Who You Keeping: Reggie or Al?

Reggie Williams has found himself in Keith Smart’s doghouse.
He didn’t get off the bench at all in Wednesday’s loss to Dallas, even when the offense sputtered. He’s logged double-digit minutes three times in the last eight games. With the season over, why isn’t he playing more?
The obvious reason: Al Thornton.

Reggie and Thornton offer different styles of play. Williams is more of a 2-3 and Thornton is more of a 3-4. But in the grand scheme of the Warriors’ bench, they’re redundant. Both are offensive-minded players who do little of anything else. Both can be pretty explosive when they’ve got it going.

Reggis is more of a shooter, Thornton is more of a post-up guy. Reggie has upside, and Thornton has experience. Reggie is familiar with the team, system, and Thornton would have to be acclimated.

So who should Warriors go with next year? Both are free agents next season, so the Warriors will have their pick (when ever the new CBA is done) of both, presuming no other team swoops in and overpay.

I think it would be too risky to walk away from Reggie. Especially for the seven or so games you’ve seen Thornton. You know what Reggie can do and can guess what he may end up doing. Might not be the smartest thing to walk away from Reggie, or push him down the depth chart, for a guy you have such a small sample window of. Consistency and growth should be important to the Warriors. If that’s the case, Williams is the choice. He has played just over a full season and figures to get better with experience. He might turn out to be really good.

Conversely, at 27, Thornton is who he’s going to be for the most part. He definitely brings some physicality and hunger to the Warriors bench. (Sometimes, it seems like Acie Law is the only reserve desperate to play.) And he can create his own shot, which the Warriors need from the second unit.

So, maybe the answer is to keep both. That would spell the end of Vladimir Radmanovic.

Marcus Thompson

  • Vegas Bill

    I go with Al Thornton next season. The Dubs already have enough perimeter players. Al & D Lee together could form a good front line next year.

  • Gizzm

    who cares. they both are just 9th men in the rotation.

  • haastheman

    Does it really matter? neither player is a difference maker. their both about the same, good scorers off the bench who play no defense. and their both tweeners.

  • rb53

    Reggie is the obvious choice. He kills em w threes, d is improving, works hard, great assists lately. It would be ANOTHER foolish warriors mgmt move to let him go.

  • Vancouver Tom

    The end of Vlad?…this is a problem…even a question? Was offering Radman a new contract EVER under consideration?


    Is not Vlad Rad a FA next year? I thought he was an expiring contract this year..unless the Coach really wants him back because of their good relationship? Vlad Rad called Keith Smart a beautiful human being..so he probably is useful to the rotation with skills and good player-coach chemistry.

    I would say why not sign-and-trade Thornton! and get a first round draft pick in exchange! That could come in handy too!?

  • W’s in 2010

    Hire a real GM and let him decide.

  • sjbytes

    If it means no more Radmanovic I’ll even take a roll of paper towels. I don’t care who they keep as long as Vlad is gone. Man, do I hate seeing that guy on the court. For a little bigger lineup you keep Thornton and play Wright some minutes at the 2 and Thornton at the 3. You know some along the lines of a conventional lineup. Something Smart obviously doesn’t know how to do.

  • Michael

    Neither. Both are inconsistant tweeners.

  • Playoffbound

    Keep both and build depth… Get a new coach… Get rid of Rad…

  • Sho

    I wouldn’t get rid of Vlad. He picks up a number of positions on defense, makes threes, lays down hard fouls, and overall gives energy on both sides of the floor. He’s overpaid right now but if it’s an option I’d resign him to a lower figure and forget both Al and Reggie. Neither Al nor Reggie really have the capacity to play defense. I don’t think it’s a lack of desire on their respective parts. I think they just are unable to do it.

  • JR

    In a real team, we will not be having these discussion b/c these guys would be so low in the bench, that they will not even see any daylight.

    The Warriors have a tendency to be slackers. As you can see in the past few games since the season is gone, player seem like they are killing time and getting ready for their fishing trips.

    There is no pride or drive or focus on this team. There never has been and never will be. To be an all star, you need to act like an all star, have the mind of an all star – not play a few games and score boat loads of points. The team is down the toilet even with your tons of points.

    If you Warrior players are smart, you should have asked to keep Nellie. Then you can continue to place the blame on him. Now that Nellie is gone, who are you all going to blame – bunch of dumba**.

  • Yoda

    What playoffbound said.

  • joe

    The season is over.

    Throton gets minutes because the W’s must evaluate his game in what’s left of this meaningless season.

    Williams is a known entity, playing him doesn’t help the GM or owner evaluate their player assets.

    Coaching a few more wins with a small rotation will get Smart fired for sure.

  • robert rowell

    renting thorton for less than half a season is another stellar move by the b-ball genius that is larry riley. of course, i’m joking. when you compare thorton to murphy and add in the W’s position needs, signing thorton makes no sense. if you want to simply compare williams and thorton (which is like comparing a Chevy Citation with a Buick Skylark) others have said it better on this board: who cares? neither make you much better because neither plays a lick of defense. and if thorton’s such a scorer, how come he hasn’t gone off for more than 5-6 points? answer: he can’t shoot.

    another in a long line of head scratching moves by the W’s FO. it’s almost like they’re TRYING to lose, and not even bothering to conceal it.

  • Josh

    They are both likely to be cheap. Reggie has more upside. Thorton’s been a head case and simply thrown away. Reggie is younger and may be a better defender. Al can as well but reminds me too much of Maggette. the choice is more like Radmon(who played D just this year EVER)or Al. Both are 3-4’s. ALSO IF MONTA OR CURRY IS TRADED they’ll need Reggie more than Al

  • deano

    Giving Reggie’s minutes to Al makes sense. We need to see what Al can do. We’ve already seen plenty of Reggie. Personally. I’d like to see to see how Thornton at SF, D Wright at SG and Law at PG can play together. That could be a solid second unit core.

  • Bill

    do whatever it takes to get rid of Radmanovic…..he is listless, lackadaisical, inept, afraid to drive because he might get hit, useless, slow, plays defense with one foot in a bucket…please dump this waste of time ex-Laker idiot…

  • TownLove

    You also have to compare salaries. I would expect Al Thorton would be a lot more expensive. I know Reggie is a RFA. If Al a RFA or UFA?

  • rigged

    Huh?!..is that all this franchise can offer?, some reject talent?

  • Leftshot

    The problem is we NEED a sixth man. That guy that can be Mr. instant offense off the bench and a guy you keep in there during 4th quarter crunch time like Terry Porter, Manu Ginobelli have done for their teams during much of their careers.

    Al Thornton is a fine piece for being on the second team and you bring him back if the price is right.

    Reggie we counted on to fill that role. He looked like he could be that guy last year, not so this year. Just hasn’t been aggressive enough. IMO he looks like he defers to other players, especially Monta who is usually on the court with him.

    Can he grow out of that? That is the big question. I think you bring Reggie back if you can get him for what you’d normally pay the 8th guy on your roster with his experience. If someone else overpays for him and he wants the money, let him go. Plenty of other pieces out there.

    You’ve got to get value for what you pay for these guys. You don’t build a successful franchise by overpaying for guys like we were doing up until recently.

  • Cazzie Russell

    Thank god baseball season is almost here and we won’t have to think about or watch the Dubs until November. What a miserable season this has been. Lacob offers hope, which is something Cohan never did. But hope only goes so far (or don’t you remember Cowens, PJ and St Jean)? A year from now, we better be talking about some difference makers and not whether players like Reggie or Thornton are the answer. I got a better one: Acie or Jeremy Lin? As with Reggie & Thornton..who cares!

  • W’s in 2010

    I still can’t get over the fact we passed on Gerald Wallace. GW had 25 pts, 8 asts last night. Assists! We know he averages 8 rpg and plays defense. We couldn’t use him? How can you trust this front office to make the right decisions?

  • rigged

    ..garbage in…more garbage in.

  • AQ

    I agree with you leftshot, I think Al is a better fit. Reggie had his chance and he’s to inconsistent to be a sixth man. So far Al has brought aggressiveness and hunger while this is something Reggie lacks. Plus Al has a low post game and gets to the line. Reggie is more of a perimeter shooter who doesn’t have a low post game. As of right now the warriors need players who can get to the line and create their own shot. I think Al can be one of those guys.

  • I thought Keith Smart didn’t have a doghouse?

  • Kenny Seagle, Emperor of the North

    this is the wrong force-choice question…

    u keep em both cuz as u say there different playas…. thornton is prolly 1st off the bench

    once u get ridda vlad rad, things are more clear….


  • robert rowell

    #17 don’t you know our boy Lacob said that GW isn’t someone that we could use. i mean, if there was ever a guy who knew b-ball, it’s Lacob. he used to be part owner of the celtics for god’s sake! *sarcasm*

  • Cedric

    Keep both. The two of them together make Radman redundant. Reggie stretches the defense from the outside in and Thornton from the inside out. Keep both, unless they find someone outside of the organization who is better.

  • Bill

    Keep everybody and trade Ellis for a Navajo blanket….
    then we can have another 6 years and trade Curry when he’s an all star for real…an d we can Go TO THE LOTTERY EVERY YEAR!!!!!!

  • JR

    Just waiting for the Hornets to get bought and moved to SJ by Ellison. We are canceling our damn warrior tix and going to something more positive.

    This team is full of junkyard dogs

  • Yeah who cares they both barely belong in the NBA…I agree with almost everyone here. Reggie plays absolutely no defense. Guess they don’t teach that in the D league. Reggie needs to score like 25 a game to at least have an equal plus minus.

  • Jeremy

    Is that a serious question? Should we choose between Reggie and Al to keep Vlad???

  • charlie

    I agree. Keep them both and let Vlad go. He seems to be sleep walking most of the time and keeps making rookie mistakes handling the ball. Also does not go to the boards when a shot is taken so only rebounds when the ball comes to him. After all these years it does not seem as if he is ever going to learn the game or how to exploit his talents. Too bad.

  • Dan Mori

    I say keep both. The Warriors need to bolster their bench and Thornton and R. Williams can provide a spark off the bench. Right now the Warriors have 4 decent players, a center who has regressed so bad that he is terrible, and 2 decent reserves in Williams and Thornton. Get rid of Radmanovic as soon as possible and go out and get: 1) A center or post presence that will defend and rebound. (Nene or someone like that. DeMarcus Cousins would have been a good fit) 2) A solid backup point guard. Acie Law is best suited as a fourth or fifth guard, not a third guard. 3) Another decent forward. If he’s a starter, you can move Wright to the bench, if he’s a solid guy off the bench, that’s OK too.

    I really think the Warriors are those 3 pieces away from being a playoff team. Maybe two pieces away, depending on the continued growth of some players like Udoh and Curry.

    As far as Biedrins and Radmanovic, they have got to go. Biedrins is so afraid to get fouled that he is useless on offense and his defense and rebounding have suffered. He’s also injury prone and not mentally tough, as he suffers from a lack of confidence all too often. Radmanovic is infuriating as he allows people to just slide around him for rebound after rebound. It’s hard to watch him give up so many offensive rebounds and play so lackadaisically out there.

  • TownLove

    Hey Marcus,

    Looks like the team is giving up on Smart.

  • dubfan

    IF they had a decent starting team, I’d keep ’em both for depth, and indeed jettision Vlad. They are not redundant, and at their best, offer reasonable off the bench options.

    But at this point, it is just hard to think straight…this team has just gone deep into the dumper, straight out giving up and it is truly depressing. Maybe it will get them a better draft pick out of what is supposed to be a weak draft…this is not at all encouraging.

  • john freeman


    Thornton definitely ahs more athleticism, but I really don’t like his isolation, black hole, stop the flow style, and the guy seems to have no personality.

    or maybe stick with your final sentence and keep both and punt bad Vlad, who is often … pretty bad.

  • Mr B

    The team needs to eye free agency in the off season. The current product is pretty poor – even though they are better than last year. Its like saying garbage is better than dirt…

    This team has given up on the season and has its mind on the off season. Lack of pride and professionalism continue to kill this team.

  • Jack Daniels

    I would consider try to trade or buy out Biedrins. The guy unfortunately is dead weight after signing the rather large contract. There has to be bigger and hungrier players in the D League. Cut your losses Warriors.

  • philb

    They never should have signed Reggie Williams in the first place. He’s another one of Don Nelson’s D-League darlings; they just didn’t want to pay Anthony Morrow. Oh well, you get what you pay for!

  • JustPuked

    Picking between Reggie & Al is like picking between Cohan & Lacob.
    Focusing on the minute differences between the two fails to address the larger problem; neither has proven to be the kind of foundation upon which to build a winning team.

  • mannypac97

    Honestly, they’re both decent ball players. I have to go with Al. We need all the help we can get underneath because Vlad, Lee, and Udoh aren’t cutting it.

  • W’s in 2010

    These guys are offense only players. We need DEFENSE. I wish we had a wing like say… GWallace.

  • warriorsfan

    Hire Jerry Sloan, he will make the right decisions for the dubs

  • efrain

    What sad state for the Warriors fellas, a discussion over who to keep, Reggie or Al, two guys who probably wouldn’t crack the rotations of over half the teams in the league.
    Doesn’t matter because the way the franchise is run, the playoffs are years away from being a reality.

    Great job Marcus, you are by far the worst sportswriter in the Bay Area. This article is absolutely utter dribble. Of course, like your usual, you had nothing to write and came up with this crap.

  • Perry

    Why does this franchise embrace Don Nelson so much?

    They act like he’s the Ambassador of basketball for the Bay Area and their fans.

    I say to hell with that fat Swedish bastard…..

    He symbolizes the degradation and futility of this franchise as much as he symbolizes the few winning seasons he had here throughout his 2 tenures.

    This guy was a Celtic and Buck before he was a Warrior, let those guys worry about interviewing him, getting his advice on personnel decisions and shoving stupid articles about his Hall of Fame induction deservance down people’s throats.

    Come on, Monte Poole, stop writing about Don Nelson, nobody cares about him over here anymore.

    And on another note, whoever called Madison Square Garden the “mecca” of basketball should be shot 9 times in the head and his body should be dragged by a vehicle throughout the streets.

    The “Mecca” of basketball is on the West Coast, it is the Staples Center in L.A.. That’s where all the magic happens!

    Ain’t shit happened in Madison Square Garden in 40 years, boring, fucking basketball……put that in your pipe and smoke it Carmelo, A’mare and Mike!

    And on another note, it puts everything in perspective when you realize that Gortat is a better player than Biedrins, ……..you should have seen him last night against the Lakers, active and involved, everything Andris is not.

  • Johnny

    I think this franchise has bigger problems than thinking about Al or Reggie.

    They need more dedicated players here who obviously have given up playing this year.

    What’s happened in Monta’s play or Curry’s game? Curry has regressed in focus, commitment and mindset – like a robot put on reverse.

    Would you renew your season tickets for the dubs???

  • W’s in 2010

    This franchise doesn’t embrace Nellie, at all. None of the GSW greats for that matter, Mully, Rick Barry, etc…

  • Johnny

    Where is Ellison? This is the only guy who can bring an NBA winner in the Bay Area. I am willing to be that the current ownership will be a Cohan prototype. They should have cleaned house when the got rid of Nellie.

  • thewarriorsrule

    um.. both? and yes, get rid of vlad


    Perry I love you. You speak your mind fella. no homo. Staples Center is where it’s fucking at. And where we hope to be someday….next year not happening. Agree with the man who said Curry should be a 6 year 66 million dollar investment who’ll be traded away so we can be in the lottery every year. ha…damn I’ll start scouting the AAU games for when that happens. Mother@#$% %^#@

  • R Barry

    Same type of players, except one is taller. At least Al can post up, W’s need a low post player. Play Al for 20+ minutes a game and let’s see what he can do.

  • manute bol

    Players in question = Vlad, Reggie and Thorton

    My question is, why would we keep either of them? All have one thing in common and the worst thing you can have as an athlete, potential.

    If we can get rid of them all and get cap relief (dont know rules on that stuff) then we need to go get a difference maker!!!!

  • Grad

    I say keep Thornton he’s an athlete plan and simple he has star potential just has had a lot of bad breaks in his career! And as far as defense have yu people not watched this guy play? Most of yu would never last a second on the court with any of these guys so stay in your place and watch what happens on the court!