The start of NBA free agency is still more than five weeks away. Still, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers is already identifying potential targets for the team to bring to the Bay Area.
Golden State holds the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and there have been plenty of rumors on if the Dubs will keep or trade the selection. Although the Warriors are already in the NBA’s luxury tax territory, they can still add some valuable pieces in free agency by using their mid-level exception or by coaxing veterans to come to the Bay Area for the minimum.
Two intriguing options that may be available this offseason are Miami Heat wing Jae Crowder and Toronto Raptors big man Marc Gasol. Both players have the skill set that Golden State needs as it tries to get back into championship contention next season.
Crowder, who has earned high praise from Warriors forward Draymond Green for his play in the bubble, is the ideal fit for the Dubs next season. The 30-year-old averaged 10.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 69 games with the Memphis Grizzlies and Heat during the 2019-20 season while shooting 34.3% from the 3-point line.
The lack of talk/love about Jae Crowder during this bubble is an embarrassment to the integrity of the game of basketball.— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) October 5, 2020
Top 3 of importance in getting Miami to finals, as far as players on their team. Not much respect and acknowledgment given to what he brings to that team.— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) October 5, 2020
Crowder hit 38.2% of his corner 3s — which improved after being traded to Miami — shooting 44.5% from the corners with the Heat. Crowder makes his money on the defensive end. He’s an excellent on-ball defender who is capable of guarding positions 1-through-4.
If Myers can lure Crowder to the Bay Area for the MLE, it would be a massive get for the Dubs. Head coach Steve Kerr could use Crowder at multiple spots on the floor, and his toughness would be a welcome addition to the Warriors’ bench.
Gasol is another player who would fit in seamlessly with Golden State. The former NBA Defensive Player of the Year averaged 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 38.5% from deep. The 35-year-old has lost a step but brings a dynamic the Dubs desperately need on the offensive end.
Gasol can stretch the floor with his outside shooting and is a wonderful passer for a center. Kerr could run plays through Gasol in the high post, while also being confident the big man can get tough buckets in the paint.
He’s also still an outstanding defender. Gasol’s defensive rating of 98.9 was far-and-away the best of any Raptor who played meaningful minutes and ranked fourth over in the NBA of any player who suited up for more than 40 games.
Toronto gave up 6.4 fewer points per 100 possessions with Gasol on the floor. He would have an immediate impact with the Dubs due to his versatility. Although Gasol doesn’t have the typical athleticism you would expect from a rim-protector, his basketball IQ allows him to be effective in the paint on the defensive end, something Golden State will need with Anthony Davis in the division.
Although both would be perfect fits with the 2020-21 Warriors, which player would you pick for Myers to sign out of the two?
Which free agent do you want the Warriors to sign if you had to pick only one?
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