Last season, Marreese Speights had a big season for the Warriors as a stretch five. He was facing up, spacing the floor, and scoring 10.4 points a game on 49.2 percent shooting. He was one of the reasons Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and everyone else has a ring in the Bay Area.
This season has been different. Speights is struggling — 34.7 percent shooting — and combined with the emergence of Festus Ezeli, Speights has seen his minutes and role diminish. Ezeli certainly provides more defense in the paint, which has helped the Warriors. Speights has been asked to play more of a stretch four next to him at times, and that hasn’t worked.
The Warriors miss Speights’ scoring punch off the bench, and if he can’t find a groove the Warriors may look to make a move, reports Monte Poole at CSNBayArea.com.
The Warriors hope Speights finds his shot, because they’re lacking that bench scorer who can light up defenses. Ezeli can score but does not typically wreck a defense. Speights at his best scores in bunches, and his range makes him the harder matchup.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers, like most executives, doesn’t talk trade-possibility specifics. But he surely realizes that when Curry, Thompson and Green are off the floor, scoring comes with considerable toil and strife. The front office is studying the trade market, because if Speights can’t find his form, and soon, the Warriors will seek out another stretch four, somebody Walton or Kerr can call when they need a scoring punch.
The entire league is looking for stretch fours who can help in the way the Warriors want, and there are a limited number out there. Ryan Anderson is reportedly available out of New Orleans, but he’s as good a stretch four as the league has and the price likely is too steep for the Warriors (and Anderson is a rental, in the final year of his contract).
This is just something to keep an eye on. The Warriors may have the best record in the NBA, but they are not going to sit around and wait for everyone to catch up.