The Golden State Warriors have the mid-level exception at their disposal, but they don’t have much cap space to sign any big names this offseason.
If the Golden State Warriors are going to improve their roster, it likely won’t be thanks to free agency signings. The team doesn’t have cap space as all four of Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Stephen Curry are on max-value contracts.
Kevon Looney and the team’s three 2019 draft picks also have guaranteed contracts. The only real deals they could shed are those of Marquese Chriss, Mychal Mulder, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Ky Bowman, and Damion Lee.
Even then the Warriors would free up under $7 million and have several holes on the roster to fill. Golden State will theoretically be forced to use that mid-level exception, currently valued at just over $5.7 million.
The goal is that exceptional will fill a reasonably big hole on the roster. Marc Gasol is the perfect MLE target.
That will be their only way to add a player via signing them. However, the Warriors also have a $17.2 million trade exception. They could use it to bring in a player like Kelly Oubre Jr. or Ricky Rubio.
However, they may not use it unless they want to trade their No. 2 overall pick. The Warriors won’t get a decent asset just by taking on their salary, so much of their improvements this season could come at a cost.
This team doesn’t need much to be back at the top of the West. They have the best backcourt duo in the NBA. Draymond Green will hopefully return to prominence, especially since his 2k21 rating has officially dipped under 80.
If he plays 2k, that should light a spark within him. Having the duo back will help, and Andrew Wiggins should fill in a Harrison Barnes-type role which will give Golden State the dynamic they had half a decade ago.
At the end of the day, the Warriors can shed $7 million, but that would create more holes than it would fill.
Even if they do cut one, the Warriors would only have the space to bring in Glenn Robinson III-type player. They won’t be getting a star like Kevin Durant or D’Angelo Russell this offseason unless they use all the high-value future assets they’ve stacked.