The Golden State Warriors still have one more roster spot that can be filled this offseason, but it apparently seems unlikely that the team will be going after a former Los Angeles Lakers guard who they had targeted last year.
The Warriors have made moves in free agency this offseason, bringing in some veterans to go along with a trio of young players expected to make big contributions next season — rookies Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga along with second-year center James Wiseman — but have maintained some flexibility by keeping the 15th roster spot open. It’s not clear yet whether the team will fill the spot before the season starts, but an insider indicates that a veteran guard who was in the crosshairs for the Warriors in the past is definitely not in the equation this time around.
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Warriors Will Pass on Lakers Guard
Guard Avery Bradley, who has spent time with a number of teams including the Lakers and most recently the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets, has gotten some buzz in free agency. He averaged 6.4 points per game, shooting 32.7% from behind the three-point arc last season, and can bring strong contributions on the defensive side. The 30-year-old was a two-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team during his time with the Boston Celtics.
A number of teams have been connected to Bradley, including some buzz that he could be a strong choice for the Warriors to add a defensive presence to the second unit. But Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area threw some cold water on the rumors, saying that Golden State isn’t showing any interest in Bradley.
That reportedly wasn’t the case less than a year ago. Just ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season, Poole reported that the Warriors were pursuing Bradley, but lost out to the Heat.
“The Avery Bradley move to the Heat stings,” he tweeted. “Fearless on-ball defender definitely was in the mix for Warriors, per sources. Other options remain, but he might have been the best.”
The Warriors may have had other priorities at the time, as Klay Thompson had just been lost to injury and the team was trying to fill the void he left on the roster.
Other Options for Warriors
As Wes Goldberg of the Mercury News reported, the Warriors are still actively looking for the right piece to complete the roster puzzle, including some discussions with veteran free agent forward Paul Millsap before he ultimately chose the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors have the $5.9-million taxpayer mid-level exception available, though Myers has said the team would be careful in using it.
“We offered it to a few people, but they chose other directions,” Myers told reporters, via the Mercury News. “We put it out there, but we weren’t just going to put it out there without some level of discernment. So we tried. Ultimately after a few guys went off the board, we kind of held it in check.”
Golden State could be looking at another somewhat unlikely candidate for the final roster spot. NBA insider Chris Haynes reported that the team worked out 34-year-old Darren Collison, who has been out of the league since the end of the 2018-19 season. In that season with the Indiana Pacers, he averaged 11.2 points and 6 assists per game.