Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Warriors are finished as we knew them. Iguodala and Durant were so important to their identity.
The new Warriors are fresh, talented and unknown.
Presumably, Stephen Curry and Russell will start together in a small backcourt while Klay Thompson remains out with a torn ACL. Russell is already comfortable in two-point-guard lineups from Brooklyn.
When Thompson returns, then what? Will he become a super-duper sub? (“Super” isn’t enough to describe a young All-Star on a huge contract.) Will Golden State start three-guard lineups? That’d put a lot of pressure on Draymond Green to cover defensively.
The Nets will have enough cap space to sign Russell and swap his salary for Durant’s. Presumably Durant will also get signed-and-traded, so Golden State has enough outgoing salary.
This is an expensive long-term addition for the Warriors. They talked a big game about their revenue as they move into a new arena next season. They’re backing their words.
But this season, the move will limit Golden State’s spending. Getting Russell in a sign-and-trade will hard cap the Warriors at $138,928,000.
Curry, Thompson, Green, Russell at his lowest possible starting salary based on reported terms and the rest of the roster full of minimum-salary free agents would leave the Warriors just $2,379,606 below the hard cap.
Iguodala and that high-upside first-rounder sent to the Grizzlies are already substantial costs. Golden State might also have to send the Nets an asset for trading a player the Warriors couldn’t get otherwise. But it’s also possible Brooklyn is just trying to do right by Russell after signing bigger stars over the top of him. The Nets weren’t bringing him back.
And then we’ll see what else Golden State does to stay under the hard cap.