Warriors Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Kevin Durant, Jamal Crawford and More

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 21: Jamal Crawford #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets in Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2018 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated 121-105. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

It's good to be the Golden State Warriors this offseason. 

Most teams are hoping they can build a superteam or at least markedly improve their stock in free agency. The Warriors are able to sit back and watch the rest of the league scramble to put together a team that will be able to challenge for the title they have won in back-to-back seasons. 

Technically, there is a Kevin Durant situation to deal with, but things are looking up between the organization and one of their superstar assets. 

Outside of that, all the Warriors have to do is figure out which veterans they'd like to bring in with what little money they can provide to those seeking to be on a championship favorite. 

Here's a look at the latest rumblings regarding the moves the Warriors will look to make this offseason. 

      

LeBron James Reportedly Attempted to Recruit Kevin Durant

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defended by Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
Jason Miller/Getty Images

It's no secret that LeBron James is the biggest unknown in this year's free-agent class. The King could be staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he could also be heading west to join the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets or even stay east with the Philadelphia 76ers

If James does head to Los Angeles, he's going to look to bring another star with him. 

According to Stephen A. Smith, he has tried to make that star Kevin Durant:

Smith was told that James reached out to Durant about joining him with the Lakers. He also added that he believes that Durant wants to surpass James as the best player in the game, so he doesn't have interest in joining forces with him. 

Casting doubt on whether James even reached out to Durant is Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

If this is true, it's not altogether shocking that Durant isn't interested. He's coming off two straight championships, and they will be the team to beat for a third. 

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that Durant will not opt in to his deal, but he is expected to work out an agreement at the beginning of free agency. 

      

Players Want Jamal Crawford

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 11: Jamal Crawford #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves has the ball against Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during the game on March 11, 2018 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

As usual, the Warriors are going to need to find some veterans that are willing to play for the minimum this season. 

If the players have their way, one of those veterans is going to be Jamal Crawford. The recipient of this year's Teammate of the Year Award is a target of some of the Warriors best players, according to a report from Marcus Thompson of The Athletic:

"Last year, a vouching from stars Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, and coach Steve Kerr, led to the Warriors taking a flyer on Nick Young. This year, an even stronger push is being made for Jamal Crawford.

"Green and Durant are already lobbying. Stephen Curry is on board. Some of the assistant coaches want him, too. It will be enough to get Myers on the phone with Crawford’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, when the free agency period begins at 9 p.m. on Saturday."

The Warriors have sometimes given power to the players when appropriate. After all, this is the team that allowed the players to coach a game last season. It would make some sense that they listen to who these guys want on the team. 

Crawford played for the Warriors in the 2008-09 season, so there is some familiarity there. Last season in Minnesota, the playmaker put up 10.3 points per game on 41.5 percent shooting from the floor. 

He'll likely have to take an even smaller role on the Warriors, but if the players like him, there's a good chance he'll take up one of the five roster spots the team could have open. 

        

Team Trying to Hold On to Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 31: Patrick McCaw #0, Kevon Looney #5 and Nick Young #6 of the Golden State Warriors face the Sacramento Kings on March 31, 2018 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

If the Warriors want to ensure their bench has some youth and isn't just a collection of ring-chasing vets who will provide diminishing returns, re-signing the young players they have will be key. 

That's what makes Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw interesting this offseason. In speaking to Warriors general manager Bob Myers, Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group reported that the club will do what it can to bring back both Looney and McCaw:

"They have a mid-level exception ($5.3 million) and veteran’s minimum contracts. The Warriors would like to retain restricted free agent forward Patrick McCaw and unrestricted free agent forward Kevon Looney, but that partly hinges on if they receive any lucrative offers elsewhere. While the Warriors can only offer Looney up to $2.3 million per season, they have three days to match any offer McCaw receives. Though Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob has stated and shown he will absorb luxury tax penalties, he will not write a blank check."

Looney is a 21-year-old big with the ability to play either the 4 or 5. He saw an increased role in the playoffs, averaging around 20 minutes per game in the three rounds before the Finals and starting five games.

If the Warriors are able to get him at just $2.3 million, that would be a great value for the organization. 

McCaw seems much easier of the two to retain. After a rookie season where he flashed promise in just 15 minutes per game, he saw no uptick in production in 17 minutes per game this season. 

At this point, he's an unproven 22-year-old who may look to get paid elsewhere during a summer where few teams are able or likely to be shelling out cash for that kind of free agent. It's likely the Warriors will have more years to develop him when this summer is over. 

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