When the Golden State Warriors said that they will be aggressive in signing players in the free agency market, they totally meant it as they have laid out a plan if their pursuit of Kevin Durant fails they have a fall back and that is to pursuit players like Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, David West and Timofey Mozgov.
The Warriors are said to be front-runners in the sweepstake chance of signing Durant, who is considered as the highly sought after free agent this summer. But the Warriors are not taking any chances as they also put in place a contingency plan if the talks with Durant fail. Aside from the backup plan, the Warriors are also keen in re-signing their free agents namely Harrison Barns and Festus Ezeli.
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They are also looking at reconstructing the contracts of Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala so that they would be just within the bounds of the salary cap that will be imposed by the league for next season.
Gasol has already informed the Chicago Bulls that he is declining the player’s option of $7.77 million and will have a cap hit of $9.68 million. The 15-year veteran has also made clear that re-signing with the Bulls will not be his top priority either. Thus, it would be a perfect opportunity for the Warriors to make a run for Gasol, who could also bring stability in the shaded area and give Ezeli and Bogut a run for their money as well.
Another Bull that is on the Warriors’ list is Joakim Noah, who has finished his contract and is an unrestricted free agent. Though Noah’s name has been seriously linked with the New York Knicks, the Warriors could also give Phil Jackson a run for their money as well. Noah has a cap hit of $13.4 million and with his leadership, he could also help the Warriors’ perimeter defense. Noah could also be another option in the Warriors’ pick-and-roll plays.
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In the case of David West, he is a player in search of a team that could give him a championship ring before he considers retiring. West move to the San Antonio Spurs with the hope that he would get a shot at a championship run, but his plans it did not materialize. He now looks for a team that could help make his dream a reality.
The Warriors could give him that and in exchange, West could teach the Warriors big men how to box out and get convert those second chances into points needed. West has declined his $1.55 million options with the Spurs to be an unrestricted free agent as well and could also blend in with Steve Kerr’s rotation.
Timofey Mozgov, however, basically has no team as he finished his three-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Having won a championship this season would be an added plus for Mozgov, who plans to test the waters so to speak of the free agency. Mozgov has a cap hit of $4.950 million. The 29-year old Russian center could also help the Warriors build a solid rim protector, which they lack this season.
The Warriors are using their loss in the championship series with the Cavaliers as their motivation to come back strong with a solid lineup, making their rebuilding process a legit cause to embark with.
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