After the explosion of Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City for the Warriors, Golden State is primed for a ring… or two… or three…
The question now becomes: which veterans are going to take a discount to go along for the ride?
But before we get to that, we can guarantee two players who won’t be joining Golden State on the journey. In order to facilitate the signing of Durant, Golden State had to part ways with Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes – a small price to pay for a guy who will go down as one of the best to ever play the small-forward position.
Trading away Bogut left Golden State without a center for a few hours, but no need to worry, as reports quickly surfaced that Zaza Pachulia signed with Golden State for $2.9 million. Coming off the best season of his career, Pachulia left significant money on the table to join the Warriors, starting a trend that many NBA vets plan to follow.
Last year, a long time veteran by the name of David West announced he was going to be taking the veteran’s minumum to sign with a contender – the San Antonio Spurs. Well, that didn’t really work out, so what’s to stop him from doing the same thing this offseason? The answer? Nothing. West reportedly signed with the Warriors for the minimum, netting him $1.55 million. West not only brings experience from being on teams that have made deep playoff runs, but he is also still an effective player. His mid-range game complements Golden State’s floor spacing nicely, and his stocky frame enables him to play center for the small-ball Warriors.
Point guard Mario Chalmers could be another logical fit with the Warriors. ‘Super Mario’ experienced tremendous growth playing alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami, and might be interested in positioning himself for a third ring. During his latest stint with the Grizzlies, Chalmers put up 10.8 points and 3.8 assists. Not exhilarating numbers, but it was a bleak situation for the former Jayhawk. With the Warriors losing Brandon Rush and Leandro Barbosa via free agency, Golden State is in need of a second unit guard alongside Shaun Livingston.
If Chalmers chooses more money somewhere else, Golden State may look to add someone who facilitated much of Stephen Curry’s growth – Jarrett Jack. After being released by the Nets when free agency began, Jack reportedly has interest in coming back to the Bay. Not that they need any more offensive firepower, but Jack brings something the Warriors can always use more of – experience. A strong locker room presence and someone who is familiar with playing alongside Curry can only yield positive results for the Warriors.
Last but not least, Ray Allen’s camp and the Warriors reportedly have mutual interest in a short-term deal. Yes, you read that right. Ray Allen, one of the most lethal shooters in NBA history who can actually challenge Steph Curry for greatest shooter of all-time status, wants to join the Warriors. His comeback would solidify the Warriors as the ultimate destination, regardless of pay.
With the departures of Barnes, Bogut, Barbosa, Rush, and Festus Ezeli, fans weren’t worried, but simply anxious to see how the Warriors would fill the rest of their bench. As it turns out, the tricky part for Golden State might actually be saying no to veterans who want to join the team.