Free agency has invaded the NBA spotlight, and the buzz surrounding the Golden State Warriors’ moves is at an all-time high. The shoe finally dropped on the Warriors surrounding the Dwight Howard chase, and Marcus Thompson reported that Howard informed the Warriors that he was no longer considering their services by eventually choosing the Houston Rockets.
However, before that decision came down, the Warriors did everything possible to increase their odds as a possible suitor. As Adrian Wojnarowski reported the morning of July 5, the Warriors found a partner to unload unwanted salary.
The trade with the Utah Jazz was the necessary move to woo Howard, but a few moments later, another prize was revealed by Wojnarowski. The Warriors reeled in one of the top free-agent prizes in Andre Iguodala for a four-year, $48 million deal.
Iguodala is a necessary fit for the Warriors as they transition to the next level, because he can play transition basketball, defend both the shooting guard and small forward positions and give them another proven shooter.
In this highlight, Iguodala steals the ball, goes baseline to baseline and finishes with the slam. The excitement of his arrival will excite an already boisterous Oracle crowd.
This move gives the Warriors another weapon, but it also poses a question about the starting lineup. If Iguodala takes over the small forward position, what will happen to Harrison Barnes? Will he shift to the power forward position and replace David Lee? Or become the sixth man?
Wojnarowski had reported that the Warriors were looking to trade Lee on July 1, and they had already made a couple of failed attempts. He is a double-double machine, but Lee is also being paid $44 million over the next three years.
The Warriors will have to weigh the benefits of Lee being such a team guy and the glue in the locker room. If they could get a couple of quality back-ups at the guard position and a front-line player at a cheaper salary and shorter contract, I am sure they would take that chance.
The addition of Iguodala gives the Warriors a deeper bench, but because of his free-agent signing, the Warriors had to renounce the rights to both guard Jarrett Jack and forward Carl Landry. The Warriors had the Bird rights to Jack—meaning that he could have been signed even with the Warriors over the salary cap. But because the team needed the extra salary space, the Dubs had to waive those rights.
After today’s action, the Warriors are currently sitting $2.8 million under the cap. The Dubs can no longer afford either Jack or Landry, so they will need to search for some more palatable options.
As Bill Ingram tweeted, Darren Collison is getting a lot of interest with the Dwight Howard decision at hand.
Collison would be a great fit for the Warriors. But they cannot overpay, especially as they are toeing the salary-cap line. The team has been effective when it comes to the new salary-cap structure, but it can't pay him if other teams drive up the price.
The trade with the Utah Jazz netted the Warriors about $20 million in Traded Player Exemptions (TPE). This means the Warriors will have to be creative when it comes to adding players.
The Dubs can only take on salary to fill this requirement and cannot use players or picks to perfect the deal. However, they can perform a sign-and-trade via this exception if the trading team signs the player first before swapping him for the TPE exception.
This exception will be key in finding a quality backup center while Festus Ezeli is injured. With Andris Biedrins on his way to the Jazz, the Warriors do not have a legitimate center to back up Andrew Bogut.
There still could be some sign-and-trade deals available, like one with Josh Smith if he can’t find his way onto the Houston Rockets' roster. As Marcus Thompson reported, the Warriors have interest in the power forward.
Free agency is still in the beginning phases this summer, and the Warriors have already made a huge dent with major upgrades. This team is set to take it to the next level, but can it get even better?
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