Just in case David Lee and Klay Thompson get sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the highly anticipated Kevin Love trade, the Golden State Warriors need some security blankets. Therefore, the Warriors should dig up some diamonds in the rough via the free agency pool.
As of now, the Warriors are $1,435,875 over the salary cap maximum of $63,200,000. If the Warriors choose to sign a couple of free agents, then they must simultaneously make sure to stay away from going over the NBA luxury tax threshold of $77,000,000. Here are a couple of free agents that can offer Golden State bang for their buck:
1. Kent Bazemore(SG)
Bazemore,25, spent the first part of his career with the Warriors before being traded to the Lakers last year. He finished the season with averages of 6.0 points and 1.4 assists per game but look past the numbers with this guy. Bazemore is 6-foot-5 and super athletic. The Warriors should take a chance by re-signing Bazemore. When the Lakers inserted him in the starting lineup, he averaged 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 28 minutes per game. Bazemore can be a starter. He just needs a coach to give him a chance to truly prove his worth. Bazemore made less than $500,000 last year, which means the Warriors can get him for a low price.
2. Anthony Morrow(SG)
Morrow is another former Warrior who would fit in well with Golden State. The run and gun type of basketball that the Warriors play is right up Morrow’s alley. Morrow averaged 8.4 points off of the bench for the New Orleans Pelicans last year. Morrow’s 45.1% from three-point range ranked fourth in the entire NBA in 2014.This 6-foot-5 guard may not be a physical guy but he is a very efficient shooter. Morrow made $1.03 million last year, so the Warriors could definitely afford him.
3. Andray Blatche(C)
Blatche has proven he is a very good center in this league. He averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds off of the bench for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2013-2014 season. Blatche is a 27-year-old veteran who has been in the NBA for nine years. The Warriors are sometimes outmatched down low when center Andrew Bogut goes down with an injury. Bogut gets injured quite a bit, so it would do nothing but help the Warriors if they could sign a guy like Blatche to be a very good backup center. At 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, Blatche is a force inside that also displays a soft touch on his jumper. Blatche made just $1.4 million last year, which makes him an affordable candidate for the Warriors.
4. Kris Humphries(C)
Humphries may not be the most entertaining player to watch but he can get the job done. Humphries averaged 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Boston Celtics last year. He is a bit undersized as a center at 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds but this 29-year-old plays strong and doesn’t try to do to much. If the Warriors brought him aboard, he could be like Andris Biedrins was for the Warriors once upon a time. Humphries’ salary last year of $12 million is a tad bit much for a player of his caliber though. Maybe the Warriors could find a way to coax him into signing a smaller contract.
The Warriors do not necessarily need to sign any free agents. Still, they must be prepared if Thompson and Lee are traded away. The Warriors could use a shooting guard or a center for better bench production. Who knows? If they pick up one of the aforementioned free agents, then there could be some new starters for the Warriors prior to a possible Kevin Love arrival.
*Information from www.spotrac.com contributed to this report.