midrange game and can score in isolation. His career percentages are 42.2 (FG), 36.4 (3P) and 79.1 (FT).

Robinson: Played 48 games, all starts, with the Warriors before being traded to Philly (14 games, four starts). He shot the 3-ball better for the Warriors (40.0 percent to 33.3), which might be attributed to getting consistent minutes, but was sharper inside the arc in Philly, shooting 60.3 percent. He’s good on the catch-and-shoot, with a very good midrange game but struggles to get his own shot. Career percentages: 45.9 (FG), 37.3 (3P), 76.8 (FT).

 

Edge: Robinson. It’s very close. G-Rob III stretches the floor better with his 3-ball, but Burks is vastly superior at creating his own shot.

DEFENSE

Burks: Put simply, he wasn’t much of a defender early in his career. He has, however, gotten better, though there was little evidence of such last season with Golden State. With a 6-10 wingspan, he can defend either wing position but has problems with quickness. With few exceptions, his annual defensive ratings generally are mediocre. In 66 games last season, he had at least two steals 16 times and at least two blocks three times.

Robinson: He entered the league as an excellent defender, confirming capability, but declined noticeably last season with the Warriors and was worse in Philly. Circumstances? Probably. We think he’d be fine with the right teammates. With a 6-10 wingspan, he can guard up to three positions and is solid on the ball. In 62 games last season, he had at least two steals 13 times but never achieved multiple blocks.

Edge: Even. Burks works at it, but rarely is that enough to be effective. Robinson has the higher ceiling and the physical gifts to be better but has not consistently applied them.

ATHLETICISM

Burks: Seven on a 1-to-10 scale. He was close to 8 before his right knee turned cranky.

Robinson: Eight. Exhibit A-Z: He won the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in 2017.

Edge: Robinson.

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BAGGAGE

Burks: Nine-year veteran is relatively quiet, a dedicated pro. Willing to offer opinions upon request, he quickly earned respect as an “OG” among his teammates in the Bay Area. He was well-liked.

Robinson: Affable and easygoing, a genuinely quality individual. His teammates really liked him, and the coaching staff liked him even more.

Edge: Robinson, slightly.

MEASURABLES

Burks: 29 years old, 6-foot-6, 215 pounds. Made $2.3 million with a one-year contract.

Robinson: 26 years old, 6-7, 210 pounds. Made $1.9 million, with a one-year contract.

OVERALL EDGE: Robinson. He’d be slightly cheaper, is closer to the needed 3-and-D profile and made it clear before leaving that he really liked being part of the Warriors organization.