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.