After losing out in their bid for a “three-peat” when the Toronto Raptors won this year’s NBA Finals in six games, the Golden State Warriors will be entering the 2019 offseason with two of their top players expected to miss significant time next season at the very least. Not only that, but these two players — Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson — are prospective free agents this summer. In order to remain competitive next season, the Warriors will need to at least partially replace the two injured superstars’ contributions, and as a new report suggests, the team could go about this by signing one or two free agents from the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2018-19 roster.
Citing a new report from Jordan Brenner of The Athletic that detailed the possible “contingency plans” for teams that may lose top free agents this summer, NBC Sports Bay Area wrote that the Warriors could consider wingmen Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock — both of whom last played for the Lakers and reportedly might be willing to accept less money to play for Golden State in the 2019-20 NBA season. While Caldwell-Pope and Bullock are still officially part of the Lakers’ roster, there’s a good chance both of them won’t be returning to Los Angeles in 2019-20, as the team focuses on surrounding LeBron James and recent acquisition Anthony Davis with more talent.
Although Caldwell-Pope finished the 2018-19 season strong for the Lakers and averaged a decent 11.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in a mostly off-the-bench role, NBC Sports Bay Area observed that he didn’t mesh well with James despite the fact they are both represented by Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports agency. The publication predicted that he could turn out to be a decent “one-year option” for the Warriors despite his slightly subpar (34.7 percent) three-point shooting last season.
Three years ago Draymond Green texted Kevin Durant after the Warriors lost Game 7 of the Finals. This time, Kevin Durant called Klay Thompson https://t.co/aEl851kIjn— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 14, 2019
Meanwhile, Bullock started out the 2018-19 campaign with the Detroit Pistons before he was traded to the Lakers ahead of the February deadline. In 19 games wearing the Lakers’ purple and gold, Bullock averaged 9.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists, and shot 34.3 percent from three-point range, per Basketball-Reference. Given his reputation as a solid “3-and-D” player who could shoot from long range and play tight defense, NBC Sports Bay Area wrote that he could also be a good fit in Golden State’s system.
As for Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, pundits now expect the former to sign a new max contract with the Warriors, despite how the ACL injury he suffered in Game 6 of this year’s NBA Finals is likely to keep him out of action at least until February. Durant, who may miss the entire 2019-20 season due to the Achilles tear that took him out in Game 5 of the Finals, is still reportedly attracting his share of suitors as a prospective free agent, thus making his current situation with the Warriors “much murkier” than that of Thompson, per NBC Sports Bay Area.