The Golden State Warriors are still in something of a holding pattern while Kevin Durant mulls over his options and prepares to make a decision sometime in the next day, wisely not tying up any cap room in case they need to offer him a max contract.
Yesterday evening, Marcus Thompson of Bay Area News Group suggested that decision might be costly as the Warriors stand to miss out on other lesser free agents.
Thompson reported that the Warriors had expressed interest in former Warriors players Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford, but it might be difficult to retain their services with all the money being thrown around in free agency with the NBA's new television contract leading to a huge increase in the NBA salary cap.
Crawford could be the scorer off the bench for which the Warriors have longed. Barnes would inject some toughness and defense into the Warriors’ bench as he fits the long-and-mobile mode the Warriors’ like for their defensive schemes.
But players like Crawford and Barnes, who feel they have been underpaid for their production the few years, figure to have a hard time turning down their first chance to get a sizable contract. Now they watch players from the end of benches sign for double digits a year. The smart money is on them cashing in...Crawford is waiting on an offer from the Clippers and have a few other teams calling. Barnes is waiting to see how it shakes out though his interest in the Warriors is high.
Both players have reportedly drawn interest from both teams and both are apparently waiting for the Durant situation to shake out before making any type of decision. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported this morning that the Warriors are among four teams interested in Barnes. But Crawford's situation is a bit more interesting.
Sam Amick of USA Today summarized the Crawford situation last night, confirming previous reports that the L.A. Clippers apparently offered Crawford a contract that he was not "thrilled" about, which certainly left the door open for the possibility of leaving the team he has been with for the last four seasons. And according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, there is mutual interest between Crawford and the Warriors.
Jamal Crawford hasn't agreed to a deal with the Golden State Warriors but there is mutual interest, per a source.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 3, 2016
The question, though, is how long Barnes and Crawford will hold out while all about them money is thrown around like candy. Already, the Warriors have missed out on rumored target Andrew Nicholson, who agreed to terms with the Washington Wizards earlier today. Other players will surely find the money more tempting than a spot on the Warriors' bench.