I don’t know what’s more surprising – that the Warriors extended Ognjen Kuzmic a $1,147,276 qualifying offer or that he didn’t immediately accept it.
Now, it’s too late for Kuzmic.
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:
This is the last day teams can unilaterally rescind qualifying offers.
Kuzmic now becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The Warriors still hold his Early Bird Rights, which allow them to exceed the cap to sign him. Given their luxury-tax issues, I wouldn’t expect them to offer more than a minimum salary ($947,276). Then again, I didn’t expect them to extend a qualifying offer.
Kuzmic can pursue a deal with other NBA teams, who might be more willing to offer now that Golden State doesn’t have a right to match. Still, it’s tough to see much of a market for Kuzmic.
The No. 52 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, has played just 164 minutes in two NBA seasons. He’s 7-foot-1 and fairly athletic, but there just isn’t much to go on.
If the Warriors don’t re-sign him, they could look for another big man to play behind Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights. They have the minimum-salary exception and a portion of the taxpayer mid-level exception about equal to a minimum salary.
Tony Allen is the soul of Memphis’ grit and grind style. He’s one of the game’s best on-ball defenders, and he finds a way to get enough offense to make it work. It’s not always pretty, but it’s effective.
Allen has spent the past five seasons with the Grizzlies — last season he scored 8.6 points a game and improved to a respectable 34.5 percent from three — and he told the Commercial Appeal he wants to finish his career in Tennesee.
“I can’t envision myself no place else,” he said. “I got about five more years.”
Allen is 33 right now, so we’ll see about five years. Allen has two seasons left on his deal at a very reasonable $10.7 million total. He will be a free agent in 2017, and a lot of teams likely will have interest in him — and with the spiked salary cap he could see a raise — but it sounds like Memphis will be able to keep him.
Allen was understandably frustrated with how the Grizzlies’ season ended. They fell to the Warriors in the second round, a series that turned when Golden State switched Andrew Bogut onto the injured Allen defensively (which allowed Bogut to patrol the paint and dare Allen to beat them with his inconsistent jumper).
“When they pulled that strategy, man, I was hurt,” he said. “If they try that s—- again …
“Had I been healthy, and they had somebody (like Bogut) on me, I probably would have showed up in a different way in a game as far as rebounding, steals,” Allen said. “Them putting Bogut on me simply affected our team because of injury.”
He may well get a chance to prove his point. Memphis is going to need a healthy Tony Allen, plus Matt Barnes and the rest of the wings to knock down some outside shots, but they will be in the mix in a once again very crowded Western Conference.
David West said he wants to play for a championship contender.
He already put his money where his mouth is by opting out with the Pacers and forgoing a guaranteed $12.6 million. He’s unlikely to recoup that money as a free agent.
But just how much is he willing to sacrifice?
Sam Amick of USA Today:
According to a person with knowledge of his situation, the free agent forward … has serious interest in playing for the San Antonio Spurs or the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors have the taxpayer mid-level exception ($3,376,000). Perhaps, they’d sign West and trade the similarly styled Marreese Speights ($3,815,000) to save a little money – savings that would be multiplied due to the luxury tax. Or they could keep both and have riches of big-men depth with Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli. That becomes more palatable if West will take a minimum contract.
The Spurs could look to West if they strike out on LaMarcus Aldridge. If they get Aldridge, they’d still have the room exception ($2,814,000), though that probably goes to Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili. Most likely, West would have to take a minimum contract.
If he wants to win a title, though, Golden State and San Antonio are excellent places to look.