Warriors focus: Jarrett Jack


Warriors focus: Jarrett Jack

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the sixth installment in a seven-part series that spotlights the seven new Warriors.
Part 1: Harrison BarnesPart 2: Kent Bazemore
Part 3: Andrew Bogut
Part 4: Festus Ezeli
Part 5: Draymond Green

Of all the moves the Warriors have made in the past six months, you could argue that trading for Jarrett Jack was the most necessary of them all. With Stephen Curry coming off an injury-plagued 2011-12, it was mandatory that the Warriors go out and get some insurance at that position and thats what they did by acquiring Jack for Dorell Wright this offseason.For a while this summer, it didnt seem like acquiring a point guard was a priority for the Warriors as they appeared to show little interest in free agents such as Andre Miller, Kirk Hinrich and Jason Kidd.But rather than find a point guard in free agency, which most expected, the Warriors moved Wright to Philadelphia and acquired Jack from New Orleans as part of a three-team trade.In addition to upgrading the point guard spot, the move also balanced out the roster some. Small forward, the position Wright plays, isnt exactly an area of need.Jack was brought here to back up Curry, no doubt about it. And who could fault that?Curry played in just 26 games last year because of ankle issues, and if the ankle starts acting up again this season the Warriors will have a competent veteran player behind him.And if Curry does stay healthy, then having Jack gives them a quality backcourt player coming off the bench. Jack is a versatile guard, capable of playing both backcourt positions and he also possesses toughness and veteran know-how. Over the course of his career, Jack has started 249 of 532 games so the assumption is that if Curry gets hurt Jack will step in.Jack is probably more of a combination guard than true point guard, but hes the closest thing to a traditional point guard the Warriors have. Jack played almost exclusively at point guard last season for the Hornets, pairing in the backcourt with former Warrior Marco Belinelli.Jack averaged a career-high 6.3 assists in 2011-12. He also had a couple of big games against Golden State last season, including a triple-double in which he finished with 17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and zero turnovers.What makes Jack a good fit for the Warriors is his ability to play both guard spots. That will allow him to play alongside either Curry or Klay Thompson, the Warriors projected starting backcourt.RELATED: Who subs for Klay Thompson?
Having Jack should also allow Curry to play some shooting guard, taking advantage of Currys ability to move without the ball and come off screens.Jack averaged 34 minutes per game last season for the Hornets, but its tough to see him getting that many for the Warriors in 2011-12 not if the team is essentially healthy.Ideally, Jack would play somewhere in the mid-20s minutes-range, but with Jack its not so much how many minutes he plays as when he plays. Its not hard to see him logging his share of crunch-time minutes.Jack is a better defender than either Curry or Thompson, and on top of it, hes often able to defend either backcourt position. Hes a steady presence late in games and a solid decision maker. Like Curry and Thompson, Jack is an excellent free-throw shooter.Hes also just one of six players on the roster with any kind of playoff experience. If theres one thing Jack has proven over the course of his career, its that hell find a way to get playing time. Thats not going to change with the Warriors.

In contract year, Iguodala hoping for new deal with Warriors

In contract year, Iguodala hoping for new deal with Warriors

OAKLAND – Andre Iguodala’s game defies convenient categorization. The box score generally doesn’t do it justice, yet box-score stats heavily influence value.

Which puts Iguodala, in the final year of his Warriors contract, in a bit of quandary. The 32-year-old small forward is a key member of the team and would like to receive another contract. How does he suppress the thought of a new deal while simultaneously hoping to get one?

“It’s human to have it in the back of your mind,” Iguodala told CSNBayArea.com on Monday. “But I would never let that get in the way of us winning. That’s just the nature of my game anyway.

“Although I do try to sometimes, tell myself to be selfish when I’m out there, once I’m out there I’m always looking to make the right play. I may think, ‘Shoot, I should’ve shot it,’ but I end up passing it anyway because it’s the right play.”

Iguodala is a highly intelligent but largely intangible force who at his best plays lock-down defense, disrupts opposing offensive schemes, sets up teammates to score and occasionally pitches in with points of his own.

Coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers consistently express high regard for what Iguodala brings, but even they will have to decide whether the budget, beginning in 2017-18, will allow another contract for Iguodala.

It’s one thing for the Warriors to place immense value on Iguodala, the NBA Finals MVP during the team’s 2015 title run, but how would the rest of the league value a 33-year-old who spent three seasons as the team’s Sixth Man?

“They understand it here,” Iguodala said. “But the problem is you need another team, because if you don’t have another team, you can’t leverage. And it’s a business. I don’t care what you’ve done in the past.”

It’s conceivable that the Warriors, in drafting Patrick McCaw, believe they now have someone who eventually will give them much of what Iguodala provides. McCaw, 20, delights in guarding multiple positions while also playing a well-rounded offensive game.

Even Iguodala understands the comparison.

“It’s a little different,” Iguodala said. “As far as IQ, I definitely see it. He’s a very smart player. Very defensive-minded. Offensively, he’s underrated. He’s a great passer."

For now, the veteran is secure. He has a featured role on a team that is favored to win a championship. His contribution to the season will state is case to the Warriors.

“For me,” Iguodala said, “it’s just about playing with good intentions and hoping it works out."

NBA predictions: Cavs don't make Finals; Westbrook MVP

NBA predictions: Cavs don't make Finals; Westbrook MVP

It’s rare that the NBA champion, in this instance a team that slayed the ghosts of Cleveland past, to the delight of many beyond Ohio, begins defense of its title on the bottom of the marquee.

The Cavaliers won the title, but the Warriors are the undisputed stars of the show. They have dominated the offseason spotlight and will continue to do so. That’s that natural by-product of losing The Finals in historically devastating fashion and responding by reloading your nuclear offense with the cyber-nuclear weapon that is Kevin Durant.

[RATTO: Six things Warriors can do to mitigate the looming 'Warrior Fatigue']

Yet the season must be played before the next champ can be crowned or the MVP can receive his trophy. There will be interest and intrigue, rumors and speculation, allegations and insinuations.

With that, we open the door to the 2016-17 season. We will miss the departed icons – Kobe and KG and Tim – but there are games to play and votes to count, results to be debated and, of course, disputed.

Here are our key predictions for the upcoming NBA season:


Pacific Division: Golden State Warriors. After they lose two or three games in the first six weeks, they’ll be gold. Good luck stopping this offense. Assuming good health, Curry & Durant and Co. should approach 70 victories.

Northwest Division: Oklahoma City Thunder. With Kevin Durant, they were on the verge of a Finals appearance. Without him, Russell Westbrook and a very good supporting cast are good enough to win 55 games.

Southwest Division: San Antonio Spurs: It’s going to be strange, indeed, to see them without Tim Duncan. But they still have Pop. They’re not championship good anymore, but they are to be feared.

Western Conference Finals: Warriors over Spurs in 5.

[POOLE: Curry: 'There's nothing that's going to derail' 2016-17 Warriors]


Atlantic Division: Boston Celtics. Surprised? Don’t be. We’re not buying the Raptors. The addition of Al Horford, and a still-stingy defense, gives the Celtics the best team they’ve had since the Pierce-KG-Ray-Rondo years.

Central Division: Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s Ty Lue and basically the same crew. LeBron is still great after all these years. Moreover, take a look around this division. Nobody is a threat to even come close.

Southeast Division: Atlanta Hawks: We know. Horford is gone, Dwight’s tread has worn thin and Bazemore is making Klay Thompson money. The coach is solid. So, go ahead and take a look around this division. Who else is there?

Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics over Cavs in 7.

NBA Finals: Warriors in 5


MVP: Russell Westbrook, Thunder. OKC won’t dip as far as you might think. So when they do better than expected, all eyes will turn toward Russ. Runner-up: Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers.

Rookie of the Year: Buddy Hield, Pelicans. Coach Alvin Gentry needed a shooter, and Buddy is it. Turn him loose and hope he avoids the Bayou injury hex. Runner-up: Kris Dunn, Timberwolves.

Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens, Celtics. A top-five coach handed a new toy by GM Danny Ainge, Stevens will see to it that his team wins some of those close games lost last season. Runner-up: Billy Donovan, Thunder.

Defensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard, Spurs. The most versatile stopper in the NBA, and it’s hard to see that changing. Runner-up: Avery Bradley, Celtics.

Most Improved Player: Jusuf Nurkic, Nuggets. A future All-Star, 7-footer just turned 22, is confident and willing to mix it up. Runner-up: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks.

Sixth Man of the Year: Andre Iguodala, Warriors. Never underestimate a skilled 32-year-old chasing a championship in a contract year. Runner-up: Boris Diaw, Jazz.