Basketball

Warriors Quietly Start Off Free Agency Well

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The Warriors had a great start to free agency as they began the day with Stephen Curry agreeing to sign a four year 215 million dollar extension. With Curry’s current contract set to expire following the 2021-22 season, this deal gives the Warriors and its fans some breathing room as they won’t have to deal with questions about a Stephen Curry looming free agency for an entire season, and also ensures Warriors fans get one last run with the core that they all fell in love with.

The free agency moratorium period began at 3PM PT on August 2nd, but the Warriors went under the radar for most of the day as far as free agents go until reaching an agreement with Otto Porter Jr to sign for the minimum, reported first by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Porter Jr is coming off a bit of a down season, averaging just 9.7 points and 4.7 rebounds on 43.2% from the field and 37.5% from 3, in just 28 games last season.

Health is the biggest question mark for Porter Jr, playing just 98 games the last three seasons combined, but if he can stay healthy this could be a pickup that really moves the needle for the Warriors. His last fully healthy season was in 2017-18 where he played 77 games and averaged 14.7 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting a 50.3% from the field and 44.1% from the 3; if he can replicate or come close to that type of production this would be one of the best value deals across the league.

Porter Jr was the only free agent that agreed to a contract with the Warriors on the first day of the moratorium period but there was a little bit of some noise regarding other free agents, as well as the departure of Kent Bazemore who agreed to a one year deal with Lakers. Bazemore was certainly a contributor to the Warriors success last season but with Klay Thompson coming back and with the Warriors drafting two wings in the lottery, Bazemore’s role was likely going to diminish if he re-signed with the Warriors. Porter Jr fits in much better as he can comfortably play either forward spot and shoots the ball better and on higher volume than Bazemore.

On the second day of the moratorium the Warriors reached an agreement with Nemanja Bjelica on a one year deal. Bjelica isn’t a name that should really get fans excited but he can help the Warriors during the regular season in the right role. Bjelicia struggled a little bit with his shot last season but I expect him to bounce back as a shooter with the Warriors and he can do more than just shoot offensively; he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and make plays, and although his assist numbers have never number been high, he is a solid passer. I wouldn’t expect him to get much run in a playoff series as his defensive deficiencies would likely be too much to overcome, but over the course of an 82 game season he can help stretch the floor and provide an offensive spark.

Golden State doesn’t seem to be done just yet as they gear up and try and retool for another run at a title; they were said to be in pursuit of Patty Mills, according to Marc Stein of ESPN, before he ended up signing a two year deal with the Brooklyn Nets, and are supposedly meeting with Andre Iguodala at some point as well. The Warriors have high hopes for the upcoming season and my gut feeling is they add at least one more name to the roster in the coming weeks.


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