Free Agent Spending Frenzy Forces Warriors to Step Back

By now, you might have seen my list of free agents the Warriors might be interested in. And you probably see how largely off base that list has become. Why?

Because NBA executives have lost their mind, spending money like suburban housewives at a Bloomingdales grand opening. Rudy Gay, tops on my list, got $16 million a year from Memphis. Mike Miller, also on my list, was offered five years, $30 million from Lakers. John Salmons, another on my list, got five years, $39 million from Milwaukee, $44 million including incentives.

Armed with just the mid-level exception, the Warriors don’t stand a chance to even make a small ripple in this market – which saw Darko Milicic, arguably one of the biggest disappointments in draft history, get four years for $20 million from Minnesota, and the Raptors re-sign Amir Johnson (who has never averaged more than 18 minutes per game) for five years, $34 million. Golden State was hoping to find someone at a bargain, someone like Miller for $3 to $4 million a year. But the first full day of free agency has forced them to take a step back, wait until Bloomingdales has a sale.

The Warriors have been mentioned in a couple of trade rumors.

The Hawks are reportedly shopping Marvin Williams, and the Warriors were mentioned in the grapevine as a potential suitor. But multiple sources told me the there is nothing to it. Golden State had conversations about Williams a while ago. But they aren’t in the market for a PF, after drafting Ekpe Udoh, especially not one on the books for $30 million over the next four seasons. (Personally, I’d much rather trade for Josh Smith, who has three years, $37M left. Since the Hawks are giving Joe Johnson the max, and they still have to re-up Al Horford next offseason, they might be willing to move Josh.)

Another report said Denver is going after Warriors center Andris Biedrins. One source told me the Warriors have talked to Denver, but they aren’t really interested in what Denver has to offer (save for Carmelo) or any of the packages Denver has proposed.

There are some options still available out there, players who might fit under the Warriors’ MLE: Ronnie Brewer and Travis Outlaw. But they might take the whole MLE now, where as before today they maybe wouldn’t have. Josh Childress and Linas Kleiza would take a sign-and-trade as both certainly will command above MLE in this market. There are also riskier FA options like Josh Howard and, yes, Tracy McGrady (yeah, I said it!).

And don’t forget, guard Anthony Morrow is a restricted free agent in the market. The most he can get in the first year of a deal is about the MLE because he falls under the Gilbert Arenas rule. But one person told me the Warriors weren’t expecting him to garner that much. If today is any indicator, Morrow will get an offer in that ballpark and force the Warriors to make a tough decision. They would like to keep Morrow, but they certainly don’t want to dole out that kind of coin. (TK doesn’t think Morrow will get the full MLE)

The best hope for the Warriors is if somehow, the price starts going down, like expected. Because at this rate, they’ll have to spend their MLE money at TJ Maxx (aka the D-League),

For more evidence the Warriors’ pennies won’t amount to a hill of beans this free agency, check out John Hollinger’s piece.

Marcus Thompson

  • nate

    i think that we need to kepp ammo and let cj walk, cj is an easy replacement. bell and maybe some random d leaguer take his spot. if tmac goes unwanted and we secure morrow i will love him

  • Hook Mitchell

    I’d be happy with Travis Outlaw.

    Is chris duhon even an option?
    He’d be a nice back up PG if/when CJ leaves.

  • Thanks for your coverage of free agency man. I was just telling the list serve that you taught me a lot about the business side of things just by following you on twitter. Keep up the good work and don’t forget me later on down the road hint, hint.

  • squirmywormy

    Crazy, absolutely crazy. Makes me happy the Warriors have no cap space, as NONE of these players would make one difference on this team, especially at that price. I’d rather watch Biedrins shoot threes from SF than pay 34 million for Amir Johnson, or 40 for Salmons, or 82 for gay, or 120 for Joe Johnson. My goodness, what the hell is going on in the NBA?

  • some guy

    ? Marvin Williams isn’t a PF. he played 62% of the possible minutes for one player last season. 55% were spent at SF, 6% at PF & a negligible amount at SG & C.


    Josh Smith is their PF. he spent nearly all of his minutes there. 71% out of 72% (w/ negligible amounts at SF & C.


    if the dubs bball ops don’t know something that anyone with league pass knows…..

  • Tom

    That would be AWESOME if we could manage to get Josh Smith. I think a Ellis + one of our young bigs for Josh Smith would be pretty fair. The hawks are trying to replace Bibby, so maybe they can use Ellis to replace him. He would be an ideal trade candidate for us, since his age and skill level make him a perfect building block to pair with Curry.

  • Chris Gatling’s Soul

    man Marcus this is just depressing, EVERYONE is getting better, The lakers added Mike Miller to boot! Man, the warriors front office just did a number on us again, Yeah I wasn’t expecting us to get to the finals next season, But i was hoping to sniff the playoffs and respectability again. This just hurts.

  • Jay

    The Warriors should trade for James Johnson from the Bulls to play the 3. He was their #17 pick out of Wake Forest last year. Riley and Nelson liked him and had him high on their board. He’s like a poor man’s Carmelo Anthony, 6’8 240. He’s just stuck on the bench behind Deng. He can flat out play period! and is also a good rebounder for a 3, had 8 rebs a game at Wake Forest. Don’t sleep!

  • Kobe Bryant

    Put Mike Miller, Raja Bell, and Steve Blake on my team. Good thing my ring finger isn’t hurt!

  • Marcus Thompson

    Some Guy,

    Maggette played most of his minutes at PF with Warriors. That means he’s a PF? Marvin Williams does not have the skills of a SF, especially not the playmaker kind the Warriors like

  • WarriorDragon

    The Ks offer are incentives Ks. They’d got to make the all-star, play certain amount of minutes, double/double plus another category, etc. They’d gonna get all that money. The players gotta work for the paychecks. Plus, some teams are loaded at a position, they’d gonna ride the pine and will never see that kind of money agreed upon.

  • WarriorDragon

    Mavin Williams is NOT a very good player. He’s decent player who never play to his potential. Some of these players are gonna be package away for cap space in the future cause they’d don’t play up to standard. I don’t see GS signing anybody, maybe a few trades here and there, improved players etc.

  • WarriorDragon

    Biedren will NOT be traded. GS need his shooting from the outside plus rebounds. He’s a versatile Troy Murphy who plays 3 positions in the frontline. Maybe he make the allstar someday at another position.

  • WarriorDragon

    I don’t know about Monta Ellis. He play both the SG/PG and put up allstar numbers. I just don’t know how to replace his 25/6 assists at SG. GS gotta get some 20+ ppg players in return for Monta. He should made the allstar team in the west.

  • WarriorDragon

    I go after David Lee. I throw the money at Lee face and give him the SF spot. He will improve this team immensely. He’s a dead eye shooter who can play outside and rebound inside.

  • WarriorDragon

    I like the frontline of Udoh, Biedren, and Lee. GS got shooting and rebound at both forwards spot. Biedren will block a few shots here and there, we’d can beat the Lakers, assuming we’d don’t move Monta. Udoh will block 3-4 shots a game.

  • WarriorDragon

    This is good stats for the frontline. Udoh 14/12/4 Biedren 11/11/1 Lee 20/12 this is a balance frontline. The backcourt go Monta 25/6 Curry 18/10

  • WarriorDragon

    Curry will have to dish out more dimes. I like the dimes between 10-15 assists per game. Throw the lobs to Udoh, give Biedren and Lee their outside shots. The 2 are high % shooters. He should get 15 assists per game easily.

  • Deftoned40oz

    haha wtf…its not even annoying anymore, its actually pretty funny now

  • sperry

    How about the Warriors pay me $100k a year and i’ll be the best damn water boy they have ever had… It would make about as much difference as the Free agents we can pick up, but we can use the saved money on scented massage oils and therapeutic candles, while knowing our players are staying hydrated. It would be huge for the Moral and Oracle Arena would smell sweeter than any other Arena in the league…

  • Hook Mitchell


    Biedrin good outside shot?

    David Lee dead eye shooter?

    I’ll give you a pass. You were up late last night.

    Sign Travis Outlaw. He should be within our money range right?

    Then again the first day of FA yielded some monsterous proposterous contracts.

  • 404atlhoops

    I came across this article via hoopshype.com. As a die hard Atlanta Hawks fan that watches the team every game, I can assure everyone there is nothing about Marvin Williams that suggest he is a PF. He is a prototypical SF at 6’7.5″ with a perimeter game. Williams had a down year however part of the problem is he played under a coach (see Mike Woodson) that does not know how to develop young players. Marvin Williams was the 4th option on a team that runs zero plays for him. I’d be willing to part with Josh Smith if the Hawks can acquire a true center.

  • Jay

    The Warriors should trade for James Johnson from the Bulls to play the 3. He was their #17 pick out of Wake Forest last year. Riley and Nelson liked him and had him high on their board. He’s like a poor man’s Carmelo Anthony, 6′8 240. He’s just stuck on the bench behind Deng. He can flat out play period! and is also a good rebounder for a 3, had 8 rebs a game at Wake Forest. Don’t sleep!

  • Marcus Thompson


    I really like James Johnson. He was great during workouts, and had a good rookie year. But he’s still under the radar. He is a great call, I think

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Two trade proposals with the Hawks:
    1) Monta straight-up for Josh Smith. ATL plays Bibby and Curry in the backcourt, sliding Joe Johnson to the 3, Marvin Williams to the 4 and keeping Al Horford at center.
    2) Biedrins and a signed Morrow (Geogia Tech product) for Josh Smith. ATL plays Bibby and Johnson in the backcourt, keeps Marvin Williams at the 3, slides Horford to the 4 and has Biedrins play center. Plus, they get a deadly outside shooter in Morrow to play with Crawford.
    Either scenario makes me extremely happy. I’d choose the first because it would allow us to trade Biedrins ($9 mil), Randolph ($2 mil) and Radmanovic ($7 mil) to Denver for Melo. Frankly, whatever combination Denver wants to make a trade happen is fine by me.

    Sign Earl Watson or Steve Blake to the MLE.

    Then trade Brandan Wright and a signed Morrow for someone like Trevor Ariza and we’ve got ourselves a helluva team.

    PG – Curry/Watson or Blake
    SG – Ariza/Williams/Bell
    SF – Melo/Azubuike
    PF – Josh Smith/Udoh
    C – Turiaf/Gadzuric

  • Hook Mitchell

    James Johnson is a beast.

    Bulls probably trade Deng before Johnson tho.

    I’ve always liked Earl Watson and Steve Blake.

  • A’s in 2010

    I have lost patience with Biedrins, I’m sorry. If there is a deal getting expiring contracts, go for it. Udoh/Ronny/Gadz can handle the center spot. Remember this is the same team that ran out Tolliver and Maggette at center at times, we can make it work. You could start Gadz but play him low mins. Similar to what Dallas did with Dampier last year, play Gadz against legit starting centers but Ronny/Udoh and even Randolph play most of the mins at C.

  • A’s in 2010

    DET is interested in Haywood and Matt Barnes. Haywood wants $10M/yr. Prince for Biedrins needs to get done, good deal for both teams.

  • DKnight007



  • DKnight007

    sperry Says:
    July 2nd, 2010 at 7:32 am
    How about the Warriors pay me $100k a year and i’ll be the best damn water boy they have ever had… It would make about as much difference as the Free agents we can pick up, but we can use the saved money on scented massage oils and therapeutic candles, while knowing our players are staying hydrated. It would be huge for the Moral and Oracle Arena would smell sweeter than any other Arena in the league…


  • deano

    Marcus: You are so right about how the second-tier free agent market blew up right out of the gates. The current free agent situation calls for patience, which nicely fits the Warriors’ situation: no money, unattractive team, pending change of ownership.

    On the list you published two days ago, Outlaw and Brewer were my favorites; but I do not think that either of them will still be available in late August, which is probably when the new owner will assume control and hopefully create some positive buzz about the franchise.

    Since it is unlikely that anyone will choose to come here, our only realistic hope for improvement is via trade. One trade I would like to see is Udoh for Memphis’ two picks: SG Xavier Henry and PG Greivis Vasquez. Although one or both of those picks might be included in the deal if Monta is traded to Memphis.

  • A’s in 2010

    Chicago has a proposed trade of Luol Deng in exchange for a “serviceable center”

    Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports


    Hey, that might be Biedrins!!

  • Traj

    I like Dorrell Wright or Ronnie Brewer.

    Secondarily, if the cubbard is bare, take a chance on Shaun Livingston or Tracy McGrady.

  • WarriorDragon

    We’d need to know WHO is gonna coach this bunch? GS management is just putting players on the trade block without the new coach assessment. The best thing to do is assemble a core of talent players hope for the best with the new coach.

  • earl monroe

    Hey Marcus, can you tell me why Rudy Gay was at the top of your list of free agents the Warriors should have made a run at?
    I see many people here and at the Merc blogs pining for Gay, but I don’t get it.
    He has the same numbers as Magette and for a career Maggs has better assists numbers, in fact Magette scored the same as Gay last year in 10 minutes less per game, so why would he be a good fit with the Warriors?

  • WarriorDragon

    I don’t see any trade for Monta unless GS get to replace his 25/6 at SG. I like to keep Monta and trade him for 2 rookies. But, if Henry and Vasques (backup) are available. GS need to give both long hard look at the potential. GS cannot keep develop players and trade them for other teams draft picks. This is unacceptable. GS need to make a run for the playoffs and win an NBA CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE like in the past history of the franchise.

  • WarriorDragon

    I would do a Monta for Marvin Williams straight up. This is a good deal. Marvin need to develop a game. He just cannot game well in the pros. GS need more points from Curry at PG. I just cannot see a 30/15assists PG and making the playoffs.

  • WarriorDragon

    The Monta for Griz 2 draft picks is NOT a good deal. GS is trading him to a west team. Monta will take GS out in the playoffs with the Griz. I move Monta to the east like the Hawks. That is the best scenario.

  • WarriorDragon

    If GS gets Marvin Williams. He need to develop a SF game. I just do not see a consistent shot from Marvin. He’s not even a good post player, he’s young and can still develop into a good pro.

  • WarriorDragon

    Marvin can defend a SF like Artest. GS won’t get 20+ppg outta Williams, but he a big SF, he can block a few shots here and there. It a fair deal for both teams. They both trade outta their conference, GS will never meet the Hawks in the playoffs, unless it’s the Championship Title series.

  • WarriorDragon

    Marvin need to extend his K with GS. GS need an agreement. He’s done with his Rookie K.

  • Hook Mitchell

    I would not do monta for Marvin Williams straight up.

    Maybe monta for Josh smith.

    Biedrins for Luol Deng is very intriging… although I don’t what his contract looks like

  • deano

    Deng’s contract is massive. Four more years at $11MM to $14MM. I doubt that GSW would take it on, and that’s probably smart.

  • Hook Mitchell

    Ok. I wouldn’t trade biedrins for deng.

    Looking at how the FA market is, it seems like biedrins and monta might have contracts considered a bargain-fair market value-reasonable.

    Although I’ve been saying trade monta for a big two guard, I don’t mind if we keep him.

    It’s hard to win in the NBA with two small guards in the backcourt, But we haven’t been able to fully evaluate our team due to injuries.

    Wright Randolph Buike all missed significant time last year.

    We have yet to see our true roster at full strength

  • DiLillo1148

    Warrior dragon and some others are acting like dummies… Marvin Williams blows. Plus, you guys are being ridiculous about the “getting rid of Monta” scenarios. Seriously… look at what mediocre players are getting in value. If we decide to move Monta, with the market the way it is, we can get a difference maker.

    Quit underselling the commodities we have.

  • DiLillo1148

    And… Atlanta is not parting with Josh Smith. Dummies…

  • mark

    Marcus, According to Adrian W:

    “Sources say Chicago has a proposed trade of Luol Deng(notes) looming for what’s described as a “center” that could help to clear more space. The Bulls could also ship young forward James Johnson(notes) to get more room.”

    Does that mean the W’s could send AB to the bulls for Deng and possibly James Johnson? wouldn’t be horrible.

  • WarriorDragon

    Of course it’s hard to win with 2 PGs. We’d gotta get bigger at SG. That’s how it work. That’s the only deal that work for 2 teams. The Hawks are in the east. GS is in the west. GS ain’t gonna see Monta go 46/13 against them in the playoffs.

  • WarriorDragon

    I know if the Griz and GS go 7 games in the playoffs. Monta Ellis will blow up GS for 46/13. I ain’t gonna see that in the west. That make sense. That is the best senario.

  • ohreally

    lol at the Hollinger piece you linked. He thinks David Lee is a max contract player.

  • haastheman

    Deng for a servicable center sounds p/c for a cheap center, which AB is not. The warriors will end up like they did last year adding little if nothing and seeing if the youngsters develop. hopefully this year they’ll spend more time on the court then the IR. By the time our ownership situation is finalized all the moves will already have been made. And, if Nellie is going to coach this year, might as well give him players he’s familar with.



    May not be the lakers, but they may challenge for the eighth spot.

  • WarriorDragon

    GS will NOT trade Deng for franchise center Biedren. That’s not gonna happen. We’d expect Biedren will go 15/12/2 with Udoh playing the PF. This is good numbers for Biedrens. He will get help from Udoh. Randolph is NOT a SF. He goes 45pts in a summer game at PF last year. He game best at the PF.

  • WarriorDragon

    I don’t wanna see Biedrens go 31/26/7 blocks in a playoff series with another team. It ain’t gonna happen, GS will not look like fools giving Biedrens away for nothing, the franchise center is not on the trade block.

  • Hook Mitchell

    Dear mr Marcus Thompson 2nd.

    What are our chances of signing Josh Howard?

    Not sure if he fits us, but curious about our inquiries.