So, I talked to Speedy Claxton today. He has every intention of coming to training camp and trying to earn a spot. He said he is healthy and ready to go after playing just two games the last two years.
Why does this matter? The Warriors have to move someone now.
With Speedy injured, insurance would have covered 80 percent of the $5.2 million he’s due. Because of that, they certainly would have been content with stashing a guy on the roster.
But now that he is declaring himself healthy and ready to play, that is not an option. So that gives the Warriors five point guards – four under contract: Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Speedy Claxton, Acie Law and C.J. Watson, who is a restricted free agent.
Now, the Watson situation makes this super interesting. As Matt Steinmetz correctly pointed out, Orlando gave it’s last cap space to Matt Barnes because they were certain the Warriors would match the offer sheet they had ready for Watson.
So the only way Orlando can get Watson is via sign and trade (or sign C.J. to the minimum, which he won’t take). But, according to a source, the Warriors aren’t cooperating on the sign-and-trade. Here’s why, based on what I’ve heard: the Warriors would like to keep Watson at the right price. And it looks like they can.
I hadn’t heard the contract offer Steinmetz reported, but if it’s correct, which I don’t doubt, that is a good price for the Warriors. (UPDATE: I confirmed Warriors did offer Watson three years, $4.5M) Watson, at $1.5M a year, is more valuable to the Warriors on the roster. Claxton and Acie Law, who combined are nearly $7.5 million of expiring contracts, are more valuable to the Warriors on the trade market.
I think Watson would like to land 3 for $6M (and that may be match worthy from the Warriors’ standpoint). But anything less, I think the Warriors match and commit to moving Claxton and Law. With Watson in tow, they have a familiar option to turn to if Steph Curry needs time to develop.
If they sign-and-trade for Watson, then either Claxton or Law would be the leading candidate for the third point guard. Members of the organization I’ve talked to aren’t too keen on either option – Claxton because of his injury history and Law because they don’t think he’s any good.
If Watson – who I am sure doesn’t want to be the third point guard for any team – manages to land elsewhere, I think the Warriors still look to move Claxton and Law and bring in a different No. 3 PG.