The Golden State Warriors’ search for a backup center has reached an uninspiring point, with the list of available big men on the free agent market become scarcer by the day.
The Philadelphia 76ers have bolstered their center department behind MVP Joel Embiid over the last 48 hours, re-signing Montrezl Harrell and adding Mo Bamba from the Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the Warrior front office are yet to add any meaningful size to a roster that possesses no player above 6’9″.
Desperately needing a backup center and with their options dwindling, finding a valuable big man is appearing like a bleak prospect for the Golden State Warriors.
It was revealed on Thursday that Golden State had previously held interest in Mason Plumlee, according to Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto. The 33-year-old ultimately re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on a one-year, $5 million deal earlier in the week.
Croatian big man Dario Saric continues to be available, with nothing having culminated from the Warriors link to the 29-year-old prior to free agency. The latest intel from Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fisher is that Saric may be exploring a move to the Miami Heat should they acquire superstar point-guard Damian Lillard via trade.
Of the centers left available, Christian Wood is undoubtedly the most talented. The 27-year-old averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds with the Dallas Mavericks in 2022-23, though he’s gained a strong reputation as a player who’s raw box score numbers greatly overrate his actual impact on winning.
It’s a fairly barren list thereafter. Bismack Biyombo has experience playing alongside new Warrior guard Chris Paul, but he and fellow veterans like Blake Griffin, Taj Gibson, Tristan Thompson and Gorgui Dieng are unlikely to make any great impact.
25-year-old Turkish big man Omer Yurtseven may be an intriguing piece after the Miami Heat failed to extend him a qualifying offer. However, with just 65 NBA games next to his name, it’s a risk Golden State may not be willing to take.
The front office might be best to target a power-forward capable of playing as more of a small-ball five in the Warrior system. If they can’t lure Saric to the Bay, then the most viable option may be to bring back JaMychal Green as unexciting as that may be for many fans.
At this point Golden State are unlikely to find someone in free agency capable of having any major playoff impact. Really it’s about finding a body who can take some of the regular season punishment that has otherwise been laid upon Kevon Looney and Draymond Green in recent seasons.