The Golden State Warriors are coming off a heart-breaking series loss in 6 games in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, and it might as well be the end of the Steve Kerr dynasty after making it to 5 straight Finals and winning 3 Championships over that span.
Moreover, the Warriors were dealt a couple of major blows in the last two games of the season, when Kevin Durant tore his Achilles and Klay Thompson tore his ACL, which most likely means they’ll both miss the entire 2019-2020 season after hitting free agency.
Despite their injuries, the Warriors are fully expected to try and keep them both by offering them max contracts, but even if they wind up saying yes – which is a big if for Durant – they’ll need to fill a lot of holes on their roster looking ahead to next season. But, what could they do? who could they sign with little-to-none money? Let’s break it down.
5. SG Options
Alec Burks, Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington
The shooting guard spot is going to be up for grabs for the Golden State Warriors, with Quinn Cook as the most likely guy to step up and take Klay Thompson’s spot in the meantime, but they will still lack a lot of depth and should fill their roster with several backups.
Alec Bucks would be a great fit for their system, but he’s quite injury-prone and that may scare them away, while Wayne Ellington is a legit threat from the three-point line but is not getting any younger. Bullock, on the other hand, may be exactly what they need, a 3-and-D guy that could play the 2 or the 3.
4. Trevor Ariza
Trevor Ariza’s not getting any younger and perhaps the last thing the Warriors want right now is more veteran players, but they’re desperately craving a 3-and-D wing with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant both out for the season, and there aren’t much of those.
Ariza already knows what is like to win a Championship and he’s likely to favor a contending team over money this season, so the Warriors must take advantage of that. They could even sign him to a 1-year deal and move it mid-season if it doesn’t work.
3. Kenneth Faried
Everybody thought Kenneth Faried was done, but he proved otherwise during his time as Clint Capella’s backup with the Houston Rockets. He’s still got a lot left in the tank, and could really help a contending team like the Warriors coming off the bench next season.
The Warriors may lose Kevon Looney in free agency and Andrew Bogut will come back to Australia, so they’ll be kind of shorthanded in the big men spots. He’s a great rim-runner and excels in the pick-and-roll, so he’d be a great fit in their small-ball lineups.
2. Seth Curry
Ok, Seth Curry isn’t exactly the kind of 3-and-D player the Golden State Warriors may need right now, but he’s a low-risk/high-reward kind of pickup, and his offensive expertise would definitely suit Steve Kerr’s scheme in the blink of an eye, especially as a starter.
A Curry-Curry backcourt would be able to light it up on a nightly basis the same way the Splash Brothers have done so far, even though Seth is nowhere near half of the outstanding defender Klay Thompson is and probably he’ll never be, but he’d still truly help this team.
1. DeMarcus Cousins
Well, the Warriors trusted DeMarcus Cousins and offered him a hand when no one else did, so it’s now time for him to show some respect and pay them back even though they could only offer him a mid-level contract and he’d have to give up on a lot of money.
According to Warriors Wire’ Yossi Gozlan, Golden State Warriors can sign DeMarcus Cousins:
Cousins may not agree to a deal that isn’t completely guaranteed, but the Warriors could try to negotiate some incentives for games played. He also may not agree to lock himself in for that rate for four seasons, so perhaps he signs for fewer years. Otherwise, Cousins may be better off signing a one-year $6.4 million deal, which may be the most beneficial option for both sides.
If Cousins signs a one-year deal for his Non-Bird amount, he will become an Early Bird free agent in the 2020 offseason. This means the Warriors can give him a 175 percent raise from his $6.4 million salary. This would allow him to earn an $11.2 million starting salary for the 2020-21 season. He would also be eligible to sign a four-year deal with 8 percent annual raises worth $50 million in total.
Cousins should try and prove that he’s one of the best big men in the world and that he can help this team overcome adversity and make it back to the Finals to win his first Championship. Also, a lineup with Steph, Seth, Iguodala, Green, and Cousins, could be really fun to watch.