Warriors might have made the best signing of the free agency period

The Warriors lost Klay but replaced him with the best signing for the summer
Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr
Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors lost an icon as Klay Thompson departed for the Mavericks. It was shocking move to end an era. The Dubs won four championships and became a dynasty behind the Splash Brothers. Many thought Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Thompson would play their entire careers in the Bay Area, but Klay decided to move on.

The Dubs quickly pivoted in hopes of remaining in contention. They acquired three solid rotation pieces for the average NBA salary or below. It was fantastic business by Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the front office. Golden State has plenty of competition in the loaded Western Conference, but they certainly improved this summer.

One move stands out as possibly the best of the free agency. The Warriors convinced De’Anthony Melton, a strong 3-and-D wing, to change teams for the mid-level exception. The NBA’s new restrictions made using the MLE difficult, but the Dubs found a way to maximize it.

Warriors signing De’Anthony Melton was the best free agency move

A back injury limited Melton to just 38 games with the Philadelphia 76ers last season and likely impacted his production. He set a new career-high in points and rebounds per game, but the 6’2 guard’s efficiency plummeted. He shot just 38.6 percent from the field and 36.0 percent on his threes after making 42.0 percent and 38.8 percent respectively over the previous three seasons combined.

Melton is 26 years old and just entering his prime. He is a plus 3-point shooter and a strong perimeter defender. ESPN’s Tim Bontemps thinks Melton could be a better fit than Klay for the Dubs this season.

128 NBA players are set to make more money than De’Anthony Melton next season, including 58 guards per Spotrac. There are several talents making significantly more that teams would trade for Melton in an instant.

It is only a one-year contract. Melton hopes to stay healthy and play his best in the Bay Area. If he does, the 6’2 guard will hit the open market next summer and land significantly more money. Donte DiVincenzo did this with the Warriors in 2023. He made $4.5 million in Golden State and cashed in a four-year deal worth $50 million the following summer.

Melton is the near-perfect fit next to Stephen Curry in the backcourt. He will defend on the ball, space the floor, and create open looks. The 26-year-old may take his game to another level in the Bay Area and fans should be excited about all three free agency additions. Buddy Hield gives the Warriors another sharpshooter, and Kyle Anderson helps his team win. They should all help Golden State next season.

The Golden State Warriors are still searching for ways to improve their roster. Fans have heard the Lauri Markkanen rumors, and the Dubs may still make a massive splash. Stay tuned for all the latest and to see what they can do next season after adding multiple pieces in free agency to replace Klay Thompson.