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
Calbert Cheaney, Washington Wizards. RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images /

Worst Warriors free agent signings No. 2: Calbert Cheaney, 2003

The Golden State Warriors missed the NBA playoffs for twelve straight seasons from 1994 to 2007, and towards the end of that span, they were desperate to put together a team that could win enough games to make it in. To that end, they worked to acquire a number of players in 2003 that had proven track records in the playoffs.

One such player was Calbert Cheaney, a veteran wing who started alongside John Stockton and Karl Malone for the Utah Jazz the year before. The 10-year veteran had started his career off as a potent offensive scorer with the Washington Bullets but had moved into a much smaller role the past few years. Even so, the Warriors handed him a multi-year contract.

Things didn’t go the way that the Warriors had hoped. Cheaney continued his decline, completely abandoning the 3-point shot and shooting only 48.9 percent from 2-point range. Lineups with Cheaney were a net negative, and his “playoff experience” did little to help the team win; they went 37-45 as they continued their playoff drought.

Things compounded that following offseason when Cheaney exercised his contract option to stay with the Warriors. That year the wing’s minutes went down precipitously, as did his efficiency (42.6 percent from the field) and scoring (4.5 points per game). He stuck around for a third season, averaging just 2.2 points on yet worse efficiency before he washed out of the league entirely. The Warriors didn’t make the playoffs in any of his three seasons with the team.