This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.
The Golden State Warriors have some big decisions to make this offseason. They will have to assess if they can keep both of their key free agents, Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, and, if they can’t afford to keep both, they need to decide which player of the two they should sign. Jack and Landry have both expressed that they want to come back to the Warriors. They will each have to discuss all possible situations though with their families and agents.
Jack averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists in 79 games this season, and he also finished third in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award voting. Jack made a little more than $5 million this season, but his level of play might have increased his value in free agency. He will certainly be a highly sought-after free agent, but he has expressed that he’d love to come back to the Warriors. However, Jack might be searching for a long-term deal, which the Warriors might not want to or be able to offer him.
Jack has been quite the journeyman around the league in his career so far. In his eight NBA seasons, he has played for five different teams. Curry has said that his biggest selling point to Jack to re-sign has been that Jack has found a home with the Warriors, and he could settle in here where he already knows what his role will be.
“As soon as I walked in the locker room, I looked down at my jersey and there just is a sense of pride that I have wearing it that I haven’t had as a professional,” Jack said. “Most of the time in college you go somewhere because you love it and there’s a connection there that’s deeper than basketball.
“I guess in the NBA since it’s such a business you usually don’t get that unless you’re one of those guys, one of the lucky few, that get to stay with one franchise for a long period of time.”
Landry averaged 10.8 points and six rebounds in 81 games this season, and he finished as the Warriors’ fifth-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. Landry made $4 million this season, and he has a player option for next season for $4 million. It’s not clear if Landry will take that player option though, because it depends on what other offers he receives from other teams. Landry, like Jack, said he’d like to come back to the Warriors, but he also wants to keep his options open as he might also be offered a longer-term deal.
“Right now, I’m just going to try and clear my head and not worry about what’s ahead of me,” Landry said.“Sit down with the coaches and my mom, my family and my agent and see what’s the best for me in the future.”
Warriors general manager Bob Myers has said that he is willing to go into the luxury tax in order to acquire the right players. Last offseason, Myers and the rest of the Warriors’ front office wanted to acquire Landry and re-sign Brandon Rush, and, in order to do that, the team would have to go into the luxury tax without knowing if they’d be able to get out of it.
According to Myers, the ownership group, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, told them to spend whatever they needed to if they thought Landry and Rush were important to the team. Myers will continue this philosophy when entering into discussions with Jack and Landry.
“That’s a blessing to be able to work in an organization like that where it’s not budget, it’s not cost, it’s not dollars, it’s winning,” Myers said.
Several players on the Warriors have also shown that they want both Landry and Jack to re-sign.
“I want them back,” Stephen Curry said. “They’re great teammates. They’ve added a lot to us as a team and what we’re trying to do.”
Andrew Bogut has expressed the same desire. However, he realizes that it might be a difficult task to bring back both.
“In an ideal world, it’s very important (to bring them back), but being a realist we probably can’t keep both of them,” Bogut said. “I don’t think we’ll have cap room to keep both, even though we’d like to. They’re going to both demand some pretty good money.”
So if the Warriors decide they aren’t fiscally able to re-sign both Jack and Landry, who should they aim to re-sign? Who will be more valuable to the Warriors next season? Both players were important to the Warriors and their playoff run, so which one would be easier to replace in free agency then?
Some point guards who are going to be free agents and would most likely be in the Warriors’ desired price range are Will Bynum, D.J. Augustin, Earl Watson, Jerryd Bayless (who has a player option with the Grizzlies for next season though), Jamaal Tinsley, Sebastian Telfair, etc. None of these players would adequately fill the role that Jack had, and wouldn’t make up for his scoring, passing and leadership.
Some power forwards who are going to be free agents and would most likely be in the Warriors’ desired price range are Elton Brand, Andray Blatche, Jason Maxiell, Antawn Jamison, DeJuan Blair, Jermaine O’Neal, J.J. Hickson, etc.
Obviously, it’s not guaranteed that the Warriors could persuade any of these players to win, but their playoff run could certainly help attract some of them. This group of power forward free agents seems stronger than the group of available point guards. Because of this, if the Warriors could only afford to re-sign either Jack or Landry, it seems as if the Warriors should aim to re-sign Jack. Of course, the Warriors have the option of acquiring a point guard or power forward via trade, but regardless of the potential trades, Jack had a strong leadership role and presence on this team.
Although it would be ideal to bring Landry back too, it seems as if there are better options to replace Landry, which makes Jack more valuable to the Warriors next season.