Welcome to the detention period.
When a player of Kevin Durant’s caliber becomes available on a trade, the entire league is effectively put on hold.
This applies to both high-end and low-end league activities.
The Warriors might be able to offer the Nets the best trade for Durant, but their business this offseason has been decidedly low-end. They have the championship team. Now they’re trying to fill their list – inexpensively.
The Warriors are well above the salary cap and deep in the luxury tax, which means their free agent options reside almost exclusively in the “minimum contract” camp.
It’s a challenge, but not one the Warriors have struggled to overcome in the past. David West, Demarcus Cousins and, last season, Otto Porter all signed minimum league deals.
Call them ring hunters, reputation revivers, or cheap labor (relatively, of course); the Warriors need to add at least one, maybe two players to their roster before training camp begins in October, and they can’t spend a lot.
Here’s where their roster of 15 players currently stands:
1: Steph Curry // Jordan Poole // Ryan Rollins
2: Klay Thompson // Donte DiVincenzo
3: Andrew Wiggins // Moses Moody // Quinndary Weatherspoon
4: Draymond Green // Jonathan Kuminga // Patrick Baldwin
5: Kevon Looney // James Wiseman
And here are nine targets (you have to cast a wide net when you can’t pay more than the minimum) to fill that list.
This is Otto Porter’s play. Warren, who was global in the NBA’s pandemic bubble, has played just four games in two years due to back-to-back stress fractures in his left foot.
It’s a tough injury to overcome, but Golden State could give him a legitimate chance to do so, just like Porter (28 games played in 2020-21, foot injury) did last season, earning a contract. $12.4 million over two years with the Raptors last week.
Warren is 28 and he can get buckets in clusters when healthy. He will have plenty of teams ready to roll the dice with him, especially at the minimum. The Warriors can cite Dr. Rick Celebrini’s work with Warriors veterans, especially over the past year, as the reason Warren should come to San Francisco.
Even 15 games from a full Warren, plus the playoffs, would be worth the luxury tax implications. You can never have too many bucket-getters.
The Warriors great said ahead of this season that he would hang up his boots at the end of the campaign – he can come out on top. But there is no guarantee that this will happen. Iguodala struggled with injuries all year – we barely saw him during the final months of the season, including the playoffs – but his impact on the team was always felt as he took on a de facto coaching role while sidelined.
Much like Miami’s Udonis Haslem, who barely plays but is being guarded as some sort of ‘star performer’, the Warriors may re-sign Iguodala, not because of his on-court prowess but his overall impact on the team. .
Last October, the Warriors had to choose between Gary Payton II and Avery Bradley for the team’s final spot. The Dubs front office picked Payton correctly, despite Steph Curry and Draymond Green both campaigning for the veteran Bradley, who turns 32 this coming season.
With Payton’s move to Portland, the Warriors can try Bradley again, an aggressive perimeter defender who shot better last season with the Lakers than expected.
You have to wonder what Lamb — a willing and often capable 3-point shooter — could do in an offense that creates as many open shots as the Warriors. Lamb would be a replacement for Damion Lee – not an everyday player, but an incredibly valuable player coming off the bench. You can never have too many 3 point shooters.
The Warriors lack a trusted, proven playmaker – someone who can get the team into their sets when they’re in the half court. Campazzo has plenty of weaknesses, including the inability to defend much of anyone, but he will, without a doubt, be a pointer.
This is an insurance policy game.
Ellington became a bit of a cult hero with the Lakers last year. What’s not to love about a classic 3-D player? Ok, just a 3.
But while he’s a sieve on the defensive side of the pitch, stick him in the corner and let him knock down shot after shot. In the past two seasons he’s shot over 40% from beyond the arc – all without dribbling, I believe.
This list is missing Curry family members after Lee’s departure.
Rivers can rectify that by signing with the Dubs. Rivers’ sister Callie is married to Seth Curry, Steph’s younger brother. It counts, right?
Rivers is also a solid wing option for the bench end. He’s been a 20-minute-per-game player for his entire career, but a range limit and inclusion in the Warriors system could help simplify his game and unlock even better shooting (35% for his career beyond the arch).
Let’s first acknowledge that Harrell is currently facing drug trafficking charges for having three pounds of marijuana in his rental car in Kentucky.
If this is settled at the start of the season, he could prove exceptionally valuable with a minimum contract. He’s a smallball 5, yes, but he brings some serious energy to the field as a rim runner. The Dubs might have enough crosses – don’t forget Green and Kuminga will play there too. But it would be useful to have an icebreaker at the position. The Warriors couldn’t help but play fast (their best pace) with Harrell on the court.
Two young black horses
He’s a prototypical winger — 6-foot-8 with plenty of defensive length. At 21, he was a 35% shooter from beyond the arc last year.
It would be a brilliant comeback for the Warriors, and he’s technically available, as the Nets rescinded his qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
That said, he should play for the Nets in the Summer League, and Brooklyn has non-Bird rights. They would try to re-sign him. We’ll see if those plans take into account everything that’s going on with the Nets.
The Thunder have too many draft picks and too many players. Roby is a good player, but at 24 he’s probably a bit old for OKC, so they waived him on Sunday.
But it would look amazing on Dubs. He’s more of a 4 than a 3, but at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, he brings a little noise and a sweet shot from the outside. He knocked down 44% of his 3-pointers last year. A one-year anomaly? Probably, but it’s no coincidence.
This guy can play. I doubt he’ll sign for the minimum, but the Warriors need to make an offer ASAP.
This article originally appeared on MercuryNews.com.