As many of you know, the Golden State Warriors lost the NBA championship about a week ago now. The dust has settled, the parade has gone by, and the next chapter has come. The NBA draft and free-agency can make or break a dynasty. The Warriors are hoping and praying that this isn’t the end to their historic run. This upcoming season may be a down one regardless of who they sign or trade for, but they will be building for the future. In this article, we will focus on free-agency for the Warriors, and also the trade market as well.
This is one of the most exciting portions of the offseason next to the NBA draft. Teams are scrambling to get better and this does expose some teams as they make dumb mistakes out of desperation. The Warriors have been very successful in recent years, signing Kevin Durant, retaining all of their core and signing veteran free-agents as well. Kevin Durant is now a two-time NBA champion, Andre Iguodala has been able to stay with this team to help protect Steph’s legacy, and there has never really been a shortage of veterans to come and ring chase with the Dubs. This offseason will be vastly different though. With Kevin Durant out all year, and Klay out at least until February, the Warriors are in uncharted territory. They are without two of the NBA’s brightest stars, Steph is by himself, so let’s take a look and see who should join Steph for this upcoming season.
(For these hypothetical signings and deals, Klay and KD would be resigned.)
Rudy Gay: Chance of coming LOW
Gay was one of the NBA’s premier scorers in his time. Even after he ruptured his achilles, he is still a player that could really help the Warriors. He would be a great starter compared to anyone else on the current roster, but he would also offer decent defense and another scorer to help Steph. Gay averaged 13.7 points a game on 50.4% from the field and he also grabbed a respectable 6.8 rebounds a game.
With that being said, Rudy Gay is most likely going to resign with the Spurs because they can offer a lot more money than the Warriors can. The only way I could see him jumping ship to the Warriors is if he really wanted a ring that badly, and this would mean he would have to wait an entire season because Klay and KD are out. After those two are healthy, then the competing shall commence once again and they could get Gay his first championship. This is asking a lot from a player, but the sacrifice may be worth it for him in the long run.
Seth Curry: Chance of coming MODERATE
Seth and Steph are brothers. Together, they of course will have amazing chemistry. Something the two of them also possess, is amazing shooting. I would love to see Seth back in a Warriors uniform and for them to be able to compete at a high level together. The Warriors bench sorely missed a scoring punch throughout the post season. Fred VanVleet completely dismantled the Warriors and their bench because he was able to score repeatedly during the Finals. Also making Steph look completely silly on defense. Steph was exhausted at this point, so Fred took advantage of every moment. I am not saying Seth would play a similar role to Fred, but Seth could be the go-to scorer off the bench for the Warriors. He averaged 7.9 points per game and he shot 45% from behind the arc last season with the Portland Trailblazers. He has a moderate for a chance of coming because he has said in the past that he didn’t love the idea of playing with Steph because he wanted to make his own name.
Austin Rivers: Chance of coming HIGH
Rivers is the son of Doc Rivers, who is the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. Rivers played last season with the Washington Wizards and the Houston Rockets. Rivers is a crafty guard that is able to score from inside the arc and he is a decent shooter from outside the arc as well. He is an effective playmaker and he is capable of staying in front on the defensive end. He won’t be a superstar or anything, but he would be a great off the bench option for the Warriors. There should definitely be interest on both sides as Rivers chases a ring and the Warriors try and bolster their bench before KD and Klay return next season. Rivers averaged 8.1 points per game on 40.6% from the field.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: Chance of coming HIGH
KCP has interest in taking a similar deal to the one that Cousins took last season. He probably sees an opportunity to show other NBA teams that he is a capable player that is able to help a team win games. I am not a huge KCP fan, but I do know that he is a much better option than Jacob Evans right now. Evans is too raw to just be thrown out their at the moment. KCP could actually help develop Evans into becoming the three and D player the Warriors thought he was going to be when they selected him last season. KCP is an interesting case. He is inconsistent and a decent defender. But he will have nights where he just cannot miss a shot, then other nights, he stinks up the entire gym. Now this could be because the Lakers and Pistons didn’t utilize his skill set, but that is pretty unlikely with how long he has been in the NBA. If he does choose the Warriors, as a fan, I am intrigued to what he brings to the table. He averaged 11.4 points per game on 43% from the field.
HOPEFUL TRADE ALERT: Dion Waiters
An ESPN article came out the other day and it went over a few trade targets that the Warriors could execute to help with the injuries, Dion Waiters was on this list. I am a pretty big fan of Dion, mostly because of the Rookie V. Sophomore game where Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dion went toe to toe against one another and shot the lights out that game. Dion’s game needs freedom, he lacks discipline for a team full of plays. Not saying this is a bad thing, but I am saying he could be perfect for the Warriors. He could get the freedom he needs and he could help grow his own stock by coming to the Warriors via trade. I could be just seeing these things in my head, but the guy gets buckets. He needs the freedom, and the Warriors can offer that.
The big problem I see with trading for Dion, is the money that he is owed. He is currently on a two year $12+ million dollar contract that could be nearly impossible for the Warriors to get. I could see them trading Livingston, but only if he retires. This could free up some space, but that is the big hurdle the Warriors brass need to figure out. I am all for Dion Waiters in a Warriors jersey, and seeing him rebuild his stock would be the best part. Also inviting defenders on to Waiters island would be sight to see.
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