The Golden State Warriors have built a dominant basketball team, but now the trick is to get everyone to stay together.
Only a handful of players remain under contract through next season, even fewer of those being impact players from the championship squad. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry could potentially leave, as well as most of the bench rotation that made the team so dangerous.
The front office knows it doesn’t need to add many elite players, just keep the ones it has and this will once again be the team to beat. Here is the latest on the quest to retain the current players on the roster.
Andre Iguodala in High Demand
While Andre Iguodala might not have put up big numbers during his time with the Warriors, everyone has realized how valuable he is to the team’s success.
This is why at least seven teams are interested in signing the veteran this offseason, per Chris Haynes of ESPN.
The San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves are some of the more intriguing options, with all of whom trying to shift the balance in the Western Conference. Adding a two-way player who can fill up the stat sheet with tons of playoff experience could go a long way toward contending for a championship.
Meanwhile, it would take a key piece away from the Warriors, representing a significant swing going into next season.
A few younger squads are also apparently interested in adding the 33-year-old, like the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets. These teams won’t be contenders next season, but Iguodala should return to a starting role and put up the statistics he is more accustomed to producing.
In any case, this many interested teams is likely to start a bidding war, which could make him a lot of money this offseason.
The Warriors could potentially use their Bird rights to keep him, but it won’t be easy.
Klay Thompson Looking Ahead?
One of the few players still under team control through the 2017-18 season is Klay Thompson, who is actually signed through 2019. However, there is already talk about what he will do when he becomes a free agent.
Kelenna Azubuike of CSN Bay Area discussed his potential future with the Los Angeles Lakers on 95.7 The Game:
Paul George already has one foot out the door, with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reporting his plans to leave the Indiana Pacers after next season. The Lakers are the presumed destination for the California native, although he could also be dealt somewhere else before the end of the summer.
Meanwhile, Thompson is also from Los Angeles and could be interested in returning home for what could be a new super team by then. If Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle develop as expected and the team adds George and Thompson, the organization could return to contention.
After making three-straight All-Star games and proving to be both an elite on-ball defender and outside shooter, plenty of teams will come calling when Thompson is a free agent. However, there is time to make a decision with two more seasons before he is on the open market.
Cost to Keep Shaun Livingston
Iguodala is the team’s most noteworthy player off the bench, but Shaun Livingston has played an important role as well over the past three seasons.
The guard has averaged 5.8 points and 2.7 assists per game in three years with Golden State, appearing in over 75 contests per season. He helps the offense run when Curry and Thompson are on the bench and is an unsung hero in the team’s two titles over the last three years.
Shams Charania of The Vertical reported earlier this month the Warriors want to retain Livingston out of the other free agents on the roster.
However, Haynes reported Livingston could earn a deal worth between $10 million and $12 million per year on the open market, which could put Golden State in a tough position.
“Obviously, we’d all like to stay,” the 31-year-old said after the NBA Finals, per Drew Shiller of CSN Bay Area. “It is a business. But we’re gonna enjoy this right here. We’re gonna enjoy this championship.”
It appears as though Livingston would like to stay, but a bigger contract seems likely to draw him elsewhere.
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