As trade deadline looms, Warriors ready to readdress bench shooting

Monte Poole
NBC Sports BayArea

OAKLAND -- Surrounded by cameras and recording devices, Warriors general manager Bob Myers spent 17 minutes Thursday discussing the upcoming trade deadline while a lone member of the team was nearby practicing 3-point shots.

If veteran forward Omri Casspi were swishing in games at a rate similar to his clip during Myers' news conference, the Warriors might not be so eager to shop the market for an extra 3-point shooter.

And they are very much in the market for one.

"We'll look at everything," Myers said when asked specifically about 3-point shooting off the bench.

They have to look at deep shooters because it's the most visible weakness of the team with the best record in the NBA. The Warriors (40-11) average two triples per game from their bench players, ranking last in the NBA.

After finishing next-to-last in that category in 2016-17, getting 2.1 triples per game, the Warriors last summer set out to address that deficiency by adding guard Nick Young and Casspi. They clearly have not fully addressed the need.

"It's just the way our team is built," coach Steve Kerr said this week. "We're pretty top-heavy with the 3-point shot. Obviously, we've got three of the best 3-point shooters in the world, but not a lot of depth behind those guys in terms of our shooting.

"Nick's a good shooter, a good 3-point shooter. He has the potential. He has shown, in many games, to give us that threat. He's made some big shots and I'm confident that he will make more."

Kerr may be spot-on. Young may become that "instant offense" threat that gives opposing defenses headaches. In 49 games this season, 176 of his 261 shots have come from beyond the arc. He's shooting a respectable 38.6 percent from deep.

Casspi, however, has not been much of a 3-point threat at all. Though the guy who shot 40.9 percent on 274 treys two seasons ago for the Kings is shooting a robust 50 percent through 39 games with the Warriors, it's a tiny sample size, as in 9-of-18.

Part of the problem is that Casspi needs time and space to get his shot off, and defenses haven't always been accommodating. Another part of the problem, and Casspi is well aware of it, is that he has not been aggressive at launching from deep.

"When we call upon him, he's always ready with his energy and his cutting and his movement and rebounding," Kerr said. "It's a great luxury as a coach."

Casspi's instincts on offense are only part of the reason the Warriors signed him. They also figured they were getting someone who could stretch the floor with his deep shooting.

Because it has not materialized, the Warriors are casting their eyes upon the rosters of other teams.

"People like to talk about all the things we have, which we are fortunate to have a very good roster," Myers said. "But no roster is perfect. That's why we listen. We look around and explore different things.

"We want to shoot better. We want to rebound better. But overall I can't be too critical."

The trade deadline is set at 12pm PT on Feb. 8. Myers said he has been in contact with maybe two-thirds of the teams in the league. Don't expect that to change over the next seven days.

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