Three vet free agents Warriors still could sign that fit roster


Entering this year's round of NBA free agency, the Warriors made it clear their main intention was to bring as many players back from their championship roster as possible. After a handful of goodbyes, center Kevon Looney is the only free agent who is coming back.

Along with the return of Looney, the Warriors reportedly agreed to terms with guard Donte DiVincenzo to a two-year contract with a player option for the second season. But they saw Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damion Lee and Nemanja Bjelica go. The Warriors did not extend a qualifying offer to Chris Chiozza, and the guard won't be back with Golden State. 

Quinndary Weatherspoon and second-round pick Ryan Rollins are where things get interesting.

The Warriors on Tuesday officially signed undrafted free agent Lester Quiñones to a two-way contract. That leaves one spot open. Weatherspoon, who had one of the Warriors' two two-way deals last year along with Chiozza, has been given a qualifying offer by the Warriors. Golden State could withdraw it by or on July 13. If it's not withdrawn by then, Weatherspoon has until Oct. 1 to accept it. He also is playing on the Warriors' summer league team, a bit of a risk for a player fighting for a roster spot with a contract hanging in the air. 

He scored 14 points Tuesday in his summer debut and his only California Classic game, but turned the ball over five times and was called for six fouls.

Rollins has a stress fracture in his right foot and isn't able to play at all in summer league. Before his injury was revealed, general manager Bob Myers said there was a good chance Rollins makes the 15-man roster. The Warriors paid $2 million to the Atlanta Hawks to trade up from the No. 51 pick to the No. 44 pick to add Rollins, and they believe the Toledo guard is a first-round talent. 

In a hypothetical world where Rollins still gets a roster spot and Weatherspoon is back on a two-way deal, the Warriors only have a handful of roster spots left. They also could keep a few open, too. The Warriors like training camp competitions, and there's still the Andre Iguodala-sized elephant in the room. If he wants to keep playing, the Warriors want him back. 

Whether it was Steve Kerr or anybody else, the franchise couldn't rave enough about the impact Iguodala made on their latest title, despite being held to only 31 regular-season games and seven in the playoffs. 

The big moves are long gone, and Kevin Durant's trade request has some of the free-agent market in limbo. The Warriors are ready to hand the keys to a handful of young players. This roster also needs some more stability and another veteran presence. Here are three veterans who fit the roster -- with where it stands now and what it figures to look like. 

Bo Cruz Juancho Hernangómez, PF

Hernangómez played for three teams last season. Yes, the Boston Celtics were one of them. The Philadelphia 76ers again weren't. 

Clap if you get that joke. 

Either way, the 6-foot-9 stretch forward fits the Warriors' needs and can help fill the hole left by Porter and Bjelica. He isn't quite the sharpshooter that Porter is, but shot 34.8 percent from 3-point range last season. After joining the Utah Jazz in February, Hernangómez went 21-for-48 from deep, good for a 43.8 percent clip. 

In his one game against the Warriors last season, Hernangómez was a season-high plus-20 in 16-plus minutes for the Jazz.

The 25-year-old has shot over 35 percent on threes for his career, and the former first-round pick should find open shots if he were in a Warriors uniform. He would check multiple boxes as someone who brings size and the ability to stretch the floor. 

Blake Griffin, PF

On Feb. 15, 2021, I wrote a column titled "No, Warriors shouldn't pursue Griffin in a trade or buyout." Many of the reasons I listed still are true to this day. The skills that made Griffin a star early in his career simply are gone. 

He was last an All-Star in the 2018-19 season. Before that, he wasn't given the honor since 2014-15, the end of a five-year All-Star run. Griffin bounced back when he signed with the Brooklyn Nets in March of 2021 after being waived by the Detroit Pistons. But last season, Griffin's career hit a low. 

What he showed in 25-plus minutes over two playoff games opened eyes, though. With the Nets down two-games-to-none in the first round against the Boston Celtics, which Griffin didn't play in, he scored eight points and made two 3-pointers in just under eight minutes. Griffin always has been a strong passer, and though he went scoreless in Game 4, he dished four assists to go with three rebounds and one steal. 

In those two playoff games, Griffin was taking charges and flying for loose balls. He looked like a veteran who wanted to let it all out on the court, one who's seeking a ring.

Last season, he also still had stretches where he could put up some points. From Dec. 14 through Jan. 3, Griffin averaged 9.0 points and shot 36 percent on 3-pointers. Then from Jan. 21 through Feb. 10, Griffin averaged 10.4 points.

Griffin could be a ball-handling, play-making big man in the Warriors' system. If the playoffs were a glimmer of who he's willing to be, he could be worth a long look from Golden State.

Markieff Morris, PF

The Warriors lost some soul and some dog with the losses of Payton and Toscano-Anderson. Morris would bring plenty of bite to the Bay Area. 

He's 6-foot-9, can shoot it from the outside and at 32 years old -- he turns 33 in September -- the 11-year veteran is one of the most feared and respected players in the league, outside of those named Nikola Jokic. In the 17 games he played last season, Morris shot 33.3 percent on 3-pointers and is a career 34.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

RELATED: How Moody, Weatherspoon played to end California Classic

For his career, Morris is a 40.6 percent 3-point shooter against the Warriors. They'd rather have that on their side. 

During their dynasty, the Warriors have won with plenty of strong personalities. Morris could be next in line, and would bring more toughness to their defense. 

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast

Contact Us