After a 73-9 regular season, the Golden State Warriors suffered the choke job in the 2016 NBA Finals when they fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers after leading the series 3-1. Stephen Curry and co. now has to deal with losing to LeBron James in Game 7. With lots of free agents in their roster, NBA rumors now surround the finals losers as they try to remain as one of the title contenders next season.
What to do with free agent forward Harrison Barnes
The Warriors were expecting to lose Harrison Barnes in the 2016 free agency with earlier reports that the forward will demand a maximum contract this summer. After he struggled in the 2016 NBA Finals, Barnes’ value has diminished and it’s highly unlikely that he earns a max contract.
Barnes is a restricted free agent so the Warriors have the option to match any contract offer and retain him. After he was shown to be the weakest link in the Warriors’ offense in the championship series, the Warriors may be thinking of letting him go and sign another top free agent.
NBA rumors linked Barnes to other teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.
Warriors to replace Barnes with free agent forward in the market
If the Warriors decide to let go of Barnes, they will clear some salary space and will have the capability to offer a max deal to a top free agent this summer. This will allow them to chase someone like Kevin Durant and Nicolas Batum — two of the top forwards in 2016 free agency.
Among the Warriors, only Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney, Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry are under contract next season.
They can re-sign their own free agents in Barnes, Shaun Livingston and Festus Ezeli but that means they won’t have the money to offer to other teams’ free agents like Durant and Batum, who are both unrestricted free agents.
The Warriors are coming from another NBA Finals appearance. Since they came up short, it’s expected that they’d be part of the NBA rumors section this 2016 free agency.
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