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
Anderson Varejao, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

Worst Warriors free agent signings No. 7: Anderson Varajao, 2016

The Golden State Warriors made a handful of small blunders in the midst of their 73-win season, ones that didn’t matter during the regular season but came to roost in the playoffs. One of those was signing Anderson Varejao on the buyout market after the Cleveland Cavaliers dumped his salary at the Trade Deadline.

Varejao was a longtime Cavalier big man who was beloved by fans and well-known for his floppy hairstyle, but by 2016 he had suffered multiple significant injuries and lost most of his athleticism. Nonetheless, injuries to many of the Warriors’ bigs led them to sign him mid-season and give him a small rotation role.

That rotation role continued into the playoffs, a time when the Warriors should have slid Varejao to the end of the bench. Instead, Kumba-ya-Kerr rotated between Varejao and Festus Ezili, not committing enough to the Death Lineup and not excising the generally lackluster Varejao from the rotation.

The big man played in six of the seven NBA Finals games, scoring a grand total of seven points and shooting 0-for-4 from the line. Conspiracy theories about Varejao being a sleeper agent for the Cavs are ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t partially to blame for the Warriors’ collapse in the Finals.

After that poor match and terrible end to the season, did the Warriors wash their hands and walk away? They sure didn’t! Instead, they doubled down and brought Varejao back the following season, when he averaged just 1.3 points per game in 14 appearances.