The Golden State Warriors likely didn’t have quite as much time to celebrate their 2016-17 NBA championship as they probably would have liked. The reason for that is because the Warriors front office had to get to work on signing a few of their key players while figuring out what they were going to do in order to make sure they kept their core group together as well.
Interestingly, the Warriors depth chart that featured players actually under contract after last season featured just five names. With that said, they did manage to lock in a few of their key players early on in the free agency period, but others remain unsigned at this point.
Let’s take a look at the current Warriors roster, as well a which players remain as free agents, per Spotrac.
PF: Draymond Green, David West, Jordan Bell, Damian Jones
SF: Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney
SG: Klay Thompson, Patrick McCaw
PG: Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston
Free Agents: Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, Ian Clark, Matt Barnes, James McAdoo
Obviously, there are a few keys to point out here. The most obvious is Durant, but as ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported, there’s not much reason for Warriors fans to be concerned with his status. Haynes explained that Durant was going to decline his player option for the 2017-18 season, but then re-sign with the team during free agency. Interestingly, his reason behind doing it, was because he wanted to improve the team’s chances of re-signing Iguodala.
That plan worked, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Iguodala signed a three-year, $48 million deal with the team.
Assuming all goes to plan, the reigning champions should get Durant back in the starting lineup and from there will need to figure out what they’re going to do at the center position. They played their fair share of small ball last season, but re-signing either Pachulia or McGee would make a lot of sense. But, things aren’t exactly that simple, as the Warriors also put pen to paper on a three-year, $24 million contract for Livingston, as Haynes also reported.
As things stand currently, the Warriors don’t have an actual starting center on their roster, and also have yet to figure out a new deal with Durant. But, they got one key deal done, and that was Stephen Curry’s supermax deal, which was expected to happen. As Wojnarowski pointed out, Curry’s new five-year, $201 million deal is now the richest contract in NBA history.
While the Warriors still have some questions ahead of the 2017-18 NBA season, it’s hard to imagine that the champions don’t retain the bulk of their roster or as much as they can afford. What will be left after signing Durant is the real question, so that’ll be worth monitoring over the coming weeks.