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Undrafted Free Agents Who Would Be Steals for Golden State Warriors

Scott BurnsCorrespondent IIIJune 27, 2014

Undrafted Free Agents Who Would Be Steals for Golden State Warriors

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    The next task for the Golden State Warriors is to find hidden talent.
    The next task for the Golden State Warriors is to find hidden talent.Ben Margot/Associated Press

    With the NBA draft in the books and the Golden State Warriors holding steady, the next stage is to find undrafted free agents who could turn into true steals.

    The Warriors were in the exact same situation last year, having no pick going into draft night. The team snuck into the first round by making three deals to pick guard Nemanja Nedovic.

    With a relatively young roster, the Dubs need to build toward a championship with the quality talent already on the roster. The team has to continue to cultivate youth through picks and undrafted free agents.

    Finding an undrafted free agent who can blossom into a legitimate NBA player is a tall task, but it has been done before. Former Warrior Jeremy Lin and Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews are two recent examples.

    Past NBA successes include the names of Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen and Ben Wallace. The Warriors need to dive deep, but there is talent out there.

    The undrafted free agents will also have a leg up, as head coach Steve Kerr will be coaching the Summer League team in Las Vegas.

    Let’s take a look at several players who could develop into steals for the Dubs.

DeAndre Kane, PG, Iowa State

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    DeAndre Kane could help the Dubs at the point.
    DeAndre Kane could help the Dubs at the point.David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    The Warriors need a legitimate backup point guard for Stephen Curry, since Steve Blake will become a free agent. The offense needs someone who can keep a tempo similar to the All-Star starter.

    DeAndre Kane is a tall point guard who tilts a 6’4”, 200-pound frame and has length and an offensive game. He is very versatile, but most importantly he can defend all three perimeter positions. 

    He can follow in Curry’s footsteps, as he has the knack for hoisting up and converting three-point shots.

    As a senior at Iowa State, Kane sunk 39.8 percent of threes putting up a line of 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

    A major knock on Kane and a reason why he was passed over at the draft is his age. He will be starting his potential rookie season as a 25-year-old. 

    However, Kane spent three years at Marshall before transferring to Iowa State. As a Cyclone, he played under the tutelage of Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, whom Kane credits for helping him grow as a player.

    Kane looks to have an opportunity as a bench leader and could provide some excitement for the second team, as he can drive to the hole, finish and draw contact.

Travis Bader, G, Oakland University

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    Travis Bader could add his three-point arsenal to the Warriors.
    Travis Bader could add his three-point arsenal to the Warriors.USA TODAY Sports

    With the Kevin Love trade rumors still circulating about and Klay Thompson still on the fringe of them, the Dubs need to look for reinforcements at the shooting guard position.

    Travis Bader is someone who has the skill level and shooting range to back up at the 2 position. He is best known for his work behind the three-point line.

    Bader broke former Duke guard J.J. Redick’s all-time record of threes made at the Division I level. 

    He doesn’t have the elite size, as he is only 6’5”, but he can hold his own against other top-tier college players. He has a high motor and will make the extra effort to chase a ball down.

    He is limited on the defensive side of the ball but has a willingness to learn and can focus on improving his deficiencies at the next level.

    He could benefit from the open system that Coach Kerr will optimize with the Warriors. Since the three ball is a major focus to the Dubs' game, Bader could fit right in. 

Patrick Miller, PG, Tennessee State

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    Patrick Miller has the talent and smarts to lead the second team.
    Patrick Miller has the talent and smarts to lead the second team.USA TODAY Sports

    Patrick Miller is another worthy option as a backup to Steph Curry. Miller is a quick point guard who is very athletic and can command control of the offense.

    He started his college career as a distributor but had to be a scorer in his final year at Tennessee State. This offensive balance makes him a worthy addition to the Dubs, as he is someone who could be a commanding presence with the second team.

    Another impressive quality is Miller's ability to drive to the rim, draw fouls and finish. He finished last season with 8.9 free-throw attempts.

    During his senior year, Miller put up a line of 23.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

    He is also a worthy defender who can use his 6’1” frame and strong build to get into people’s faces, deflect balls and fill passing lanes.

    His biggest problem is that he focuses too much on setting up his teammates instead of taking his own shots. He needs to improve his three-point percentage if he wants a spot on a free-flowing offense like that of the Warriors.

    He is definitely an under-the-radar player who uses his drive to make the most out of his skills.

Rob Loe, F, St. Louis University

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    Rob Loe has a high basketball IQ.
    Rob Loe has a high basketball IQ.USA TODAY Sports

    Despite the similar name, this Rob Loe has a stronger penchant for hitting the outside jumper than performing on a movie screen. This Loe would be a solid fit as a stretch 4 in the Steve Kerr offense.

    Loe is a 6’11”, 245-pound forward from New Zealand who could make a solid Southern Hemisphere combination with Australian Andrew Bogut.

    Loe has a very high basketball IQ and likes to bark out orders to his teammates on the floor or from the bench. He understands the game very well, much like the Dubs’ Draymond Green.

    During his run at Saint Louis University, he was coached by former Warrior and SLU assistant, Calbert Cheaney. Per Tom Timmermann of the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, Cheaney stated that Loe sees the game before it happens: "He knows what to do and when to do it. He’s a great passer who thinks one or two moves ahead, and defensively he does a great job at the rim, not fouling but at the same time affecting shots."

    Loe’s line for the season ended up being 10.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He also led the team with the best plus-minus rating.

Akil Mitchell, F, Virginia

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    Akil Mitchell could work his way into the NBA with his defense.
    Akil Mitchell could work his way into the NBA with his defense.USA TODAY Sports

    If the Warriors decide to go the defense-and-rebounding route, Akil Mitchell is one of the undrafted free agents the Dubs need to court.

    He can defend up to four positions on the floor and uses his physicality to his advantage. He can block shots, secure difficult rebounds and hold his own in the inside game.

    Mitchell showed his skill in a tough ACC Conference by snagging 7.0 boards and 0.6 blocks in 25.7 minutes last season. His offensive game slumped, as his scoring average dropped from 13.1 to 6.8 points per game.

    Another plus for Mitchell is that he stayed for all four years at Virginia and earned a better understanding of the game. His high-energy passion and attitude represent his quest to make it to the next level.

    He still has some flaws to work on, such as his ability to go left and his free-throw shooting (42.7 percent last season), but he could bolster his reputation and work out the kinks on the Summer League squad.

Justin Cobbs, G, California

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    Justin Cobbs' strength and versatility could make him a great addition.
    Justin Cobbs' strength and versatility could make him a great addition.USA TODAY Sports

    Justin Cobbs believes he has the talent to earn himself a spot at the NBA level. His physical strength and ability to play defense are the tools that just might open the door.

    He also thinks that the way a point guard handles himself means a lot.

    Per the San Jose Mercury News’ Jeff Faraudo, Cobbs broke down how California coach Mike Montgomery gave him some old-school advice:  

    He taught me a lot about team basketball and maturity and owning up to your mistakes, and as a point guard taking ownership of the team," Cobbs said. "So when something goes wrong, it's not really your fault but you should take control. That's helped me become more of a leader.

    Cobbs is a 6’3”, 195-pound point guard who stayed all four years in college. He is 23 years old, since he had to sit out a year after transferring from Minnesota to Cal after his freshman season.

    Cobbs has solid handles, can distribute the ball effectively and won’t hesitate to nail a game-winning jumper. The tools are there, as evidenced by his 15.6 points, 5.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game last season.

    His desire to make a team better at the next level should be reason enough for the Dubs to give him a look.

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