Warriors Showing ‘Early Interest’ In Elite Sharpshooter: Report

Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Steph Curry

Getty Head Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors speaks with Stephen Curry #30 against the Denver Nuggets.

Bucks guard Malik Beasley, who made an elite 2.8 threes per game at 41.3 percent shooting in the 2023-24 season, could be a highly-coveted free agent in the 2024 offseason. At least three teams have shown preliminary interest in signing the sharpshooting guard, according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko.

The report noted that the Rockets, the Magic and the Warriors are among the expected suitors for Beasley when the NBA’s free agency period gets underway on June 30.

“Houston has identified floor spacing and shooting as an area of need this offseason privately and publicly and have an interest in veteran sharpshooter Malik Beasley, league sources said,” Iko wrote on May 21. “Beasley, who is also attracting early interest from Orlando and Golden State, spent the past season in Milwaukee, starting 77 games and shooting 41.3 percent from 3-point distance.”

While Beasley played in only five playoff games, he shot an impressive 44 percent from the field in the six games of the first-round series against the Pacers.

Warriors Have Limited Cap Space

In a bidding war, the Warriors could lose out to the Rockets and Magic, the other two teams linked to Beasley. While the Rockets have limited cap space, they have access to their $12.9 million non-taxpayer midlevel exception (MLE) and $4.7 million biannual exception to use in free agency or acquire a player in a trade, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

For context, Beasley signed with the Bucks on a 1-year, $2.7 million veteran minimum deal in the 2023 offseason. As such, a MLE or any contract north of $10 million per year would considered a big payday for the veteran shooter.

The Magic could create up to $35 million in cap room, most of which they could spend on rumored targets such as Klay Thompson and D’Angelo Russell. However, they also have access to an $8 million room midlevel exception they could use on Beasley.

As for the Warriors, the situation is more complex and depends on the future of Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson and Chris Paul, per ESPN’s Marks.

A Complicated Summer Awaits

“The Warriors have up until June 24 to guarantee Kevon Looney’s $8 million contract (there is $3 million guaranteed) and until June 28 for the $30 million owed to Chris Paul. If both players are waived, Golden State enters July with $137 million in salary — $34 million below the luxury tax and $54 million under the second apron. The futures of Thompson, Paul and Looney will determine which free agent exception is available,” Marks wrote after the Warriors were eliminated from the playoffs on April 16.

According to Warriors owner Joe Lacob, the franchise’s leading priority in the 2024 offseason is to fall under the NBA’s second apron, thereby shedding some luxury tax.

“Our Plan 1 or 1A is that we’d like to be out of the tax,” Lacob told “The TK Show” on February 14, via Bleacher Report. “The truth is, we need to be out of the tax two years out of the next four in order to get this repeater thing off our books. That’s the plan: to try to do that, and we think we can keep our team together.”

With finances getting in the way, the chances of the Warriors making significant roster upgrades ahead of the 2024-25 season are unlikely. That is, unless, they make the drastic all of trading one of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green or Jonathan Kuminga.  The Mike Dunleavy Jr.-led front office is expected to shop Andrew Wiggins.

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