The Golden State Warriors will have to do a lot of work to keep most of their roster intact this summer. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are among the free agents, but they are expected to remain with the Warriors. The same cannot be said for Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Ian Clark, David West, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, Matt Barnes, and James Michael McAdoo.
According to ESPN, Durant intends to opt out of his contract and re-sign with the Warriors for less money in order to keep Iguodala and even Livingston. Curry, on the other hand, will finally get paid as he is expected to sign the biggest contract in NBA history. It’s great news that Durant is taking less money because it gives the Warriors the ability to re-sign Iguodala, Livingston, and Curry.
The Warriors are going to be over the salary cap so they are surely going to wave goodbye to Clark and possibly McGee, who had a remarkable bounce back season. McAdoo’s place is in danger with rookie Jordan Bell on the helm, and West might consider retiring after finally getting his ring. Pachulia and Barnes could get retained but Golden State can get better players in free agency.
Dieter Kurtenbach of FOX Sports believes that the key to the Warriors offseason is ring chasers. There are going to be a lot of veterans who might want to get in on the Warriors bandwagon and win their first-ever championship. Here is a list of five ringless players who could join Golden State and help the Warriors repeat as champions.
Vince Carter, 40 – Forward
Carter is the oldest active player in the NBA and he plans on returning for his 20th NBA season. He showed everyone he can still play by averaging 8.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season for the Memphis Grizzlies. He also shot 38 percent from threes and he could certainly fit in with the Warriors.
It’s also the perfect ending to Carter’s NBA career if he joins Golden State next season. He will return to the team that originally drafted him fifth overall in 1998 before he got traded to the Toronto Raptors for Antawn Jamison. The cherry on his incredible career would be an NBA championship, something he can win if he signs with the Warriors this offseason, and he is open to taking less money to do it, per ESPN’s The Jump.
“I’m open for it. I want to win. I want to play and I want to do somewhat what Kevin Durant did. I want to do for my team. I want to go out there and play and provide and show that I can still play this game.”
Kyle Korver, 36 – Guard/Forward
Korver is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history and he failed to win a championship with the Cavaliers because of the Warriors. His estimated career earnings of $63 million and his age mean he could be open to signing a veteran’s minimum in Golden State. Korver can replace Clark’s shooting next season, but he would be a liability on the defensive side.
Roy Hibbert, 30 – Center
The Warriors have to find replacements for McGee and Pachulia if they decide to bolt in free agency. Hibbert is a former All-Star and he is just several years removed from being one of the best centers in the NBA. The rapid progression of the league’s style of play made Hibbert into a journeyman.
However, the 30-year-old center is still a serviceable player and he is clearly better than Pachulia. Hibbert is a better player overall, especially on the defensive end. If he can give the Warriors 20-25 minutes, it would be a great signing for the Warriors. Hibbert has earned an estimated $70 million, so he might be open to taking less money.
Nene, 34 – Forward/Center
If West decides to retire, Nene is a perfect replacement for him. The 34-year-old Brazilian star played well for the Houston Rockets this season. He averaged 9.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a big man off the bench. Nene has earned over $100 million in his NBA career, so taking less money to sign with the Warriors is not out of the question.
The only problem for the Warriors if they sign Nene is that he is an injury-prone player throughout his career. He missed 15 games this season and he tore a muscle in his left thigh during the Rockets’ Western Conference Semifinals matchup against the San Antonio Spurs.
Zach Randolph, 35 – Forward
The Warriors are surely going to be worried about Nene staying healthy, as well as the Rockets possibly re-signing him. Golden State can turn their attention to Randolph, who can perfectly replace West in the Warriors lineup. Randolph is a better post player than West at this stage of his career while also having longer range.
The 35-year-old big man was demoted to the Grizzlies bench this season, so it’s not going to be hard to adjust if he signs with the Warriors. Golden State has a great locker room presence and it’s going to be easy for one or two veterans to gel in with the team as they try to win another championship.
[Featured Image by Rob Carr/Getty Images]