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Marreese Speights will be missed in Golden State

With the monumental signing of Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors were forced to break up a team that remained nearly intact from their 2014-2015 championship season.

Key departures included starters Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, who both signed with the Dallas Mavericks.

Another huge loss was power forward Marreese Speights, who signed with the L.A. Clippers for the veteran minimum.

Although a bench player, Speights contributed to the Warriors beyond the numbers, as Barnes told Rowan Kavner of NBA.com:

“Love Mo,” said Barnes. “He was right next to my locker every day at Golden State. He’s a great guy. I love the energy that he brings to the game.”

Speights role grew each of the three years he spent in the Bay Area, evolving from an energy big man with decent range to a threat beyond-the-arc.

“He’s a sneaky offensive rebounder, now a great 3-point shooter,” added Barnes.

“You have to start shooting threes,” Barnes said his teammates would tell the big man. “He used to shoot that like 18(-footer), I’m like, ‘Mo, just take a step back.’”

Speights ability to stretch the floor and bring a big out of the paint will prove to be an asset for the Clippers.

Klay Thompson sung high praise when asked about his former teammate:

“Mo genuinely loves the game of basketball,” Thompson said at Team USA training in Las Vegas. “I’m going to miss playing the pick-and-roll with him. He’s so easy to get an assist; just throw it to Mo. He’s got such a great jumper. There’s not many 6-11 guys who’ve got a shooting touch like he does who shoot it 40 percent from deep.”

Needless to say that the Golden State bench won’t be the same this upcoming season, which was a pivotal of their success in their last two playoff runs.

“He’s true to his roots,” Thompson said. “He’s never going to change who he is and that’s what makes him so special. I’m going to miss his personality and I’m going to miss being out there on the court (with him). He’s such a great player. The Clippers got a good one.”

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