The Golden State Warriors will have until February 22 to sign a 14th player to their roster, with the franchise reportedly set to wait-and-see as the buyout market takes shape over the coming fortnight.
On a quiet trade deadline day for the franchise, the Warriors sole move came late in the piece when they moved veteran point-guard Cory Joseph, along with cash and a 2025 second-round pick, to the Indiana Pacers for a 2024 second-round pick.
Will the Golden State Warriors find an impactful piece from the buyout market, or will they simply promote Lester Quinones to their 14th roster spot?
While it may be viewed as an insignificant move to many, there's clear reasons behind the Joseph trade that became apparent in the days leading up to the deadline. The move saves ownership millions in luxury tax payments, and gives General Manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. some flexibility over the next 10-12 days.
A number of players have become free agents after being waived or bought out by new teams following a trade, including Joseph for that matter. More players could become available as teams continue to finalize their roster for the latter part of the season.
Golden State will be ineligible to sign any player who had made more than the mid-level exception on their previous contract (approximately $12.2 million), eliminating the possibility of former Brooklyn Nets' guard Spencer Dinwiddie or long-time sharpshooter Joe Harris.
The Warriors now have a choice -- find a free agent they believe can have an impact over the remainder of the season, or promote young guard Lester Quinones who would have his two-way contract converted to a standard deal.
The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported on Friday that Quinones was an "obvious candidate for promotion", with the 23-year-old having impressed in averaging over 23 minutes over the team's last five games.
Converting Quinones' contract remains the likely outcome. Can the Warriors find someone who's going to do anything more than add to Steve Kerr's numerous rotation questions? The roster is deep enough as is, so it seems wasteful unless there's a player who can become a top seven piece in the rotation.
Golden State left the 14th roster spot open to start the season, before signing young forward Gui Santos to a non-guaranteed contract. The Brazilian impressed with a career-high 13 points and eight rebounds in the Warriors' 131-109 blowout victory against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.