Good Morning Dub Nation,
NBA Free Agency begins Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM PT. Although the Golden State Warriors already made their big offseason splash with the blockbuster trade to acquire Chris Paul, they are currently left with five open spots on their roster. With only the veterans minimum at their disposal, Golden State will have to go bargain shopping once the dust settles on the market. Here are three free agents to keep an eye on as the days go on:
Draymond Green, Power Forward/Center
Warriors power forward Draymond Green is an unrestricted free agent after opting out of the final year of his contract. He is Golden State’s emotional leader and the captain of their multi-championship winning defense. New Warriors’ general manager, Mike Dunleavy Jr., emphasized that re-signing Green was the team’s top priority going into the offseason, and fortunately for them, they own his bird rights meaning they can go over the cap to sign him.
With that information, the reports reiterating the Warriors’ confidence in retaining him, as well as potential suitors utilizing their cap space elsewhere, Green should remain a Warrior barring some unforeseen circumstances. Besides, would the team really be willing to break up this championship trio?
Draymond celebrating a Klay putt like they just won another championship pic.twitter.com/f9BP8MKsgf— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) June 30, 2023
Yuta Watanabe, Forward
Yuta Watanabe is a favorite among fan bases whose teams only have veteran minimums at their disposal. Last season with the Brooklyn Nets, Watatnabe shot 44.4% from the three-point line on 2.3 attempts per game according to basketball-reference.com. His size and shooting, along with his hustle and competitiveness on defense makes him the perfect big wing-type player that the Warriors need for front court depth.
Dario Saric, Power Forward/Center
Dario Saric is another big who is also expected to sign for the veterans minimum. His value could be low due to him only playing in 57 games last season after recovering from a torn ACL suffered in 2021. Here is what The Athletic’s Anthony Slater had to say about him in one of his latest articles.
Saric checks a whole lot of boxes. He’s a 6-foot-10 stretch forward with the necessary feel, passing ability and defensive smarts to mesh into Steve Kerr’s system. He’s career 36 percent from 3 and made 39.1 percent last season, his first after an ACL tear. The second season following that injury is typically better, especially when still on the right side of 30. Saric doesn’t turn 30 until April.
Would he fall through the free-agency cracks and take the minimum? That’s to be determined. After he was traded to the Thunder at the deadline last season, the Warriors had buyout interest. There was at least some level of sniffing around and some mutual interest. But the Thunder, still in the playoff hunt, kept him, and he aided their second unit. He’s a steady stabilizer and in the age bracket — not too young or too old — the Warriors lack.
Honorable Mentions: Mason Plumlee (Center), Kevin Love (Power Forward), Jock Landale (Center), Damion Lee (Wing), Austin Rivers (Guard)
Assuming the Warriors re-sign Green, the core of the team should still be in place. Free agency should be about adding on the margins as Golden State has shown — just two years ago — that the right role players around their core can boost this team to a championship level.
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- Anthony Lamb’s most dominant games from the 2022-2023
- Sacramento Kings’ ability to sign Draymond Green weakens with new Harrison Barnes contract
- Three games Draymond Green took over during the 2022-2023 season
- Report: Raptors were not interesed in a Jordan Poole-OG Anunoby trade
- Steph Curry, Patrick Mahomes headline the latest installment of ‘The Match’
Other Warriors News:
- Three areas, roster spots Warriors must address in free agency (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Source: Warriors, San Francisco bidding for 2025 All-Star Game (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Breaking down the new CBA: How does it impact the Warriors now and later? (Mercury News)
- The Match: Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce notch upset win over Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (Yahoo Sports)
- Draymond Green Warned Klay Thompson Not to ‘Be a Letdown’ for Stephen Curry in Golf Tournament (Exclusive)(People)
- Sources: James Harden opts in; 76ers to explore trade (ESPN)
- Harrison Barnes staying with Kings on 3-year, $54M extension (ESPN)
- Full recap of news leading up to 2023 NBA free agency (The Athletic)
- Knicks Rumors: Josh Hart Exercises $12.9M Contract Option for 2023-24 NBA Season (Bleacher Report)
- Lakers ‘increasingly confident’ they can sign Nuggets forward Bruce Brown (SB Nation)
A tweet to end the week:
From signing toasters to having in-depth discussions about scaffolding on the news, it’s never a dull day when it comes to Klay Thompson. He added another one to his list of viral moments after one of his drives on the golf course struck a spectator during ‘The Match’ (Klay made sure to apologize and check if the spectator was okay). Have a good weekend Dub Nation!