Miller highlights field of Warriors' potential trade targets

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Miller highlights field of Warriors' potential trade targets
January 3, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Andre Miller is making $5 million this season with another year at $4.625 million. (USATSI)

Which backup point guard best suits the Warriors?

Never underestimate the ambition of Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob, or the creativity of general manager Bob Myers. They like their team, as they should.

But there is no doubt the team's power brokers are browsing for backups.

Specifically, they are monitoring the considerable workload of point guard Stephen Curry and would like to lighten it. That's why there is almost daily speculation regarding their desire for an alternate point guard.

Let's ponder four names that have come up: Kirk Hinrich, Kyle Lowry, Andre Miller and Jameer Nelson. Other names might be floated, but these four have been mentioned in various reports and trade rumors.

The Best Fit: Miller. He has a good combination of skill, temperament and contract status. Miller, who turns 38 in March, could be available after clashing with first-year Denver coach Brian Shaw. The savvy veteran doesn't expect to start and knows how to run a team. He's at $5 million this season, with another year at $4.625 mil.

A Good Fit: Hinrich. He's a part-time starter but willing reserve in Chicago. He's available because the Bulls, whose title hopes died with the season-ending knee injury to star guard Derrick Rose, are ready to revamp their roster. Hinrich is 33, making $4.1 million this season and becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

A Possible Fit: Lowry. He is, at this stage, the best of the four players on this list -- and also the youngest at 27. He's explosive and equally adept at scoring and passing. But he's accustomed to starting and being the guy who runs the show in Toronto. He's making $6.2 million this season and becomes an UFA in the summer.

A Tight Fit: Nelson. A high-character guy who spent years as the sidekick to Dwight Howard in Orlando, Nelson, who turns 32 next month, is an odd fit on a team committed to rebuilding for the future. He might not settle for backup minutes. And it's beyond ambitious to deal for a backup making $8.6 mil this season and another $8 mil next season.

Put it this way: At $8 mil year, the Warriors could have kept Jarrett Jack, who as a free agent last summer signed a four-year, $25 million deal with Cleveland. It is Jack, after all, that the Warriors are seeking to replace.

Toney Douglas clearly has not suitably filled the backup role. So, yes, Lacob and Myers are seeking an upgrade. Do not dismiss the idea they'll find one sometime before the Feb. 20 trade deadline.


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