The Golden State Warriors have just won the 2022 NBA championship, and there's no doubt that this has been a spectacular year for them. Not many expected them to get out of the Western Conference at the start of the season, let alone win the whole thing.
While as of right now, the Warriors will likely be celebrating, the front office will need to make some decisions regarding their free agents. Otto Porter Jr., Kevon Looney, and Gary Payton II could potentially leave for bigger contracts elsewhere, though the Warriors could potentially offer them a mid-level contract in an attempt to entice them to stay. The Warriors already have almost $150 million committed to their big 4, and have little financial flexibility.
In this article, we cover the 10 best free-agent acquisitions that would make sense for the Golden State Warriors. This list obviously includes some of their players that will become free agents in the offseason.
10. Hassan Whiteside - Veteran Minimum Contract
Hassan Whiteside is an athletic big man that has bounced around ever since he left the Miami Heat. He will be a free agent this offseason. As a veteran minimum, Hassan Whiteside would definitely make a good addition to the Golden State Warriors, as he would give them a lot of things that they lack. Hassan Whiteside averaged 8.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 1.6 BPG for the Jazz this season.
While the Golden State Warriors are a team that prefers small-ball, having a big man that can soak up minutes during the regular season wouldn't be bad at all. If Kevon Looney leaves for a payday, then Hassan Whiteside would be a valuable option to have on a veteran minimum contract. He is athletic and can finish at the rim, block shots, and rebound the ball. While he is far from a top-tier center, center play has never been the Warriors' calling card, so perhaps he can be a veteran option for them if they lose some of their players.
9. Serge Ibaka - Veteran Minimum Contract
Serge Ibaka is an intriguing option for the Golden State Warrior. He is a stretch 5 who is also known as a shot blocker. He shot a respectable 35.1% from beyond the arc this season, while also averaging 7.0 PPG and 5.3 RPG in limited minutes during his time with the Milwaukee Bucks. It is unlikely that he will get a big long-term contract due to his age and his past injuries, which means the Warriors should be able to get him on the veteran minimum.
When one compares Serge Ibaka to Hassan Whiteside as an option, Serge Ibaka would be the choice for the franchise if they really want to add a big man that can stretch the floor. While he is a solid rebounder and finisher at the rim offensively, his key value would definitely be his shooting. On a veteran minimum, it wouldn't be bad for the Warriors to take a flyer on an experienced veteran that has a solid skill set and championship experience.
8. Taurean Prince - Mid-Level Contract
Taurean Prince has been a solid 3 and D wing player during his time in the NBA, and he is a player that generally makes the right play and doesn't stray too far from his role. That is a player that could potentially thrive with the Golden State Warriors, and defensive wings are extremely important in today's NBA, especially with elite perimeter players present on almost every team.
This season, Taurean Prince put up a respectable statline with the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 7.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 1.0 APG, while shooting 37.6% from beyond the arc. While he isn't a particularly amazing rebounder or interior defender, he can defend the perimeter well and space the floor. The Warriors' system emphasizes players that can play a specific role, and having a 3 and D wing such as Taurean Prince would be a benefit to them, especially if Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II end up leaving in free agency.
7. Kevon Looney - Mid-Level Contract
Kevon Looney has been the stalwart center for the Golden State Warriors this season, and there's a lot to like about him. While he isn't insanely athletic and isn't a particularly elite interior scorer, he has good fundamentals defensively and gets key offensive rebounds for the team. He is also a surprisingly switchable player on the defensive end, which one wouldn't expect from a center. As far as a role player who can do the dirty work, there are few better than Kevon Looney.
It is quite likely that Kevon Looney will test free agency and try to get a long-term deal somewhere. Many teams could use a backup center that can also be a starter in a pinch, and his championship experience would also be valuable on a variety of teams. While losing a player that they have drafted and developed would hurt for the Golden State Warriors, they could potentially find a different center that could play solid minutes for the veteran minimum. With that being said, fit is important in basketball, so if Kevon Looney is willing to stay on a mid-level contract, the Warriors should explore that possibility.
6. Kyle Anderson - Mid-Level Contract
Kyle Anderson was a key veteran presence on the Memphis Grizzlies. He is a solid ball handler as a wing, and can playmaker for others while also providing rim pressure. He isn't particularly athletic, but he is a fundamentally sound player on both ends of the floor who can thrive in a limited role. Defensively, he may not have the physical tools but is often in the right place at the right time.
Otto Porter Jr. is a free agent, and the Golden State Warriors could potentially need a bench forward who can play backup minutes behind Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green. Kyle Anderson could potentially be that player, and his passing ability as a forward would work well within the Golden State Warriors context. While his jumper isn't consistent, he wouldn't be relied on as much to space the floor. Overall, Kyle Anderson's feel for the game and his skill set suggest that he'd be a good fit with the team if signed on a mid-level exception.
5. Montrezl Harrell - Mid-Level Contract
Montrezl Harrell is a former 6MOTY award winner, and he and Jordan Poole could potentially make an elite pick and roll duo off the bench for the Golden State Warriors. His partnership with Lou Williams during their time together on the Clippers is well-known, and perhaps he can replicate that with Jordan Poole. With the Charlotte Hornets, Montrezl Harrell averaged 13.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 2.0 APG while shooting 64.5% from the field.
The main reason the Golden State Warriors would target Montrezl Harrell is because of his ability to finish near the rim and his rebounding. His defense is admittedly not the best: but if he is coming off the bench, then that is less of a concern. He would also provide a player that is a dynamic athlete capable of catching lobs and capitalizing on Stephen Curry's offensive gravity. While he isn't the perfect fit in their system due to his defensive woes, a top-tier coach like Steve Kerr could potentially make the situation work.
4. Otto Porter Jr. - Mid-Level Contract
Otto Porter Jr. was a backup forward for the Golden State Warriors, and there's no doubt that his shooting was key for their bench unit. He averaged 8.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 1.5 APG for the Warriors this season. His shooting and rebounding were key for the Warriors, especially in their small-ball lineups. While he has lost some athleticism due to his injuries, he has still shown that he can be a solid defender when given the right matchup as well.
Having extra shooting is not a bad thing for a team, especially in the Golden State Warriors system. Otto Porter Jr. was fine in limited minutes, and he provides a forward player that the team can use to backup Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green. It is quite possible that he ends up leaving the Golden State Warriors for a long-term deal in free agency, but the Warriors should try to retain him if possible.
3. Gary Payton II - Mid-Level Contract
Gary Payton II is definitely high on the priority list in the offseason for the Golden State Warriors. He will be an unrestricted free agent, and while some teams may offer him more money than the Warriors, perhaps he will end up taking a mid-level contract to stay on a championship team.
There is no doubt that Gary Payton is one of the best defensive guards in the league, and he has shown that he fits well with the Golden State Warriors. Any championship team has to have good perimeter defenders like him. On the offensive end, Gary Payton II notably improved his jumper, shooting 35.8% from beyond the arc this season. Overall, retaining Gary Payton is the move for the Warriors if he doesn't go to another team, as it is valuable to have a guard that works with the system and can provide a defensive edge.
2. Victor Oladipo - Mid-Level Contract
Victor Oladipo had a bit of a renaissance with the Miami Heat in a smaller role this season, averaging 12.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 3.5 APG while shooting 41.7% from beyond the arc. As of right now, Oladipo is a solid player who can be a backup ball handler, and he provides spacing and defense as well.
On the Golden State Warriors, Victor Oladipo would in theory be a bench ball handler next to Jordan Poole, giving them another shot-creator and playmaker in the second unit. He would certainly be a better guard option than Damion Lee, and his experience could be invaluable in helping them repeat next season. While Oladipo wouldn't be playing a huge role on the Golden State Warriors, the pursuit of a championship could potentially be worth the sacrifice.
1. Bobby Portis - Mid-Level Contract
Bobby Portis could potentially be the best option for the Golden State Warriors if he is willing to sign with the team on a mid-level contract and decline his player option with the Milwaukee Bucks. Over the course of the regular season, Bobby Portis averaged 14.6 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG. He notably shot a blistering 39.3% from beyond the arc, a fantastic mark for a big man.
On the Golden State Warriors, Bobby Portis would likely slot in as a starting center, though there is a possibility that he comes off the bench in a high minutes role if James Wiseman makes a jump. Bobby Portis is a fantastic rebounder that is stout defensively overall, and he would be a good fit offensively with Draymond Green. He is also a solid enough interior finisher as well, shooting 62.0% in the restricted area. Overall, he would provide that solid veteran big man that the Golden State Warriors, and would give them a different element to their offense while fitting well in their defense-first system.