There was a lot of conjecture on what the Golden State Warriors would do with their two lottery picks in the 2021 NBA Draft,. After all the scuttlebutt and proposed trade ideas, Bob Myers and the front office kept the picks and selected Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
The Golden State Warriors buckled down in the 2021 NBA Draft and bet on their youth. What does this mean for the upcoming free agency period?
Short answer – A lot. Not only were the Warriors unable to trade the picks for established players, but they also took two young, high upside players, especially in the case of Kuminga. Put simply, Kuminga shouldn’t be expected to play meaningful NBA minutes next season. If he surprises the organization and earns those minutes then that’s a great bonus.
The Warriors’ draft selections could turn out to be a home run hit, as long as they back it up with a successful free agency period. With the additions of Kuminga and Moody, they’ll have eleven guaranteed contracts prior to free agency.
Damion Lee, Alen Smailagic, Mychal Mulder and Gary Payton II have non-guaranteed contracts for next season. Lee has done enough to be part of the roster, but the Warriors would likely look for upgrades on the other three.
Three needs to fill in free agency
1. Back-up guard
The Warriors don’t need a star here, they just need a higher level than Brad Wanamaker whom they signed in this period a year ago. They have the mid-level exception available which should ideally be used for this position.
Patty Mills is an unrestricted free agent and might be looking to move on from the Spurs to a title contender. The 33-year-old has averaged over 11 points and around 38% from three over the past two seasons with the Spurs. Derrick Rose has reborn himself into one of the best sixth men in the NBA and could be an option, whilst Avery Bradley would mold well as a defensive presence next to the flourishing Jordan Poole.
2. Experienced Wing
The Warriors added depth to the wing positions by taking Kuminga and Moody, however, they should be looking to add an experienced type to back up Andrew Wiggins. The options are fairly scarce though, especially if the Warriors are solely reliant on veteran minimums.
A reunion with Andre Iguodala could make the most sense, whilst fellow veterans Paul Millsap and Trevor Ariza should be monitored.
3. Another big
The Warriors’ big man rotation currently consists of Kevon Looney and James Wiseman, the latter of which is recovering from injury. They desperately need to find another big body in free agency to complement these two.
Marquese Chriss could join the Warriors once again after a stretch of bad luck. Dare I say, Dwight Howard or Hassan Whiteside wouldn’t be the worst option for a third big. Robin Lopez would be solid should he accept a veteran minimum, whilst Harry Giles may be interesting as a younger prospect.
All of this is on the assumption that the Warriors are unable to re-sign Kelly Oubre Jr. or are unable to complete a sign and trade. Both options seem unlikely at the moment, so the Warriors’ flexibility and options will be limited throughout the free agency period.