Sports Out West

5 mistakes the Warriors made in free agency

Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have been one of the most active teams this offseason. They have been attached to some of the biggest free agents this season and involved in many somewhat-radical trade rumors. After much success during the 2012-13 season, the Warriors have explored any and all avenues associated with helping them improve for next season.

That being said, the franchise has made some mistakes along the way. While the Warriors certainly have a passing grade for the moves they made this offseason, there were some questionable decisions that may have current or long-term ramifications.

1. Going after Dwight Howard

While the Warriors were ultimately better off by losing the sweepstakes, the team wasted a lot of time and effort towards this fruitless endeavor. While Howard is definitely a franchise player and one of the top centers in the league, his wishy-washy persona and negative influence with the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers makes him a liability and unknown quantity.

If they did acquire him, the Warriors would have had to give up a lot to acquire him via a sign-and-trade deal and he would have caused a big blow financially with the max contract he commands.

2. Considering a trade involving Andrew Bogut

Bogut is still a member of the Warriors, but he was attached in more trade talks than any other current member on the team. If Golden State did work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers, Bogut would have to go to Los Angeles in the trade. As the Warriors considered signing him outright by clearing out cap space, there was a trade rumor to send him to the Utah Jazz for essentially nothing.

While he is the consummate professional, hearing his current team throw his name around in trade talks probably doesn’t do much good for his psyche. Will Bogut have any ill will towards the Warriors? Hopefully this will not cause a rift in-between the player and the franchise.

3. Trading away too much to the Utah Jazz

Instead of acquiring Howard, the Warriors found a way to clear enough cap space in order to sign Andre Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million contract. To do this, they traded away Richard Jefferson, Andre Biedrins, Brandon Rush, first-round picks in 2014 and 2017, and two second-round picks.

While losing dead weight in Jefferson and Biedrins won’t be missed, the loss of Rush may be crucial, as he was going to be a key contributor last season before prematurely suffering a season-ending injury. The two first-round picks, although hopefully late selections in the first round assuming the Warriors perform well for the foreseeable future, are also commodities that will be missed. It was a steep price to pay to acquire Iguodala, but a necessary one.

4. Having little money to complete roster

With the signing of Iguodala, the team has little money to work with to round out their roster. The Warriors will probably need to sign at least two to three more players before the start of the season, meaning they’ll likely have to rely on free agents signing for the veteran’s minimum or players from the D-League or Summer League. The primary players are in place, now it’s just a matter of finding those last few affordable guys to complete the roster.

5. Letting Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry walk

After the Warriors signed Iguodala, Jack signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Landry signed with the Kings. While it was a clear conclusion due to the lack of money available to re-sign these two key bench contributors, they both solidified the second unit and provided veteran leadership for a young team last season. The Warriors will likely be unable to sign players like them with the little remaining money they have this offseason.

Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.
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Austin Chang

Austin Chang is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and RamsTalk. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.