After last season’s serendipitous run to the second round of the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors hope to try and duplicate that same success beginning with tweaks to their bench. On Wednesday night, the team sent MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran backup point guard Steve Blake.
Prior to the trade, Jordan Crawford was the primary reserve spelling All-Star Stephen Curry. In the previous season, the Warriors had a consistent backup floor leader in Jarrett Jack, but he was lost to free agency last summer. Now, Crawford can expect to have competition for minutes with the inclusion of Blake on the Warriors’ roster.
"I know both guys," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "And with Steve, I've watched him throughout the course of his career, and he's a guy that's not afraid of the moment. It gives us great depth and it gives us experience."
Blake automatically shores up the Warriors bench with basketball savvy derived from 38 games played in the postseason—something Golden State needs, particularly come playoff time. In addition to being a heady playmaker and deft ball-handler, Blake is a career 39 percent 3-point marksman, which will only add to the Warriors’ already-potent shooting from beyond the arc.
The 33-year-old Blake was in the final year of a four-year, $16 million contract he signed with the Lakers in 2010. He was averaging 9.5 points and 7.6 assists per game prior to the All-Star break.
Business-wise, the deal keeps the Warriors $400,000 under the luxury tax threshold thanks to a $4 million trade exception they received from the Denver Nuggets as part of the deal for Andre Iguodala last summer.