Nets Free Agency: Warriors Edition

The Golden State Warriors won 73 games, and may go down as the greatest team in the history of basketball.  That means their players are not exactly looking to run out of the first door they can find, but at the same time, there is chatter that the Warriors have plans to sign Kevin Durant, or do something ambitious with their roster this offseason.  That could mean that their talented, yet non-core players (i.e.: Curry, Klay, and Draymond) are poachable.

So who from the Warriors hits the market this summer?

Harrison Barnes: Barnes is a player the Nets should be cautious with.  On one hand, he has talent, and perhaps can do more with a bigger role outside Golden State, particularly as a stretch four.  On the other hand, Barnes was a hyped prospect from a big college program who plays on a public team that has won a championship.  All of that conspires to overrate Barnes: there is no proof, now four years in, that he is anything above a fourth option, but he may be PAID like a second option. He is restricted so the Warriors can match any offer but it is not impossible that they balk.

Festus Ezeli:  Ezeli is a restricted free agent.  Despite his injury, he has notable potential and is poised for a big payday.  However, if the Nets truly believe they need to deal Brook Lopez, that only makes sense if you fill his position cheaply.  Why pay Ezeli $12-15 million per to man the position as a relative unknown?

Shaun Livingston: The Warriors have a $5.8 million team option to keep Livingston which makes perfect sense from a financial perspective . . . unless the Warriors need to open a chunk of cap space to nail Durant.  Livingston may be available this summer as a result.  If he is, while he was a huge piece for the Nets in 2014, he has declined a touch as a Warrior, and cannot shoot.  He is better served as a 5th starter on a good team, or 6th-7th man, than as a lead guard, and as a now eleven year vet, does not fit the Nets from an age perspective at this point.

James Michael McAdoo: McAdoo is an intriguing young forward who looks respectable in limited garbage time minutes in Golden State.  Again, while he likely loves being a Warrior, if they need to manage who they pay and do not pay, he is certainly near the bottom of the pecking order.  The Nets could take a look here to try and add another young athlete.  He will be a restricted free agent if the Warriors extend a qualifying offer.

Marreese Speights: Speights is a nice reserve big off the bench, who can shoot the midrange jumper.  He is plenty flawed defensively, but is clearly in a situation where his flaws do not show.  The Nets could boost their bench with Speights, but at some point, need to add better defenders to the roster, a bill Speights does not fit.

Brandon Rush:  Rush is 30 years old, a bit older than the age range the Nets should be looking at.  He does have one valuable skill: despite poor shooting in the initial years after his significant ACL injury, he is back to shooting the ball well, at near 40% on the year (close to his career average). He could be a useful shooter, but as we saw with Wayne Ellington, put a good shooter into a bad system, and he can struggle.

Anderson Varejao:  The lifelong Cav until the deadline, Varejao has little left to provide an NBA team other than a locker room presence.  I would bet that he sticks with the Warriors or goes back to Cleveland.

Ian Clark: Clark is an average guard, even in the Warriors guard friendly system and surrounded by superior talent.  The Nets should look elsewhere.

Leandro Barbosa: Barbosa is a decent bench scorer who is at the tail end of his career.  The Nets do not need players in his age or development bracket, and for Barbosa, it makes little sense to leave a winner for a rebuild.


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