The Warriors got D'Angelo Russell.
Now, they’re paying the price.
Russell is a young All-Star locked in the next four years, but acquiring him in a sign-and-trade hard-capped Golden State this season. Pressed against that line, the Warriors face tough decisions, including:
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Warriors had enough roster spots for both players. They just couldn’t afford both under the hard cap.
This puts a significant dent in Golden State’s depth at small forward. Glenn Robinson III will likely start after overtaking McKinnie, who entered the preseason as favorite to land that job. The backup options are grim. Alec Burks? He’s undersized, frequently injured and currently banged up. Jordan Poole? He’s even smaller and just a rookie.
But the Warriors also needed another big with Kevon Looney and Willie-Cauley Stein hurt. That’s where Chriss steps in.
The No. 8 pick just three years ago, Chriss struggled with the Suns, Rockets and Cavaliers. But he has looked better in Golden State and is just 22. He has the raw tools to develop into a helpful player.
With a minimum salary, McKinnie could get claimed on waivers by anyone. Many teams could use him – ironically, perhaps none more than the Warriors.
They might view themselves as a championship contender. They have Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. If Klay Thompson gets healthy by the playoffs, that’s an excellent trio. Russell could add value on the court or via trade.
But the hard cap and resulting depth problems are real a issue.