The Golden State Warriors have been the best team in the NBA over the last two years, and with the arrival of superstar Kevin Durant, the Dubs appear to be set for several more title runs.
Durant, the most sought after free agent not named LeBron James in recent memory, chose to remain in the Western Conference with Golden State by agreeing to a two-year deal worth $54.3 million though year two is a player option. According to ESPN, the addition of the 6-foot-9 small forward gives the Dubs four All-Stars under the age of 30 and makes them only the third team in NBA history to acquire a former MVP after posting the best regular season record.
Durant gives the Warriors, who was the top offensive team in the league, another offensive weapon while also improving their defense. Since entering the league in 2007-08, Durant ranks in the top-three in points, free throws, and win shares.
Durant is not the only player joining the two-time Western Conference champions as David West and Zaza Pachulia have also agreed to deals. In addition, the Dubs have re-signed guard Shaun Livingston and officially signed second-round draft choice Patrick McCaw. Damian Jones, a 7-foot power forward-center out of Vanderbilt, will join the mix when the first-rounder signs with the team.
Golden State acquired McCaw from the Milwaukee Bucks for $2.4 million in cash. The 6-foot-6 wing averaged 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.98 steals per game during his two seasons at UNLV.
West, who is seeking his first NBA title, agreed to a one-year, $1.6 million pact with Golden State on Tuesday. The soon-to-be-36-year-old left a bunch of money on the table after opting out of his deal with the Indiana Pacers and signed with San Antonia a year ago. West averaged 7.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists in 18.0 minutes of action while shooting 54.5 percent from the field with the Spurs.
West is a solid veteran and an excellent locker-room guy. He is a tough, defensive oriented player with a reliable jumper and solid rebounder.
Pachulia also agreed to a contract with the Warriors, yesterday. The 6-foot-11 center is coming off a fantastic season for the Dallas Mavericks and will make $2.9 million with Golden State. He averaged 8.4 points along with a career-high 9.6 rebounds, including 3.3 on the offensive end in 2015-16. Pachulia also shot 46.6 percent from the floor and posted a personal high 26 double-doubles.
Pachulia is a pros pro. He is highly-skilled but seldom plays with his back-to-the-basket. While the 32-year-old is a hustler and heady defender, he is not a shot-blocker.
Golden State has lost two free agents so far, Harrison Barnes (Dallas) and Brandon Rush (Minnesota), and traded Andrew Bogut to the Mavericks. With all the moves, the Dubs have 11 players (counting Jones, who remains unsigned) under contract and very little cap space – per Basketball Insiders.
That means Golden State will look to fill out its roster with bargain players, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Some of the players that have been rumored to be interested in heading to the Bay Area to join the Warriors include Ray Allen, David Lee, Kendrick Perkins, Mario Chalmers, and Jermaine O’Neal.
Allen, who will turn 41 on July 20, is reportedly eyeing a comeback and is said to be looking at the Cleveland Cavaliers, Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers as well as the Warriors as possible landing spots. Allen has not played in the NBA since producing 9.6 points a contest with the Miami Heat in 2013-14.
O’Neal also has been out of the league for the past few seasons. He averaged 7.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 20.1 minutes per game over 44 games for Golden State in 2013-14.
While Allen and O’Neal seem like long shots to join the Warriors, it is very possible Lee, Perkins, and/or Chalmers do come on board.
Lee played five seasons for the Dubs (2010-15) before being dealt to Boston last summer. The 6-foot-9 rejuvenated his career with the Dallas Mavericks after being released by the Celtics, averaging 8.5 points and 7.0 caroms while shooting 63.6 percent from the floor.
Lee is an excellent passer and rebounder. He can score around the hoop and runs the floor well. He is also a capable defender though is targeted often.
Perkins has been prone to injuries throughout his career but is a serviceable player when he is healthy. The 31-year-old appeared in 37 games last year with New Orleans, averaging 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds over 14.6 minutes of action.
Perkins is a wide body who fancies himself as an enforcer. He is an excellent screener but very immobile on the defensive end.
Free agents Leandro Barbosa, James Michael McAdoo, Marreesse Speights, and Ian Clark also could agree to return. In addition, the Dubs could take a serious look at players that are playing on their summer league squad – like Landry Fields and Xavier Henry, rookie forward Robert Carter, and center Ognjen Kuzmic.
Warriors are set to tip off their 11th summer in Las Vegas next week. Full Summer League roster below: pic.twitter.com/LM26speXJ2— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) July 1, 2016
[Photo by Eric Gay/AP]