The Golden State Warriors used a portion of their newly-created full mid-level exception to lure Marreese Speights to the Bay, giving him a three-year, $9 million contract. Speights should replace one element of Carl Landry's game, but he will have trouble replacing some of the other things he does.
Speights certainly isn't shy about putting it up. Given a chance to be a primary offensive option on Cleveland's woeful bench, Speights took advantage, ending an absurd 26.6 percent of Cleveland's possessions with a shot, drawn foul or turnover, per Basketball Reference. A vast majority of those shots -- 184, to be exact -- were 16-23 foot jumpers, which explains why his true shooting percentage was so mediocre.
That said ... Speights did shoot 48 percent from that range in each of the last two seasons, a pretty sparkling number. By contrast, Landry only shot 43 percent from 16-23 feet last season. Speights should therefore more than be able to replace the pick and pop game that helped make Landry such an effective bench player last season.
The problem is that Speights is pretty deficient elsewhere. He only ended 112 possessions with post-ups last season, compared to 263 for Landry, per MySynergySports.com. Expecting him to punish smaller defenders on the block like Landry could is expecting too much. He's also an abysmal defensive player that will get exposed by pick and rolls if he plays too many minutes. Landry wasn't a great defender, but he at least held his own. Speights will need to try a lot harder to be able to hold his own.
All in all, Speights is half the player Landry is, and he'll make half the money next season, so the contract is fair. But the Warriors are definitely downgrading up front, and given Andrew Bogut's injury history, that's a little scary.