Tag: Aaron Craft

2014 NBA Golden State Warriors Media Day Images

Shaun Livingston’s injury has Warriors considering bring Andre Iguodala off bench

1 Comment

The Warriors just can’t find a backup point guard.

They traded for Jordan Crawford last season, and when he didn’t work out, they traded for Steve Blake, who also underwhelmed.

Their key offseason addition, Shaun Livingston, got hurt – and it seems his injury will keep him out on the long end of projections.

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle:

If Livingston can’t play, the main point guard options behind Stephen Curry are Nemanja Nedovic (who played sparsely as a rookie last season) and Aaron Craft (acquired as an undrafted free agent). Needless to say, that’s pretty underwhelming.

But Andre Iguodala can distribute, and he might get a role that allows him to do so.

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:

Although Iguodala would probably work well with the second unit, I’m quite fond of Golden State’s starting lineup and wouldn’t rush to break it up. This could be the Warriors creating a bigger problem to solve their backup-point guard dilemma.

Here’s how the Warriors’ other four starters – Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut – performed with Iguodala or Barnes last season:

Lineup Offensive rating Defensive rating Net rating
With Iguodala 112.4 97 +15.4
With Barnes 97.3 102.8 -5.5

Bringing Iguodala off the bench might be necessary if neither Nedovic nor Craft can handle a rotation role, but it’d be my last resort. And if it’s necessary, I’d rather start Draymond Green – a better defender (and maybe player) than Barnes.

But the goal, regardless of who starts, still should be playing Iguodala frequently with Curry, Thompson, Lee and Bogut. That unit is just too reliably good to disband.

Warriors sign James Michael McAdoo, Mitchell Watt

North Carolina v Duke

James Michael McAdoo went to North Carolina as a likely one-and-done player. He returned for his sophomore year and was viewed as a potential No. 1 overall draft pick. By the end of that season, his stock had fallen to mid-first round, and he returned to school once again.

Finally, after a lackluster junior year, McAdoo actually turned pro this year.

He went undrafted.

McAdoo caught on with the Warriors summer league team and – like Aaron Craft, who signed previously – drew a Golden State contract.

Warriors team release:

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent guard Aaron Craft, along with free agent forwards James Michael McAdoo and Mitchell Watt to contracts, the team announced today.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Undrafted free-agent forward James Michael McAdoo signed a one-year contract paying the minimum with the Golden State Warriors, his agent James Tanner told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday.

Rusty Simmons of SFGate:

Each player’s contract is partially guaranteed, depending on how long he sticks with the Warriors.

Golden State has just 13 players with guaranteed contracts. So, there’s a chance Craft, McAdoo and/or Watt, who went undrafted in 2012 out of Buffalo and has spent the last two years in Israel, could make the final roster.

Even if those three get waived, though, the Warriors could assign them to their D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors. Any NBA team could sign the players, but Golden State would have an inside track on developing them.

McAdoo, particularly, has a lot of raw talent. So, keeping him close could pay off if he’s a late bloomer. Most likely, though, he’s an athlete who just doesn’t have NBA-level skills.

But he – and Craft and Watt – will get a chance to prove themselves in training camp. Afterward, they’ll continue on their NBA contracts or likely have D-League jobs waiting. And no matter where they begin next season, they’ll have whatever guaranteed money Golden State offered here.

Warriors sign Aaron Craft to partially guaranteed contract

Aaron Craft

With a strong top eight players – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Shaun Livingston – and a mandate to improve on last season’s playoff berth, the Warriors could use a little more back-end depth.

It hasn’t been a banner few days for Golden State’s reserves. Marreese Speights was arrested for DUI, and Nemanja Nedovic fractured his foot.

So, the Warriors will seek a boost from another source.

Diamond Leung of the San Jose Mercury News:

Undrafted point guard Aaron Craft signed a one-year, partially guaranteed contract with the Warriors on Wednesday after playing for their NBA Summer League team, according to agent Lance Young.

Golden State had only a minimum contract to offer, which is all the undrafted Craft could have commanded anyway. That partial guarantee is key, a real signal the Warriors plan to keep him. With Hilton Armstrong getting waived, they now have 14 players under contract.

Craft, who spent four years at Ohio State getting praised for his leadership, was a lockdown defender in college. But it’s unclear whether his clutching and grabbing will fly in the NBA and how well he can defend without those tactics.

The bigger question: Can Craft contribute at all offensively? He’s a notoriously shaky shooter, and at 6-foot-2, he needs to show point-guard skills he never did with the Buckeyes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Craft spend a lot of time in the D-League, but fortunately for him, he’ll be doing so on an NBA salary.