The Golden State Warriors are NBA Champions gain for the third time in four seasons. And what’s scary, is that they still have room to get better. Think about the Warriors lineup and what sticks out the most? You gave the shooting of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant. Then you add in the defense of Draymond Green, but where’s the toughness in the middle. This is why Kyle O’Quinn turning down the Knicks offer was so important Wednesday night.
For years, I’ve wondered what’s been stopping the Warriors for adding some muscle in the pain and while they’ve won, it could cost them sooner than later.
The mentioning of Kyle O’Quinn won’t bring fear into the hearts of many, but that’s because most don’t understand what he brings to the table. In New York, O’Quinn is buried behind Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah, and Enes Kanter. But if moved to a team like the Warriors, then all his tough play and intangibles will come to the forefront.
For the season, O’Quinn has averages of 7.1 points and 6.1 rebounds on 58 percent shooting in 18 minutes per. Not All-Star numbers, but placed in the right atmosphere, he could shine. Just so happens, that team could be the Golden State Warriors.
With the Warriors going with a center-by-committee approach the last few seasons with Zaza Pachulia, Andrew Bogut, and JaVale McGee, the defensive and rebounding O’Quinn could easily slide into the starting spot and make the Dubs unbeatable. Sounds like a stretch, but trust me, it’s not.
Since the Warriors began their rise to fame, the center position has not been one of importance. It began with a washed-up Andrew Bogut (6.3 points, 8.1 rebounds), then switched to Pachulia (6.1 points, 5.9 rebounds) and yet, the championship train has kept going. But ask around, and the one thing many will tell you the Golden State Warriors are missing is that presence in the paint.
Bogut was great on the defensive end. Pachulia is a little better on the offensive side, and McGee, well, he’s high energy on both ends of the court. However, adding O’Quinn will provide the Warriors with a certain toughness that teams have said they’ve lacked during their run. I get it, why mess with something that’s clearly working, but at the same time, why not improve it?
The Warriors were forced to play small ball most of this past season and the playoffs and it almost cost them against the Houston Rockets.
The reason this deal has to be done is that Pachulia and McGee are both free agents. And while there will not be teams lining up to offer them huge contracts, someone other than the Warriors may be willing to pony up just a bit more cash thanks to their NBA Finals experience.
Think of how dangerous their defense will be with O’Quinn. The Warriors are ranked 18th in points allowed, eight in rebounds, and first in blocks. Now, add O’Quinn and that changes things. It allows Curry and Klay to gamble more on the perimeter and Green to extend his presence more on the wings. It looks like a subtle upgrade, but there is a difference when throwing Pachulia out to defend Clint Capela then placing the husky O’Quinn to front him.
If there was one move for the Warriors to make, adding O’Quinn is it.
Mark started his writing journey covering the Brooklyn Nets for Rant Sports then ventured out on his own to start TLS. He's currently the lead NBA editor for WBLZMedia, while also contributing on Fansided and the Inquisitr as an Entertainment/NBA/NFL columnist. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, Fansided, Fox Sports, Teen Vogue, and more.