Warriors steal 10-year veteran from West rival in big upgrade to front court depth

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors
Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors have reportedly added their second name in free agency, this time via a sign-and-trade with their Western Conference rival Minnesota Timberwolves.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors have landed versatile veteran forward Kyle Anderson on a three-year, $27 million contract. Golden State will give the Timberwolves a future second-round pick swap and cash in the trade, absorbing Anderson's new contract into the trade exception created by the departure of Klay Thompson on Monday. The third year of Anderson's deal is non-guaranteed, per The Athletic's Anthony Slater.

Kyle Anderson will provide more depth to the Golden State Warriors front court as a suitable back up to veteran forward Draymond Green

Anderson will join the Warriors after two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 30-year-old averaged 6.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists last season in 22.6 minutes per game, shooting 46% from the floor but just 22.9% from three-point range.

It's easy to see why Golden State had interest in adding Anderson as a versatile player who should fit well into Steve Kerr's free-flowing ball and player movement offense. The 6'9" forward averaged over four assists in each of his two years with Minnesota, helping the franchise to back-to-back playoff appearances including reaching the Western Conference Finals this year.

Anderson's best season came in 2020-21 where he averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals with the Memphis Grizzlies, having started 69 games and even earning Most Improved Player votes. He played his four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs after being taken with the last pick of the first-round in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The 10-year veteran projects as a high level back up for Draymond Green, with the pair's versatility on both ends of the floor perhaps providing Kerr the opportunity to go small with both in closing lineups at the four and the five.

Anderson's lack of shooting could cause the only major concern, particularly amid a front court without major perimeter threats. "Slo Mo" has shot 33.8% from beyond the arc in his career, but 2023-24 saw a career-low in three-point shooting percentage, while his 0.6 attempts per game were the lowest since his second season.

Perhaps Anderson's acquisition is a sign of further trade activity. The Warriors are reportedly the "aggressors' in trying to land Utah Jazz forward and 2023 All-Star Lauri Markkanen, according to Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes.