The Warriors signed Rodney Carney today, a 26-year-old 6-7″ swingman who played for the Sixers last year. Not exactly “The Next Big Move” I had been anticipating, but an interesting move nonetheless, and at the position I expected. Carney is that quintessential Nellie chess piece, the long, athletic defensive wing, that I have written about recently. Think Matt Barnes, Adrian Griffin, Raja Bell, Josh Howard, Latrell Sprewell, Mario Elie. (Carney is far less talented offensively than Howard or Sprewell to be sure, but the offensive capabilities both of those players showed in the pros came as something of a surprise: they were drafted by Nellie for their special talents on defense.)
Carney isn’t going to set the house on fire for the Warriors. He has been a disappointment to past coaches in terms of his basketball IQ. You only have to look at his poor assist and rebounding numbers to see that. This is not a player who can make plays with the ball in his hands.
What he can do is run the floor and finish with authority, and spot up and shoot threes. (Don’t pay too much attention to his 30% from three in limited minutes last year. He was 35% in the previous year when he had a larger role, and should benefit greatly in confidence from Nellie’s up tempo, share the ball philosopy, and greeniest of green lights. Which is not to mention Stephen Curry hitting him on his hands, in rhythmn.)
And he can defend. Which is what Nellie is going to ask him to do, along with Dorell Wright, against the other team’s best scorer.
Does this move make Nellie’s return to the Warriors bench seem more likely? I don’t know, but I find it interesting that every player the Warriors have added this summer is a quintessential Nellie player, starting with Udoh and Lee, multi-talented running big men with high IQs, and ending with Wright and Carney, long and athletic defensive swingmen who run and jump like deer.
And I find it interesting that Larry Riley says Nellie is returning to town next week (see my last comment on the previous thread).