After coming from a tough NBA Finals loss in six games against the Toronto Raptors, the Golden State Warriors seem to have many more problems than the loss itself. Two of their superstars, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson got seriously injured. Durant suffered a ruptured Achilles while Klay Thompson had a torn ACL. Both injuries will keep them sidelined for a long time. Durant will likely miss the whole 2019-2020 season while Thompson might be gone at least until February of 2020. The Golden State Warriors should target the right pieces that will keep them as a contender.
Before thinking about the timeline for their injuries, the Warriors should secure the two superstars first and focus on re-signing them if they still want them despite the injuries they suffered. And after re-signing them, the Warriors should focus on adding depth this coming free agency to take some load off of Stephen Curry while Durant and Thompson are out. Now, let’s take a look at the free agents that the Golden State Warriors should target this offseason.
The Top Free Agents the Warriors Should Target in Free Agency
Sign Kenneth Faried
Everybody thought that the undersized power forward Kenneth Faried was done after his time as a member of the Denver Nuggets. But in his time with the Houston Rockets, he proved that he still has a lot left in the tank. He showed the league that he’s still got it as he unleashed “The Manimal” in Houston. Faried has been a good back-up big man for the Rockets playing off the bench averaging 10.4 points and 6.8 rebounds with a player efficiency rating of 21.62. He also took Clint Capela‘s place while Capela was out with an injury.
Faried proved the doubters wrong and let them eat the words “washed up” and “done” which had been thrown around his name before he joined the Rockets. Faried’s energy and hustle have been huge for Houston. That was one of the keys to Houston’s success this past season. Faried is just 29-years-old and he can still contribute to a contender. The Warriors would surely love to have what he brought to Houston last season.
Bring Trevor Ariza’s experience to the Warriors
With Kevin Durant out, Golden State needs some depth at the small forward position. Andre Iguodala would likely to start as their three. But, their bench would leave them with nobody else at that position. So, one player that could fill that void is Trevor Ariza. He is a veteran player that the Warriors need right now. He’s a three-and-D specialist that can provide what Thompson can do. He’s not quite as good as Klay but Curry can handle much of the offence. Ariza still averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists last season. Those numbers are enough for the Warriors as Curry will be the main option on the offensive end of the floor.
Ariza knows what it takes to be an NBA champ. He’s already been there and he would take less money if it means championships. So, the Warriors can offer him a one-year deal and see if it works out for both sides.
Re-Sign DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Golden State Warriors last summer to play in his first playoff game and even his first championship. His talent was considered to be at the max-level before he injured his Achilles. He was one of the best big men in the league and arguably the best center. After the injury, he was forced to sign a one-year deal with the Warriors to completely recover from his injury. Also, the Warriors intended to use his talent to help them in their playoffs and championship run. All of that did not really work out, as Cousins suffered another injury, tearing his left quad in the postseason. He was sidelined again and was unable to come back until the Finals.
When he came back, he was still not the dominant center he usually was before the Achilles injury. He couldn’t help the Warriors and his presence did not have much impact in the Finals. As a result, his market value could be much lower than he expected. Golden State should give him a chance and sign him again. They can offer him another one-year deal and let him prove himself for one whole season if he stays healthy. Also, only a handful of teams wants to try and risk signing him, so he should stay with the Warriors and prove that he’s still one of the best big men in the NBA today.