The Warriors, as presently constituted, are not ready for the 2010-11 NBA season. While the team has enough options to field a competitive starting lineup, there are serious depth issues, particularly at the point guard and center position.
The Warriors have signed two players in the past week to compete for the backup point guard position. I don’t understand the on-court logic of either signing. I don’t care that Jeremy Lin played one good quarter in a summer league game against John Wall. He didn’t even play that well in summer league, averaging 9.8 points, 1.8 assists and 3.2 turnovers in 18.6 minutes per game. He went undrafted for a reason. The weaknesses in his game haven’t disappeared. He’s still not a great shooter (passes on open jumpers) or playmaker, he dribbles too high, turns the ball over too much and lacks a true position. I know he has marketing value to the Warriors and I don’t have a problem with the signing from a business perspective, but I don’t see Lin as anything more than a practice player who makes cameo appearances late in blowout games. Lin isn’t the right signing to back up Stephen Curry.
Which brings us to Jannero Pargo, who agreed to a two-year deal with the Warriors worth $2.4 million. I think the signing is reasonable, it’s only two years and the cost is low. But if the Warriors signed Pargo to back up Curry, I don’t like this signing. Pargo played sparingly for the Bulls last season (13.2 minutes per game), but was the Hornets’ backup point guard from 2006-08. He played around 20 minutes per game during those two seasons, averaging about 8.5 points and 2.5 assists per game. The problem with Pargo is he’s not a point guard. He’s a classic tweener, too small to play shooting guard but lacks the right skill set to run a team at the point guard position.
Here’s what you need to know about Pargo: He’s a bad shooter. His career field-goal percentage is .388. He’s a decent 3-point shooter (career percentage of .349). The problem is that even though he’s not a great shooter, that’s all Pargo likes to do. He’s not a strong dribbler, he can’t penetrate, he doesn’t enjoy sharing the ball. Basically, he’s an inaccurate long-range bomber. His career has proven that Pargo can’t be trusted at the point guard position. Because of his uncompromising shoot-first mentality, he has to play shooting guard next to a guard who can defend the opponent’s two guard because Pargo is too small to defend anything other than the point guard position. Which means he can’t play effectively next to either Curry or Monta Ellis. He’s basically a very poor facsimile of Ellis. Not what you want out of your backup point guard.
This is frustrating. The Warriors have signed two guards in the past week but still haven’t improved their depth at point guard. Neither Lin or Pargo are good options to back up Curry. I admit the Warriors’ options are severely limited. There aren’t a lot of good point guards remaining in free agency. Perhaps the Warriors can find a backup for Curry through the trade market. Because if the team is counting on Lin or Pargo to emerge as the team’s primary backup point guard, they’re fooling themselves. They need to keep looking.