While the return of the NBA has meant the return of fantasy trade scenarios, the Warriors are one team that appears locked in on free agency — at least for now.
The Warriors are looking to sign a big man during the abbreviated free agency period, sources tell Warriors Insider Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com. The names floated out there by Steinmetz are big ones, at least in the grand scheme of the 2011 free agency class: Nene, Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan and Marc Gasol.
The Warriors’ payroll currently sits at approximately $51 million, about $7 million under the $58 million salary cap. If the team uses its amnesty provision on Charlie Bell, who makes $4.1 million in 2011-12, then the Warriors could be looking at roughly $11 million in cap room.
Question is — is that enough to lure Nene or Chandler? Answer: It might be close.
There are a lot of other questions, including whether the Warriors could really afford Nene or Chandler, whether Nene would be a good fit alongside similiarly skilled David Lee, and whether the Grizzlies would match any offer for Gasol, a restricted free agent (they would).
The most realistic option, Steinmetz notes, might be Jordan. The 23-year-old averaged 7.1 points and 7.2 rebounds as a third-year player for the Clippers last season. Jordan, like Gasol, is a restricted free agent. He would almost certainly be a cheaper option than Nene, Chandler and Gasol, though he is also the least proven of the four. The Clippers want to keep him, but how much are they really willing to spend? This is Donald Sterling’s team, after all. Jordan would also give the Warriors a mini-monopoly on left-handed big men with Lee and Andris Biedrins.