This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors have two key free agents this offseason: Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. If the Warriors are unable to re-sign both of these players, they will need to address filling the backup point guard and backup power forward roles in the offseason.
Jack proved to be the perfect complement to Stephen Curry in the Warriors’ system. Jack’s toughness and his ability to attack the basket provide the perfect balance to Curry’s unbelievable three-point shooting. When he plays alongside Curry, he plays point guard, which allows Curry to slide over to the shooting guard position, so Curry can focus more on shooting than distributing.
Jack would be the Warriors’ best option for backup point guard given the leadership, toughness, and intensity that he provided. Some possible replacements for Jack that are 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, or Sebastian Telfair.
Augustin would probably be the best option to replace Jack out of those players, because he could easily fit into this Warriors team. Augustin played last season for the Indiana Pacers and clearly didn’t fit into their slow-paced system. Augustin would flourish in the Warriors’ up-tempo, defense-dependent system. He’s excellent in pick-and-rolls, and he would give the Warriors another quality three-point shooter. Although Augustin wouldn’t provide the same toughness that Jack does, he turns the ball over less than Jack does. Augustin has averaged 2.2 turnovers and 5.8 assists per 36 minutes in his career, and Jack has averaged 2.5 turnovers and 5.6 assists per 36 minutes. The Warriors could surely use less turnovers.
Landry was a valuable rebounder and offensive weapon off the bench, and the Warriors hope he picks up his player option for next season. If he decides not to though, some replacements could be Elton Brand, Andray Blatche, Jason Maxiell, Antawn Jamison, DeJuan Blair, Jermaine O’Neal, or J.J. Hickson. Although Hickson is arguably the best power forward out of this group, he rejuvenated his career last season with the Portland Trailblazers as their starting center. He will most likely not want to settle for a backup power forward role and will want a pay increase that the Warriors can’t afford.
Brand seems to be the best remaining option. He didn’t have much success last season as a reserve for the Dallas Mavericks, but Brand is still solid defensively, as he averaged 1.3 blocks in just 21.2 minutes per game last season. He also has averaged 9.1 rebounds per game over his career, which would be a valuable asset off the bench.
Ideally, the Warriors could re-sign both Jack and Landry and keep the same core of players intact for next season. Both Jack and Landry will draw a lot of attention as free agents though because of their stellar play last season. The Warriors have to be prepared for this and have a backup plan for which free agents they should target to replace Jack and Landry.