During his post-draft news conference Thursday night, Warriors general manager Bob Myers brought up free agency unprompted several times.
The reason was obvious: Though Golden State was pleased to get two lottery picks in Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody who could be key long-term, it recognizes that free agency will play a bigger factor in whether the team vaults back into title contention next season. The Warriors, who are deep into the luxury tax, have a $5.9 million taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum contracts to fill such needs as a backup point guard, wing playmaker and stretch big man.
Here is a detailed primer of the situation Golden State faces entering free agency, which starts Monday:
Warriors’ free agents
Kent Bazemore: Though Bazemore was a helpful rotation player last season, he’s unlikely to return to the Warriors. Golden State doesn’t have his Bird rights and would have to use the mid-level exception to bring him back on a competitive salary. Odds are that Bazemore, who shot a career-high 40.8% from 3-point range last season, will sign a one- or two-year deal elsewhere at or near the mid-level.
Jordan Bell: A late-season addition on a two-way contract, Bell isn’t in the Warriors’ 2021-22 plans. His 15-minute cameo in a May 14 win over New Orleans wasn’t enough to prove he belongs in the NBA. For the second straight year, Bell might have to start in the G League.
Nico Mannion (restricted):…