Golden State’s trade of Lou Amundson to Indiana for Brandon Rush is expected to go through Monday.
Safe to say the Warriors feel comfortable with their rotation at power forward and center, though Saturday night’s preseason win over Sacramento might have thrown a kink in the rotation. (For the immediate future at least, it looks like Ekpe Udoh will be the first big off the bench, likely for starting center Andris Biedrins. That means by the time free agent acquisition Kwame Brown gets healthy, he’ll have to work his way up from third-string center).
So the Warriors moved their excess in the frontcourt, sending Amundson to Indiana. Amundson was the third power forward and no better than the third center, likely fourth once Kwame gets in shape.
In exchange, the Warriors bolstered their wing depth. Adding Rush -a 6-foot-6 swingman (primarily shooting guard) who was drafted No. 13 out of Kansas in 2008 – gives the Warriors more length and athleticism off the bench.
Known for his defense, Rush can also stick the three. He’s a career 40.2 percent shooter from ( 734 attempts).
Rush’s main knock has been his lack of consistency with his production. Also, he’s not the ideal shooting guard/small forward in that he doesn’t create offense.
According to the Indianapolis Star, the Pacers have been trying to move Rush for years.
Rush’s acquisition does create a bit of a logjam on the wing. Rush figures to share minutes behind Monta Ellis and Dorell Wright. The Warriors also have rookie Klay Thompson in the same roll, and they just signed small forward Dominic McGuire (who looked great Saturday).
But from the other view, the Warriors have some insurance in case Klay struggles.
Rush’s cap figure is $2.9 million for this season. The Warriors can submit a qualifying offer to him next offseason to make him a restricted free agent – an offer he is sure to have to earn.
Amundson - who will be playing for his sixth team in six seasons - is due (a prorated amount of) $2.4 million this season, the last year of his deal. He is expected to fill a big man void in Indiana that he didn’t fill with Golden State.
Amundson’s Warriors tenure, in hindsight, was doomed from the start as he came into camp last year with a back injury and never really got going. He played just 46 games last season due to injury, averaging 4.4 points and 4 rebounds in 15 minutes. He never got to be the frenetic, uptempo big man he was in Phoenix.