This non-direct method of freeing up cap space could be the Golden State Warriors’ key to signing another star player.
It’s not going to be easy for the Golden State Warriors to stack the deck in their favor again. The days of having Kevin Durant are gone and finding another star talent to replace him seems impossible given their current financial circumstances.
As of now – the Dubs best bet of acquiring more talent is their $17 million dollar trade exception. This – combined with their upcoming lottery pick – can make for some intriguing possibilities. However, the truth remains that the $17 million dollar threshold is limiting in its potential return.
Additionally, the Warriors also have the mid-level exception – worth around $6 million. The franchise can sign a quality veteran for that number but will not be able to find a star for such a low price.
But, there is one more way the Dubs can target a big star. This would be through a ‘bridge option’ that Anthony Slater of The Athletic highlighted recently. In short – the Warriors would take on a poor contract such as James Johnson that will expire soon in order to free up more space in the future.
"“If the Warriors absorb Johnson’s $16 million expiring deal into the trade exception before it expires in late October, circumstances change. Wiggle room is created. They could later flip his contract for someone making up to $20 million or attach another deal to expand the options even further.”"
Johnson is a non-important member of the Minnesota Timberwolves ongoing rebuild – which Slater assumed will be in overdrive after the move to acquire D’Angelo Russell at the deadline. This deal benefits both the Wolves and Dubs in their pursuit of building an improved roster.
Some of the names that the Warriors could target with the additional cap space include Aaron Gordon, Buddy Hield, Myles Turner, Julius Randle, Zach Lavine and Tim Hardaway Jr. This also gives them the freedom to trade for multiple contracts under that $20 million – something they can’t do with their trade exception.
While there are numerous factors that would make this difficult for the Warriors – it’s certainly interesting looking at how the franchise can add another star through a little bit of creativity.