After working out for several teams yesterday in Las Vegas, Brandon Rush is coming back to the Golden State Warriors on a two-year deal. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s for a total of $2.5 million and Rush holds a player option in the second year.
This signing won’t get a lot of attention nationally, but Rush, the Warriors and their fans have to be happy to see him get a chance to finish what he started in the Bay Area after the Pacers traded him to the Warriors for Lou Amundson (an absolute steal of a deal for Golden State).
In 2011-12, which was an awful, truncated season, Rush was one of the lone bright spots. He shot well — REALLY well (over 54% on twos and 45% on threes). He defended. He was so good, the Warriors realized they needed to keep him off the floor as much as possible when the tankathon was in full swing.
(And if you don’t believe me on that last point, check out the box score from the last game of that season, an 83-81 home loss to the equally awful New Orleans Hornets. Rush came off the bench and played only 17 minutes, while Charles Jenkins played 42 minutes, Jeremy Tyler got 40, and Mickell Gladness (remember him?) was on the floor for 30. Rush went 6-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-4 on threes, the kind of productive play the team was definitely NOT looking for at the time.)
He went 6-for-9 from the floor once again in the first game of the 2012-13 season against Phoenix, and it appeared that Rush was on his way to another strong year for a team that was suddenly a lot better than the one he toiled for a year earlier. Then he suffered an ACL tear in the second game of the season, an ugly injury even relative to other ACL tears. That ended his season, and that summer he was sent to the Jazz in the Andre Iguodala deal.
Rush has something to prove, because of the injury and a difficult season in Utah where he bounced in and out of Ty Corbin’s rotation.
Ppl just don’t kno what I been thru the last 14 months. #soblessed
— Brandon Rush (@BRush_25) July 16, 2014
Now he gets a chance to come back to where he’s comfortable, and this time the team won’t keep him off the floor in an attempt to acquire more lottery ping pong balls.
While the Warriors haven’t made the big splash move a lot of people were expecting (yet), their bench should be much stronger than the reserve unit from last year — provided Rush and Festus Ezeli are fully healthy. The former should bring what the reserve unit was lacking: a dependable three-point shooter.
- PG: Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston
- SG: Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush
- SF: Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes
- PF: David Lee, Draymond Green
- C: Andrew Bogut, Marreese Speights, Festus Ezeli
- Others: Nemanja Nedovic, Ognjen Kuzmic, Hilton Armstrong, Aaron Craft*, Justin Holiday*, Jermaine O’Neal*
*Possible additions, if the Warriors like what they’ve seen from Craft and/or Holiday in Vegas (sounds like they do) or O’Neal decides not to retire and wants to give it another go in Golden State for the veteran’s minimum.