Saturday, August 9, 2008

GRADING THE OFFSEASON - PART 5

Continued from: GRADING THE OFFSEASON - PART 4

Re-signing Andris Biedrins

The 'final' transaction the the busiest offseason in Warriors' history was capped off by locking up Andris Biedrins to a 6 year / $54M contract with incentives that could push it up to as much as $63M. Like Monta, Mullin didn't want to wait for another team to set Biedrins' value. Rather than risking any ill feelings from a prolonged contract stare-down, both sides came to agreement relatively early in the offseason.

Biedrins is not a bruiser and has some difficulty guarding the bigger centers and power forwards of the league, but his agility, speed, and athleticism allow him to be a near perfect center for the Warriors' up-tempo attack. He is reportedly working hard to expand his range by adding a jump shot and more and more offensive moves. He is a very disciplined player that knows his limitations and plays with great awareness and intelligence. I have no doubt he will continue to improve as he had done in each of his first 4 seasons.

Career Statistics

Game Log


Scouting Report from Draft Express:

Overview: A developing left-handed Latvian big man who is really starting to come into his own as one of the better centers in the game. Came into the league at age 18, and still has a great deal of upside. Has excellent size and very good athleticism for a big man. Shows great mobility in transition and when defending the pick and roll. Doesn’t have astounding bulk, but plays stronger than most NBA centers. Didn’t have a lot of success early in his career, but found a niche perfectly tailored to his skills in Don Nelson’s system. Skill-level is fairly poor, but isn’t asked to be anything he’s not. Understands his strengths and sticks to them. Rebounds the ball extremely well and produces incredibly efficiently on the offensive end. Shows great competitiveness. Plays with so much adrenaline that he has a very difficult time from the free throw line. Despite his experience level, Biedrins is so young that it wouldn’t be surprising to see him improve significantly.

Offense: A raw offensive player, but is efficient enough at the simple things he does well (and plays with such shot-happy teammates) to not make that much of an issue. Always amongst the league-leaders in field goal percentage. Gets more than half of his shots off of cuts and offensive rebounds. Gets another third from post ups and pick and rolls. Does most of his damage by working off the ball and using his terrific hands to simply catch and finish, which he’s amongst the league’s best at. Uses his strength to muscle his man underneath. Makes an effort to read ball handlers as well. Sets good screens and knows how to roll to the basket to set himself up to make a play. Gets the ball in the post with his back to the basket, but not very frequently. Very raw down there. Almost exclusively turns over his right shoulder. Needs to work on his off hand, and improve his footwork. Known for his struggles at the line. Has improved his mechanics to an extent, but still has an unorthodox release. Has improved remarkably from 30% in his second season to over 62% in his fourth season. Decent passer for a player his size. Not very assertive. Rarely puts the ball on the floor to score, and if he does, it’s only with his left hand. One of the most active offensive rebounders in the League.

Defense: Very hard worker and the only one on Golden State’s roster who’s role revolves around the defensive end. Good weakside shot blocker. Very tough on the block. Uses leverage to push his man off his spot. Tries to go straight up on shots, but makes some mistakes. Commits quite a few fouls when rotating to meet weak-side penetration. Very effective one-on-one in close in comparison to the average player. Great rebounder. Scrappy in the paint. Good timing. Anticipation will come around in time. Experience will only make him better.

The Warriors filled one of the most difficult and important positions in basketball, Center, for the next 6 years. Biedrins, 6'-11", 230 lbs, at age 22, led the NBA in field goal percentage and has much more room to grow and many more years before he reaches his prime. His astounding proficiency at such a young age is what makes this re-signing such a huge win for the Golden State Warriors.

Grade: A


Andris Biedrins '07-'08 Highlight Reel
From: BBJ





Andris Biedrins Feature
From: GoldenStateWarriors




Offseason Grade Summary:



Drafting Anthony Randolph: A
Drafting Richard Hendrix: A-
Declining to use the Trade Exception: D-
Baron Davis Opts Out: C
Signing Corey Maggette: D-
Signing Ronny Turiaf: B+
Trading for Marcus Williams: B+
Matching Kelenna Azubuike: B+
Re-signing Monta Ellis: B+
Signing Anthony Morrow: A-
Re-signing Andris Biedrins: A

There were several very good to excellent transactions this offseason but their biggest transaction in response to the departure of Baron Davis weighs heavily on the overall grade of the offseason. Mullin was given a clean slate on which to build the foundation of the Warriors but too quickly settled for a player that may be able to keep the casual fans interested, but will not elevate them to more than a fringe playoff team. Maggette will not get any better and will not likely get less injury prone as he enters his 30's. He will make the Warriors marginally respectable, but he will also cause them to draft in the middle of the round as a result. The Warriors will be denied the opportunity to draft a clear cut superstar and will have to get lucky if they want to land one. Mullin restricted the teams options by offering Maggette such an overpriced and lengthy contract that will likely take the Warriors out of the any major post-season action for the next 2 years. If he can be traded by February 2010 for expiring contracts or future draft picks, it won't be so bad. But chances of that happening aren't very good considering the hefty salary he will receive due to the yearly raises.

Overall Offseason Grade: D+


GRADING THE OFFSEASON - PART 1
GRADING THE OFFSEASON - PART 2
GRADING THE OFFSEASON - PART 3
GRADING THE OFFSEASON - PART 4

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