The Golden State Warriors entered free agency fully aware of the various contingencies they faced. They understood that losing Kevin Durant was a very real possibility, and that outcome came to fruition the moment the clock struck 6 p.m. on Sunday, with the two-time MVP announcing that he would team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
Regardless, there was plenty of business still to be conducted. As expected, they re-signed Klay Thompson to a max deal, and in a surprise twist, landed D’Angelo Russell from the Nets, who likewise inked a max contract with the team. In the aftermath, there’s been some speculation that the front office views him simply as a trade asset, though others claim there’s a long-term plan in place for Russell.
The Russell signing means the franchise now has a hard cap, and after signing Kevon Looney to a three-year deal worth $15 million, the team has very little room to maneuver in terms of signing any more free agents. According to the latest report, it appears they’ll use some of the space they have left to shore up their frontcourt by adding Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein.
I’m told Willie Cauley-Stein coming to the Warriors. Was Damian Jones that bad in the Summer League debut? Does that mean no DeMarcus Cousins?
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) July 2, 2019
Not long after, that initial report was confirmed by multiple sources, including additional info about the ballpark figure the deal is worth, given that the team was left with around the veteran’s minimum to play with after all their dealings.
Can confirm. Cauley-Stein will sign for something slightly above the minimum salary, a source says. https://t.co/acJryQ5lik
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 2, 2019
That leaves them with a chunk of their mid-level exception remaining and veteran minimums to fill out the roster. We’ll have to see whether DeMarcus Cousins is in those plans still, now that the first few days of free agency have left him in limbo as various reports indicate there isn’t much of a market out there for him, or whether he’ll find more money elsewhere.