NBA mailbag: Who subs for Klay Thompson?

September 7, 2012, 7:55 pm
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Mailtime Who will be the first shooting guard off the bench?Will it be Brandon Rush or Jarrett Jack? Or could Mark Jackson bring in Jack toplay point guard and move Curry to shooting guard? Ben, Bay Area.Steinmetz: All of the above are possible.Its a tough one to call because so much has to play out.And honestly, I dont see the same pattern developing game after game aftergame. I see Jackson making substitutions depending on the game situation and itcould change.My hunch is that Rush has a chance of starting, which wouldtake him out of the mix in terms of bringing him off the bench. What I seehappening most of the time is for Jack to be the first guard off the bench, butsome games hell probably come in for Curry and other games hell come in forThompson.Thats the luxury of having a player such as Jack. You canbring him in to play either of the backcourt positions and the best part isthat hes capable of defending both guard positions.Curry and Thompson are more limited than that, with eachpretty much limited to only guarding their own positions.Why did the Warriors keep Kent Bazemore over DominicMcGuire? Was it about the guaranteed contract? McGuire can guard twos, threesand fours. Ned, Bay Area.Steinmetz: I dont think the guaranteed contracthad anything to do with it. McGuire didnt have a guarantee last year and hesout of work now so he would have likely taken a non-guarantee again.The makeup of the Warriors has changed since last year.McGuire found a niche last season at the small forward and power forward spotsin large part because of injury and his ability to defend.This year the Warriors added a rookie small forward inHarrison Barnes and a small forwardpower forward in Draymond Green. For asmuch as McGuire helped the Warriors last season, hes a relatively limitedplayer and youve got to find out about Barnes and Green.I think the Warriors also wanted to avoid a situation inwhich a player such as McGuire was taking minutes from either Barnes or Green.And when you get into the day to day and are trying to win every game, itseasy seeing Jackson calling McGuires number perhaps too much.As for Bazemore, hes also a versatile defender, only he cando it more at the one, two and three positions. Bottom line is Bazemore hasmore of an upside than McGuire.Could Patrick Ewing get the Warriors openassistant spot? Loco, Parts Unknown.Steinmetz: Thats not going to happen. TheWarriors already have hired Bob Beyer, who was an assistant coach the past fiveseasons for the Orlando Magic.Beyer replaces Wes Unseld Jr., who took a job with theMagic. The Warriors have their assistant coaching lineup set with MichaelMalone, Pete Myers, Beyer and Darren Erman.Yahoo Sports reported on Thursday that Ermann had beenelevated into Unseld Jr.s spot. In any event, the Warriors assistant coachingstaff is complete at this point.Do you think Harrison Barnes will be in the Rookieof the Year discussion? Jerry, Los Angeles.Steinmetz: I see Barnes having a nice rookieseason, but I dont see him in the Rookie of the Year discussion. Typically,the winner of the Rookie of the Year is a someone who starts and plays a lot ofminutes and usually its on a team that isnt very successful.Id say my frontrunner for Rookie of the Year is DamianLillard, who will probably be the starting point guard in Portland. Im noteven sure Barnes will start for the Warriors. He could come off the bench, andif thats the case hell likely play between 15-20 minutes game.Then again, even if Barnes does start he will probably getabout that many minutes. The Warriors have re-signed Brandon Rush, and so hesgoing to have to play some. And dont count out Richard Jefferson.I also see the Warriors focusing heavily on trying to makethe postseason. To do that, theyre going to have to win every game theypossibly can, and with that thinking, its easy to see Jackson going more withveteran players.