7 Free agents the Golden State Warriors should avoid at all costs

The Warriors should not sign these veterans.
Golden State Warriors, Gordon Hayward
Golden State Warriors, Gordon Hayward / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Cameron Payne

Payne is a veteran point guard with playoff experience. He helped the Suns reach the NBA Finals in 2021, but his minutes and production have dipped in each of the last three postseasons. The 29-year-old is a steady backup with some significant concerns moving forward.

He turns 30 in August and has always been a subpar defender. Teams hunt Payne in the playoffs, and the 6’3 guard cannot generate enough offense to combat it. It is why he has bounced around the league. Payne played for three teams in the last two seasons, including being traded by the Bucks at the 2024 deadline for Patrick Beverley. Milwaukee wanted defense over offense.

He is an unrestricted free agent this summer and will likely be searching for a veteran minimum contract. Some team will sign him, but do not expect it to be Golden State.

The Warriors are loaded at point guard and finished 15th in defensive rating in 2024. They cannot afford to sacrifice their defense anymore. Golden State would likely try to trade Payne before the deadline if he wound up on their roster. The fit is just not there, and his minutes would be severely limited playing behind Stephen Curry and Brandin Podziemski.