After the Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years, the impending fate of free agency hung like a dark cloud over the championship celebrations that unfolded on the streets of the Bay Area.
By assembling a championship roster, Golden State had already amassed an expensive luxury tax bill. Several key players were set to become free agents, while others would soon become eligible for guaranteed contract extensions. It became clear that this Warriors team wouldn’t be able to pull her back.
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At the start of free agency, Stephen Noh of The Sporting News reported that major problems were looming at Golden State, as Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. were among the Warriors who chose to move on.
While the answer could being one of the young players on Golden State’s roster, would they be able to find viable replacements in the market? At first glance, the answer is yes.
How Warriors free agent signings add to championship defense
Donte DiVincenzo, SG
Contract: Two years, $9.2 million (player option in Year 2)
Averages 2021-22: 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists
Since being drafted by the Bucks in 2018, competing for title contenders is pretty much all DiVincenzo knows. That is, of course, outside of a few months spent with the Kings last season.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) April 2, 2022
DiVincenzo, 25, missed Milwaukee’s 2019 run to the Eastern Conference Finals through injury, but he played in 10 NBA playoff games for the top-seeded Bucks in 2020. In 2021 , DiVincenzo started in the first three games of Milwaukee’s championship race before missing. the last 20 games with an ankle injury.
He wasn’t in the field for the title, but DiVincenzo knows what it’s like to contribute and play when the stakes are high.
He’s certainly not a one-for-one replacement for Payton, who has developed a reputation as a disruptive (and sometimes locked-in) defender, but the 6-4 DiVincenzo is a few years younger, has a little more height and, despite his history of injuries, possesses a lot of athleticism.
.@divincenzo packed 🖐
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 6, 2022
With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the fold, Golden State’s starting backcourt is set, but the “Splash Brothers” aren’t as young as they once were. DiVincenzo is a career 34.7 percent 3-point shooter who shot 36.8 percent in more than 25 games for the Kings last year and can play off the ball, potentially in three-guard lineups.
Most of that signing? This is a conclusive deal for DiVincenzo, who will have a player option after this season. Contributing to another deep playoff run — or even a title run — could pay dividends if DiVincenzo re-enters the open market in 2023.
MORE: Warriors preview 2022 Summer League future
JaMychal Green, PF
Contract: To be determined
Averages 2021-22: 6.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 48.6 FG%
From The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Green will sign with the Warriors after completing a buyout with the Thunder. It might not be a splashy signing, but Green’s addition could be described as solid.
At 32, Green brings the ability to defend multiple positions and, as a career 36.6 percent 3-point shooter, the ability to knock down open jumpers. Granted, Green’s shot has been off since the 2021 NBA Playoffs, but there’s something to be said for the quality of the shot.
Green, like all Nuggets players, benefited from Nikola Jokic’s play during his time in Denver, but after injuries to Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. saw his efficiency drop by 3 points.
At Golden State, Green will be almost an afterthought on the perimeter with Curry, Thompson and Jordan Poole catching the eye. Factor in Draymond Green’s game, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see JaMychal Green rediscover that shooting touch.
He could also make his presence felt in transition, when opposing defenses panic at the thought of Curry breaking free.
JMyke reached his career high in dunks this season and kept going! Here are some of our guy, JMyke’s best this season. pic.twitter.com/03HneLUySv
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) May 15, 2022
Similar to DiVincenzo and Payton, Green isn’t Porter’s carbon copy, but the Warriors didn’t necessarily need him. They have a player who can defend, rebound and drain an open 3-pointer when the opportunity arises.