Thanks to a couple of new additions by way of the free agency pool, the Golden State Warriors cranked up the volume on both sides of the floor this offseason.
On July 11th, the Warriors snagged free agent Shaun Livingston. Livingston and the Warriors came to terms on a 3-year, $16 million deal.
Livingston is a 6-foot-7 point guard, who uses his length to act as a playmaker on offense and a heckler on defense. The 28-year-old averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Brooklyn Nets a season ago. Acquiring Livingston will help the Warriors tremendously with their perimeter defending. On top of that, Livingston is a 9-year veteran and has done a great deal of maturation since entering the NBA out of high school in 2004. Livingston will be a backup for Stephen Curry but trust and believe that when Livingston gets in the game, the fast tempo that Curry sets will continue.
Five days after making the Livingston pickup, on July 16th, the Warriors and Brandon Rush agreed on a 2-year deal. Rush signed the contract on July 22nd after the Warriors finalized their offer at $2.42 million. Rush averaged just 2.1 points in 11.0 minutes per game as a member of the Utah Jazz last season. Therefore, this new start with the Warriors is a chance at redemption for the former University of Kansas standout.
Rush played for the Warriors for two seasons before being traded to the Jazz in 2013. In fact, Rush was one of the most potent three-point shooters for the Warriors and was a good on-ball defender. At 6-foot-6 and 233 pounds, Rush is a nice fit for the Warriors, who need better perimeter defending and more shooters to complement the run and gun style that they have become accustomed to. Maybe this go-round as a Warrior, Rush can solidify his position as a valuable piece of the Warriors’ blueprint.
Grading the Acquisitions
As a whole, the Warriors get a C+ for their free-agent acquisitions.
Livingston is a really good pickup for the Warriors. A team cannot go wrong with grabbing a tall point guard with good fundamentals. Nobody is expecting Livingston to be Magic Johnson or even Philadelphia 76ers wunderkind Michael Carter-Williams, but Livingston can make a huge difference in leadership for the Warriors in the future.
If Livingston was the only pickup, then the Warriors would have gotten a B or possibly a B+ but that is not the case. The acquisition of Rush is kind of shaky. Don’t get it twisted, there is no doubt that Rush is talented and strong. However, Rush is prone to injuries and he shows inconsistency way too consistently. Hopefully, he gets his act together because he has the opportunity to impress the Warriors’ front office and be a longtime member of the club if he succeeds this time.
The Warriors didn’t get a player who has star power but they got two guys who are experienced. Solid players can sometimes produce great results. Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been handed the keys to a terrific team and their new free agents can act as extra fuel to an already powerful west coast engine.