After he got a contract agreement from free agent Carl Landry, Warriors general manager Bob Myers reached for the phone.
"I called Mark (Jackson) and said 'I think you've got something to work with.' And I don't think he's running from that challenge. I think he's saying, 'Yeah, we do.' "
Indeed, the pressure is now on the Warriors coach. Myers acknowledged that last season the coaching staff didn't have much to work with, especially during the second half. But Myers has spent the past two months stocking Jackson's cupboard, with the Landry the final piece.
The result of the Warriors' active offseason has given Jackson six new players. That's not counting new starting center Andrew Bogut, who has yet to play since being acquired in March.
"What you look for is to have a hand you feel comfortable playing," Jackson said. "Certainly the moves we made put us in that position. We've gotten better. We've gotten deeper."
The Warriors' biggest issue over the years has been a weak defense, a product of being undersized and stocked with players who couldn't play that side of the ball. That need was a big reason the Warriors gave up star guard Monta Ellis for Bogut. And the addition of rookie Festus Ezeli, a 6-foot-11, 255-pound shot-blocking specialist from Vanderbilt, significantly beefs up the front line.
The Warriors also shored up the backcourt. Acquiring Jarrett Jack from New Orleans gives Golden State a defensive-minded combo guard. Jack (6-3, 202) is known for being physical and tough. And if the summer league was an indicator, rookie shooting guard Kent Bazemore could be a pest on defense.
That's four guys -- Bogut, Ezeli, Jack, Bazemore -- who make their living on the defensive end. Plus, swingman Brandon Rush, who re-signed Wednesday, is no slouch on defense. He led the Warriors with 58 blocks. The only guard with more was Miami's Dwyane Wade (63).
The Warriors could be a better rebounding team, too. Bogut averages 9.3 rebounds per game over his career. Rookie forward Draymond Green comes to the NBA as Michigan State's all-time leading rebounder.
Despite his reputation as a hustling energy guy, Landry's numbers suggest he won't significantly improve the Warriors' rebounding. He's below the league average for his position in rebound rate (12.7) -- which measures the percentage of rebounds he grabs while in the game -- and in boards per game (5.2). But his specialty is offensive rebounding, which Jackson will certainly be happy to have.
The additions of Jack and Landry also fill two other needs. They add much-needed experience and have playoff experience.
They also give the Warriors offensive options off the bench. Jack is not only adept at getting into the lane, he allows the Warriors to play with three guards. That means Stephen Curry can play off the ball without sacrificing defense. Landry gives the Warriors inside scoring.
If rookie Harrison Barnes, the No. 7 overall draft pick, proves he can score in the NBA, the Warriors might have more offensive weapons than they know what to do with.
"When you think about last year down the stretch, some of the lineups we were forced to play," Jackson said, "we needed to improve our depth. If you look at the good teams throughout this league, they have depth."
The Warriors still have holes. They are not particularly athletic, especially on the perimeter. They don't have an athlete such as Ellis, who can get the upper hand on sheer athleticism. That will probably show up most in the transition game, which is usually bolstered by speed and athleticism.
Youth also is a concern. The Warriors are relying heavily on second-year shooting guard in Klay Thompson. They also need rookies Ezeli and Barnes to be part of the rotation.
"I think we've put out a well-balanced group," Myers said. "Beyond that we've got a great locker room. . . . We've given our coaching staff a group they can really work with. It's up to them to decide what style works best. And there's really only one mandate here and it's to win. . . . It's up to them now to go forward with this group. I don't think it's unfair to ask to go forward and do well with this group of players."