With the first month of NBA free agency officially in the books, the options remaining on the market have thinned to a point of incredibly slow movement. The Golden State Warriors only move since signing Dario Saric over three weeks ago has been retaining young guard Lester Quinones on a two-way contract.
With two main roster spots still available, there’s been little movement in regard to the Warriors and another free agent signing. Like many around the league, General Manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. is waiting patiently to see who could shake out as options waived or bought out by their current team. Still, there’s some worthy options left on the board if that doesn’t come to fruition.
Who should the Golden State Warriors target if they’re to sign a genuine backup for Kevon Looney with their 14th roster spot?
Golden State’s most glaring hole right now is clearly at the center position, with the front office having yet to find a genuine backup for starting center Kevon Looney. Not that it appears a huge priority for Dunleavy after these comments a couple of weeks ago –
"“We gotta be careful with the way we play, with the way the league works, just bringing in somebody who is tall. You got to be skilled, you got to have feel, you got to know how to play…We’ll always prioritize that.”"
Signing Saric has at least added an extra option at that position, with the 6’10” Croatian almost certain to play the majority of his minutes as a small-ball stretch five in Steve Kerr’s system. With he, Looney and Draymond Green, the Warriors need insurance incase of injury more than they need a genuine rotation player.
The franchise has gotten incredibly fortunate with Looney’s durability in recent times. The 27-year-old has played in every Warrior game over the past two seasons, proving himself an ironman after injury issues earlier in his career.
Not only is it unfair to expect Looney to continue his incredible streak, but he’s at a point in his career where, combined with Golden State’s championship ambitions, he shouldn’t be asked to play every game even if healthy. The Warriors acquired Trayce Jackson-Davis with the 57th overall pick in this year’s draft, though relying on a rookie for meaningful minutes is fraught with danger despite the 23-year-old’s advanced age and collegiate experience.
Let’s have a look at the top three options available for the franchise should they target another genuine center to support Looney –