The Golden State Warriors have aggressively pursued unrestricted free agent forward Carl Landry (as I discussed here). An interior presence that could backup the forward positions, he is a player of interest on the Warriors' radar for his toughness and ability to score in the post. Since Landry may opt to sign with another team or may be too costly, there is one free agent who wouldn't mind returning to his former stomping grounds.
According to Marcus Thompson of Bay Area News Group, Anthony Randolph, a first round selection by the Warriors of the 2008 NBA Draft, would like to return to the Warriors. After spending his first two seasons with Golden State, Randolph was part of a package that brought current starting power forward David Lee to the Bay Area in a sign-and-trade deal. After bouncing around with the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves, Randolph is now interested in returning to his original team.
While he has received interest from the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks, a return to the Warriors is feasible and makes sense in many ways. A weak performer on offense in his four-year career, Randolph was always valued for his defense. Averaging only 23 minutes a game in his sophomore season, he had his best numbers of his career in Don Nelson's last season as head coach with 11.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks a game.
With Mark Jackson as head coach, he'll be better at managing Randolph's emotions and knowing how to use him as a rebounder and shot blocker off the bench. More mature and experienced, Randolph has had some success in the past and would be good as a second-string backup for about 10-20 minutes a game. A player the team was reluctant in giving up in the Lee trade, his athleticism and skills on defense would be two areas where he would be better than Landry.
Ultimately, one of the biggest reasons why Randolph could fit the team's needs is his likely contract demands. Making less than $3 million last season, he will likely seek around that amount from the teams interested in him and could probably be signed for just a one-year contract. Considering the options available, Randolph could fit the bargain-hunting ways of the Warriors.
Now the big question is whether the Warriors would pull the trigger in bringing him in to strengthen their bench unit if they miss out on signing Landry.
Anthony Randolph Career Stats, Yahoo! Sports
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Austin is a lifelong resident of the Bay Area, lifelong basketball fan and Golden State Warriors supporter, and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow this contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.