Golden State Warriors forward Carl Landry has opted out of his contract, according to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. Landry will become a free agent on July 1.
Landry had a $4 million player option for the 2013-14 season, but a big season allows him to set his heights bigger. The six-year veteran averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game. He shot a career-best 54.0 percent from the field.
Landry said that his free agent status does not rule out a return to the Warriors, per Thompson’s report. With little money to spend, however, it’s probably unrealistic to think that the Warriors will be able to retain him, unless they are able to unload one of their pricey contracts in a trade–Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson.
The move wasn’t a surprise. Landry’s love for the Warriors has been cited, as his agent said last week: “He loved playing for the Warriors. He called it ‘the most fun he’s ever had in the NBA’ so we’ll see look at everything.” But after all, money rules.
Assuming Landry bolts Golden State, the Warriors will have to find a viable replacement, which, on a tight budget, won’t be an easy task. One name that’s been tossed around is Andray Blatche, who averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 19 minutes per game with the Brooklyn Nets. Blatche boasts a similar skill set to Landry’s, but he’s had his battles bringing a positive vibe to the locker room.
The Warriors’ internal options are also scarce. Harrison Barnes could spell David Lee if Mark Jackson wants to play small-ball, but that doesn’t seem like a winning formula over the long run. Draymond Green is also an option, but again, his height is better suited at the small forward position.