Four buy-low players Warriors could target this offseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
While watching the Western Conference finals between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers, it’s impossible to ignore the impact Cameron Payne and Reggie Jackson have had on their respective teams.
Payne somehow filled the big shoes of Chris Paul when he was out in COVID-19 protocols, and Jackson has been carrying the weight since the Clippers lost Kawhi Leonard. To make it even more impressive, these are two players who, just last year, were considered busts.
They were brought in on cheap deals with the expectation of being high-risk, high-reward performers, and they are exactly the kind of players the Warriors should be shopping for this offseason.
Golden State is working with a very limited amount of money that could go toward free agents. They’ll have to find someone on a cheap deal, and most likely, that person will have to be someone other teams aren’t offering much money to.
Payne and Jackson aren’t the only examples of players who signed high-risk, high-reward players and have had it work out in their favor.
The Denver Nuggets signed Austin Rivers, who filled in nicely for Jamal Murray. And the Clippers added a revitalized Nic Batum.
Here are a few names of buy-low players the Warriors could target:
On paper, Porter is the perfect target for the Warriors. He’s a sizeable wing who can play small and power forward and can knock down perimeter shots.
This season, he struggled to find consistency. But that’s not the problem. The problem is it’s hard to gauge what his market value is around the league. He’s a player who has $124 million in his career, but he’s not there anymore. But he’s also not going to make just $2 million. So, where does he fall in the mid-level?
This will be a crucial factor in determining if the Warriors can go after him. But if he falls within their price range, Golden State should want to make a bid.
Making about $3 million a year, what kind of money Hart will be looking for is a bit of a question mark. He is also a restricted free agent, making his availability even murkier. But on the list of the Pelicans’ offseason priorities, keeping Hart isn’t No. 1 — Lonzo Ball is. And with the Pelicans suffering a disappointing season, a lot of changes could be on the horizon.
That is positive news for teams wanting to target Hart, and so is the fact that the wing struggled through a difficult shooting season. Hart hit 32.6 percent from three this season, including 28 percent from the corner. But his shooting slump didn’t quite feel like a legitimate, long-term issue.
Previously, he never shot worse than 38 percent from that spot on the court, and last season he drained 44 percent of his corner shots.
If he can find this shooting production again, he would help the Warriors stretch the floor and provide a serious scoring boost in the second unit.
Winslow is not an unrestricted free agent, however, the club option waiting for him is worth $13 million, and based on his low production for this season, it’s hard to imagine that the Memphis Grizzlies will want to pick that up.
This could open up the door for the Warriors.
Winslow is not the same player he was when he was in Miami. His last two seasons have been injury-plagued and resulted in poor performances. This season, he played a career-low in minutes for the Grizzlies and his scoring total and shooting percentages dropped lower than they had been in the past three years.
But, there still is potential for Winslow, which is why he could be a good target for the Warriors.
Winslow was never supposed to be an elite offensive player. So, if he can just get back to his production level when he was with the Heat, where he shot over 38 percent from 3 that will suffice. And on defense, well, he can be a menace.
The two big questions surrounding Winslow for the Warriors are: How much money will he want? And, can the Warriors take as a big of a risk on a guy who is injury-prone and has shooting inconsistencies?
Another guy who isn’t an unrestricted free agent, but could find himself in a position to move around the league.
Dennis Schroder and Alex Caruso are at the top of the Lakers’ to-do list when it comes to re-signing players. Wesley Matthews, Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell also are priorities. Horton-Tucker is as well, but it’s hard to say in what order the Lakers are prioritizing them.
If a slightly above-market offer comes in, Horton-Tucker could be a guy they let go of. Making $1.5 million this year with more to prove — particularly on the shooting front — Horton-Tucker isn’t someone who will take up gobs of money.
He’s a burly wing who makes good decisions with the ball and can defend multiple positions — the kind of guy the Warriors want.