2013 Free Agents Warriors Must Pursue with Mid-Level Exception
For the first time in a long time, the Golden State Warriors don't have a laundry list of offseason needs.
That's good because they do not have a lot of money to spend.
Goal No. 1 should be to retain Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. However, both are able to look for more money elsewhere, and their future with the franchise is very much in doubt.
But no matter what happens to Jack and Landry, the Warriors will have their mid-level exception to use. They could sign a replacement for either one of those two should they leave, or sadly, even after Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins exercised their player options, bench help is another option.
Whatever direction they choose, here are the key players Golden State should consider signing with its mid-level exception.
For years it seems like Chris Kaman has been tied to the Warriors.
Now, after his skills have deteriorated to some degree and the Warriors are not desperate for him to make a huge impact, Kaman to the Warriors works.
His best days are behind him, but offensively he would add a new dynamic. If the Dubs can sign him to a one-year deal to complement the defensive presence they currently have at the center position, it will help the lulls in offense coming from the second unit. It would also limit the minutes Andrew Bogut needs to play during the regular season.
Remember, Golden State can clear a lot of cap space after next season. Getting someone like Kaman on a one-year contract is ideal.
Adding as much help as possible for next season while limiting salary commitments for the 2014 offseason, currently slated to be $25 million, is a good plan for this summer.
Remember how much fun it was to see the Warriors play with a defensive center in the middle of their lineup?
Ideally, Bogut would play in 82 games next season. But you and I both know that is not going to happen. Hopefully he can play in more games than last year, but with that uncertainty, the Warriors should try to sign another center in case Bogut misses extended time.
Marreese Speights would be a nice addition to fill this void. With his rebounding and offensive capabilities, he would complement Bogut and Festus Ezeli as an offensive alternative in the post. Even better, Speights would give the Warriors someone to turn to other than Biedrins.
If Bogut misses time, the Warriors would be comfortable with Ezeli starting, but they would feel a lot better if they had Speights behind him.
The sooner everyone accepts the fact that Jack may not be back, the easier it is going to be when or if he leaves, right?
Well, probably not, but if he bolts, Mo Williams would ease the pain of his departure.
Williams can hit the big shot, provide solid numbers (12.9 points, 6.2 assists in 2012-13) and hit the open shot. He would see a lot of this with the other shooters the Warriors have.
Another big plus is his postseason experience. He has played in 41 postseason games and has gone as deep as the Eastern Conference Finals. His experience would replace the leadership lost if Jack departs.
Matt Barnes would be a nice addition to the Warriors bench.
Yes, I know that Brandon Rush is expected to come back next year. And the Warriors are counting on his scoring and defense to add another element off the bench.
However, he can opt out of his contract to become a free agent. Or, unfortunately, he may not be the same player he was before tearing his ACL. Remember, he has had this injury to both knees now.
Barnes would give the Warriors another wing defender and ease the defensive assignment on Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. Bringing Matt's toughness and attitude with him would give the Dubs the instigator they are missing.
His postseason experience and hometown roots make him a nice fit.
Darren Collison makes for a good fit if Jack leaves.
After coming off the bench for the final 23 games of the season, Collison is not likely to be bombarded with offers. On a one-year rental, why not give him a chance to prove himself?
He can get to the rim and hit the open shot, and he is quick enough to stay in front of defenders. While he wouldn't make anyone forget about Jack, he would make a suitable one-year stopgap at the point guard position.
His 6'11' frame and 8.1 rebounds with 1.8 blocks per game are numbers that are likely to get Samuel Dalembert at least a mid-level deal.
And the Warriors could be the team to give it to him.
This offseason is going to be a huge plus if the Warriors can re-sign Jack and have Landry opt in to his player option deal. If they can add a guy like Dalembert on top of that, the Warriors are going to be a happy team this summer.
Bogut, as mentioned, is not going to play 82 games this season. It's just not going to happen. But if they can get a player like Dalembert to replace Bogut when needed, it will help keep the same dynamic they had this postseason going for all of next season.