3 Free Agency mistakes the Golden State Warriors must avoid making

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six / Harry How/GettyImages
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3. Fail to find adequate replacement for Chris Paul

While cutting Looney would be a blatant mistake the Warriors need to avoid, doing the same with Chris Paul's non-guaranteed $30 million deal wouldn't be considered as such. In fact, retaining the 39-year-old on that number would be nothing short of irresponsible.

It appears Golden State will waive Paul in the coming weeks, unless they get a sense that Thompson is leaving in which case they may guarantee the 12-time All-Star's contract and pursue a trade to find an upgrade.

Either way, it's highly unlikely that Paul will be back in the Bay for a second season. Perhaps the franchise can convince him to return on a near-minimum deal in free agency, but he'll probably head elsewhere with the Los Angeles Lakers expected to be at the front of the queue.

Losing Paul seems inevitable, meaning the Warriors simply must have a plan in place to acquire a reasonable replacement. The minutes with Stephen Curry on the bench have often been a nightmare in recent years, and at the very least Paul made them bearable this season.

So where do the Warriors go? For as impressive as he was in his rookie season, Golden State shouldn't be depending on year two Brandin Podziemski to become a consistent backup point guard who can run an offense without Curry. When Jordan Poole failed to succeed in that role last season, Steve Kerr was forced to split up the Curry-Draymond Green combination to allow the latter to provide a playmaking presence more in the second unit.

Golden State signed Cory Joseph as a third-string option last offseason -- the kind of player they can't settle for this time around. They'll have some options in place heading into free agency, but that counts for nothing if they can't actually land a suitable Paul replacement.