12 Worst free agent signings in Golden State Warriors history

Steve Kerr and D'Angelo Russell, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Steve Kerr and D'Angelo Russell, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /
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Golden State Warriors
DJ Mbenga, Los Angeles Lakers. Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images /

Worst Warriors free agent signings No. 4: D.J. Mbenga, 2007

The very worst moves a team can make in free agency are signing long-term deals with players who then drop off and aren’t worth that contract. Not only are they overpaid, but more importantly they are under contract for multiple seasons, hamstringing a team from moving on.

Thankfully, the Golden State Warriors have not made that mistake very often. Their missteps have tended to be on single-year contracts, signing players who end up not helping them to any great extent. Such players have shown up a lot on this list. Perhaps the very worst (best?) example of this mistake was center D.J. Mbenga.

In terms of opportunity cost to the Warriors, it cost them almost nothing to sign Mbenga. They picked him up off the scrap heap for an end-of-rotation role. His signing did not harm the Warriors long-term in any way. He is on this list simply because he may have been purely the “worst” free agent signed by the Warriors, at least in recent memory.

Mbenga was available because the Dallas Mavericks waived him, and the Warriors scooped him up for big depth. He played just 130 minutes across 16 games before the Warriors gave up and cut him. In those minutes he shot 9-for-23 from the field (39.1 percent) for 19 total points. That’s a center who only shot around the rim missing over 60 percent of his shots.

Mbenga shot just two free throws, had only four assists, and had 32 fouls to his 19 points. The Warriors that season had a 111.8 offensive rating, good for fourth in the league. When Mbenga played, they had an offensive rating of just 98. He was inexpensive and easily waived, but purely on account of what he brought the Warriors, he was possibly the worst free agent they ever signed.