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.