The Golden State Warriors are off to a rough start this season due in large part to the shaky play from bench players, but one Western Conference executive believes there could be an “ideal” player waiting to help — if the Warriors can stomach the price.
The Warriors came into this season with one vacant roster spot, giving them a bit of financial flexibility that eases pressure on an all-time expensive roster. But with the Warriors not finding much consistency from their bench players, they could consider paying the price for a veteran big man, the executive said.
Warriors Consider All-Star Addition
The Western Conference executive told Heavy Sports insider Sean Deveney that the Warriors would ideally like to keep their 15th roster spot open. As Sportrac noted, the Warriors have a $189.5 million payroll this year and a $170.2 million luxury tax bill.
The executive noted that it would be even more expensive for the Warriors to add another player, but it may be time for them to consider that option.
“It is going to be a very expensive proposition for them with the (luxury) tax and they do not want that,” the executive said. “They’re going to give it time to see how it plays out but it might become panic time there with the way their bench has struggled.”
The executive pointed to veteran LaMarcus Aldridge could be the best fit for the Warriors.
“But is there someone who makes sense? Would LaMarcus Aldridge, for one, make them much better?” the executive said. “He’d probably be the ideal guy with his skillset and experience. A guy like P.J. Dozier or Stanley Johnson if they want a defensive wing. And point guards, there are point guards if they wanted to take a chance, a Kemba Walker in a pinch. There’s guys out there. They just have to figure out what their red line is for pulling the trigger on one of those guys.”
Other insiders have suggested Aldridge as a potential target for the Warriors. Bleacher Report writer Sam Esfandiari suggested in July that he could be the best option to replace big man Nemanja Bjelica, who decided to return to play in Europe after the Warriors won the title.
Warriors Bench Continues to Struggle
After losing several key bench players in free agency — including key rotation pieces Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. — the Warriors embraced their youth movement. They planned bigger roles for third-year center James Wiseman and 2021 lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, but all have struggled with consistency. Wiseman was recently sent to the G League for more seasoning, while both Kuminga and Moody have not been about to stay in coach Steve Kerr’s regular rotation.
The team has not shown signs of panic, though star Steph Curry has expressed frustration with the lack of consistency.
“It’s a struggle right now, keeping it real,” Curry said, via ESPN’s Kendra Andrews. “We have to understand that it’s going to be really hard to dig yourself out of the situation that we’re in because there are a lot of issues.