On Sunday, the Golden State Warriors organized a sign and trade with the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors were losing Kevin Durant, who is teaming up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, and wanted to get some value back.
Enter D’Angelo Russell, who is joining the Warriors on a four-year, $117 million contract. But while Russell and Durant made the headlines, they weren’t the only pieces involved in the transaction between the Warriors and Nets. Golden State also sent a future first round draft pick to Brooklyn, while receiving Treveon Graham and Shabazz Napier.
But before either of those two could even make it to the Bay Area, they were rerouted. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that the Warriors are trading Graham and Napier to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Golden State is also throwing some cash into the deal.
Golden State is moving Shabazz Napier, Treveon Graham and cash onto Minnesota, league sources tell ESPN. Napier and Graham are part of the D'Angelo Russell sign-and-trade.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
This deal is about one thing, and one thing only: Lowering the payroll, and getting as far away from the hard cap as possible. By doing so, the Warriors increase their chances of being able to re-sign Kevon Looney.
Graham is owed $1.7 million for 2019-20, while Napier is owed $1.9 million. Both are good contracts given the players, but the Warriors would clearly prefer the financial flexibility.
That said, both players were on non-guaranteed contracts, so the Warriors could have just cut both players. It would seem like there is probably another part of this deal that has yet to be revealed.