Departure of guard appears imminent after Warriors fail to tender qualifying offer

The Golden State Warriors have made a decision on one of their guards that allows him to hit unrestricted free agency
Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The future of Lester Quinones at the Golden State Warriors could be over after the franchise has failed to tender a qualifying offer to the young guard, according to HoopsHype's Michael Scotto.

It means Quinones will become an unrestricted free agent, suggesting the Warriors are happy for the 23-year-old to explore his options after 37 games with the team this season.

The Golden State Warriors activity on Thursday may have been the final nail in Lester Quinones' career at the franchise

As outlined here, Quinones' chance of getting a new deal with the Warriors may have been dealt a fatal blow after the franchise traded for shooting guard Lindy Waters III from the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

Golden State reacquired their 52nd overall pick and drafted Dutch big man Quinten Post. Assuming the seven-footer receives a guaranteed contract, that too would have placed a greater squeeze on roster spots.

Quinones initially signed a two-way contract with the team after going undrafted in 2022, but lost the spot to Anthony Lamb and Ty Jerome after training camp. He returned on a 10-day then two-way deal in March 2023, playing four NBA games and impressing at G League level where he won the league's Most Improved Player award.

The 6'4" guard also played well in Summer League and returned to the Warriors on a two-way contract. He earned a place in the rotation mid-season following a number of injuries to teammates, proving himself a capable piece that elevated him to a standard deal in February.

But now Quinones' future is back in a state of uncertainty, though he should see some interest elsewhere after a promising season. The former Memphis product averaged 4.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 37 games, shooting 36.4% from three-point range on 2.4 attempts per game.

The Warriors could still look to bring Quinones back in free agency, but their priorities will first lie in exploring trade/s for Chris Paul and Andrew Wiggins, along with the imminent free agency of franchise legend Klay Thompson.