The Golden State Warriors opted against using their pair of lottery picks to trade for an established star, and now an insider says the team is facing even more pressure to make the right moves in free agency and preserve the remainder of Steph Curry’s legacy.
Leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft, there had been rumors that the Warriors were looking to package the No. 7 and No. 14 picks along with young players like James Wiseman in exchange for a player who could bring a more immediate impact. The Warriors are hoping to jump back into title contention with the expected return of Klay Thompson next season, and were looking at adding another starter to go along with him.
None of the trades materialized, with potential target Bradley Beal deciding to stay in Washington and the Philadelphia 76ers reportedly asking too high a price for Ben Simmons. The Warriors ended up keeping both picks, taking Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody and leaving a need to bring in more veteran players.
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Warriors Face Pivotal Free Agency Period
With the Warriors forgoing the chance to use their picks to add an established star, the team’s front office has already spoken about the need to bring in more experienced players.
“We need to add some veterans,” said general manager Bob Myers, via The Athletic. “We’re not done.”
Dieter Kurtenbach of the Mercury News believes that the Warriors are facing additional pressure to nail free agency this season and make the most of Curry’s remaining years. Though Curry just turned in an MVP caliber season at the age of 33, he may not have many seasons left at his peak.
With the team not likely to get major contributions out of their pair of rookies — and with last year’s No. 2 overall pick, James Wiseman, still needing more time to develop — the pressure to find the right free agents has been ratcheted up, he wrote.
“If the Warriors cannot win in free agency this summer, it’ll not only be a death knell for their upcoming season, but it’ll also dramatically decrease the already slim-to-moderate chances of the Dubs’ dynastic triumvirate winning another title together,” Kurtenbach wrote.
Warriors Need Careful Approach
As Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle noted, Golden State will need to take a very careful approach to adding free agents. Any top-priced free agents will be out of their price range, with the Warriors only able to offer league-minimum or mid-level exception deals. He noted that the Warriors could have a better chance than last year, when many veterans saw the writing on the wall after Thompson’s injury and opted for teams with a greater chance of winning a title.
Their ability to bring in free agents this year could hinge on the timetable of Thompson’s return, he added.
“That was the idea last summer, when the Warriors were close to signing Nicolas Batum among others, but they eventually opted for other pastures when Thompson tore his Achilles,” he wrote. “Negotiations could hinge on Thompson again this summer as the basketball world tries to predict when and how much the all-world guard will be able to play after rehabbing.”