Barnes had an up-and-down rookie year, but he broke out in the playoffs by averaging 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. That’s the type of performance that is usually rewarded with a larger role, not a lesser one.
Perhaps, we shouldn’t shut the book on him getting that increased role.
Jackson, however, has made it clear that he continues to evaluate his lineup. The only set positions, he said, are Andrew Bogut at center, David Lee at power forward and Stephen Curry at point guard.
Iguodala will very likely start. The Warriors didn’t invest all that money in him just to bring him off the bench. Plus, he very well could spell Curry at point guard. Iguodala could start, be the first starter pulled when Barnes or Thompson enters and then re-enter when Curry sits. That’s a simple way for Iguodala to spend most of his minutes on the wing and play point guard while Curry rests.
I also think Thompson, a shooting guard, will win the other starting wing job – because of Iguodala. Iguodala, 29, was a better small forward than shooting guard last season, and I think that will become more true as he ages. Sure, he can keep up with shooting guards right now, but his speed is more impressive as a small forward.
It sounds like Barnes is getting a chance to win a starting job, and he deserves that after his postseason. He could beat out Thompson and push Iguodala to shooting guard, and it wouldn’t be surprising. I just don’t find it likely.