The Warriors are throwing their name in the hat for just about every guard in the NBA, if you believe reports. They definitely have interest in Denver's Andre Miller, Toronto's Kyle Lowry and Chicago's Kirk Hinrich.

Of these names, only Lowry seems capable of making a real difference. Miller and Hinrich can help in some ways -- and the Warriors' bench desperately needs help -- but neither of them solve the major problem with the Warriors' bench.

The need is greater than a ball-handler and facilitator. Mark Jackson likes to run a full second unit, allowing his top-notch starting five to play as many minutes together as possible, so what the Warriors need is a legit sixth man.

Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry drives past Indiana Pacers’ C.J. Watson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Wednesday,
Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry drives past Indiana Pacers' C.J. Watson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Wednesday, Jan. 1 , 2014. The Raptors won 95-82. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young) ( Chris Young )

They need someone who can come off the bench and change the game, usually with scoring and aggressiveness. That's what made Jarrett Jack work so well. He regularly came in and made an impact. Usually such a player is a veteran with a certain make-up.

Harrison Barnes doesn't appear to have it. Perhaps he needs more experience and to develop his skill set. But it is clear he is best with other threats around him to open things up. If he's not going to start, the Warriors need to give him someone to play with on offense who commands the respect of the defense.

So if the Warriors are looking to bolster the bench, which they are, they need someone with the following qualities.

NEEDS TO BE A SCORER


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And when I say scorer, I don't mean someone who can get you a bucket in certain situations. I mean someone who can score against good defense and even take over games occasionally.

When Klay Thompson is not clicking, the Warriors lose of his production because nobody on the bench can come in and give you 20 points. When Stephen Curry and Thompson are off, which happens since they rely on jumpers, it's practically curtains for Golden State.

Philadelphia 76ers forward Evan Turner, right, drives on Portland Trails Blazers guard Wesley Matthews during the second half of an NBA basketball game in
Philadelphia 76ers forward Evan Turner, right, drives on Portland Trails Blazers guard Wesley Matthews during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. Turner scored 23 points as they beat the Trail Blazers 101-99. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) ( Don Ryan )

In Jack and Carl Landry, Golden State had reserves who could, on certain nights for sure, replace the production of a starter having a bad night. Jack had 29 games of at least 15 points. He scored 19 or more in six, including a 30-point game. Landry had 21 games of at least 15 points.

The Warriors don't have one player on the bench who can produce like that now.

Andre Miller is not it. He's down to a career-low 5.9 points per game and has been steadily dipping. He can score in certain situations, but to fall in love with him because of how he played against the Warriors in the playoffs is a mistake.

Hinrich isn't a fit in this regard, either. His field goal percentage has dropped each year in Chicago. He's currently averaging 7.8 points on 7.4 shots. Even with the green light, not sure he can score anymore.

Lowry, however, does fit this role. He's averaging nearly 16 points per game and his offensive rating is 118 -- higher than Curry, Thompson and David Lee. He has been around long enough to know how to be effective but at 27 is still young and can keep up with the core. He's also experienced coming off the bench (his career offensive rating as a reserve is 111) though he might not be too fond of going that route.

NEEDS TO BE A PENETRATOR

The last thing the Warriors need is another jump shooter. They need someone who can get in the lane. Someone who lives in the lane, preferably. Barnes, Toney Douglas, Kent Bazemore -- none has the ball-handling skills to create off the dribble.

Golden State could really use a player who can get to the free throw line (and then convert at a high rate) to provide a different look from the streakiness of jump shooting. When jumpers aren't falling, such manufactured offense becomes vital. (One of the reasons I like Ramon Sessions).

Miller scarcely shoots unless he's near the basket, he just can't get there like he once did. He's a situational scorer, needing the right match-up to be effective. Hinrich has never been the type.

Lowry is a lot like Jack in that he can get inside despite being a respectable outside shooter. He's a 79.4 percent free throw shooter and his free throw rate (.333) is higher than any Warriors starter.

NEEDS TO PLAY ALONGSIDE CURRY WITHOUT CRIPPLING THE DEFENSE

This is not most important, since the Warriors have one of the better starting fives. But it's pretty significant when you talk about matching up with the league's best. You just can't throw one look at a team and have sustained success, especially in the postseason.

As it is now, Barnes comes in as sixth man. The only way he changes the pace when he comes into the game is if he comes in for Andrew Bogut and the Warriors go small. If he replaces Andre Iguodala, that doesn't really give the defense another look. It might even make it easier as its one fewer ball-handler on the court.

The Warriors need someone who can come in for Thompson, the team leader in minutes per game (37.5) and total minutes (1,388). He plays so much because the options alongside Curry are not strong.. No matter who comes in for Thompson, the Warriors lose too much on offense. And they certainly can't afford to go with a poor defender. That was the knock, legitimately, against the Curry/Jack combination Jackson loved. That rules out Miller, who is the worst perimeter defender when he steps on the court. Hinrich can defend but doesn't have the offense.

Lowry is a solid defender when he wants to be. But at 6-foot, he has his defensive shortcomings. The real question with Lowry is when he's playing with Curry and Iguodala and Lee, is he a scorer or a point guard? Can he get buckets off the ball, or will his presence prompt Jackson to move Curry off the ball as he did with Jack? The fact that Jack relegated Curry to shooting guard was one reason the Warriors didn't break the bank to keep Jack.

Lowry could work. But the aforementioned reasons are why the Warriors need a ball-handling shooting guard more than another point guard. They're usually called combo guards. For my money, perfect fits would be Detroit's Rodney Stuckey, Philadelphia's Evan Turner and Houston's Jeremy Lin.

Of course, all of them are as perfect as they are difficult to get. But they all have big contract, which could work to the Warriors' advantage.

The Warriors want to retain their assets. And their draft picks are limited since they gave several away to Utah in the salary dump that landed Iguodala. The Warriors' biggest trade chip is their traded-player exception, which allows them to absorb a contract from a team looking to cut money. They could probably throw in a young piece such as Nemanja Nedovic or Bazemore. If the Warriors hold off long enough, Festus Ezeli and Jermaine O'Neal can come back and perhaps play themselves into commodity status. But mostly, the Warriors' best play is to tell teams: "I can eat that contract for you." That only carries weight on sizable contracts.

Plus, there is this: the Warriors are likely going into the tax with this move. They are within $3 million of hitting the tax. To spend less than that, the pickings are even slimmer. (Some options that fit: Boston's Jordan Crawford, Philadelphia's Tony Wroten, Lakers' Xavier Henry, Utah's Alec Burks. All are young and would be difficult gets, and will need some development.)

If the Warriors are going into the tax, they might as well get someone who could potentially stick around and grow with the team, someone with some upside to tap into.

Contact Marcus Thompson II at mthomps2@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ThompsonScribe.