NBA free agency 2023: What position should the Warriors take?

As I wrote about the other day, it looks like it will likely be a while before the Golden State Warriors sign another player to a guaranteed contract. They have 13 of their 15 guaranteed contracts filled, and have all but conceded they will likely enter the season with just 14 filled, though they also have a trio of two-way contracts they can sign.

It seems likely that they will leave the spot open if any notable player becomes available (Rudy Gay, anyone?) and, if no one does, let it become a camp battle (Lester Quiñones, anyone?).

My guess is that Mike Dunleavy Jr., Steve Kerr and the rest of the front office and coaching staff feel they have a championship-caliber competitive core and that any additional signings will be based on player caliber rather than position need.

But still….which position do they need the most?

Everyone sees different attitudes. In the modern NBA, I like to think of it as four positions: lead guards (where I would put Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Cory Joseph and Brandin Podziemski); wings (Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Moses Moody and Gary Payton II); forwards (Draymond Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Dario Šarić) and centers (Kevon Looney and Trayce Jackson-Davis). Those aren’t exactly foolproof designations … you could put Curry, Podziemski and Payton in one of the first two groups, or Green and Šarić in one of the latter two groups, but you get the point.

So what position should the Warriors fill? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each position.

Lead guard

Why should it be prioritized: If healthy, the Warriors will have the best point guard duo in NBA history this year. Curry, arguably the greatest point guard in NBA history, and Paul, a consensus top-five point guard, in the same backcourt? What more could you want?

Well, the answer to that question is to remove the “if” from “if healthy.” The Warriors’ two most skilled players are also their two most injury-prone players, and although neither player is as damages suffered such as their reputation, it is still a factor. The Dubs will want to do about 10 load management plays for each player, and injuries could keep them out another 10-20. Not having to rely on Joseph and Podziemski is the reason to target another lead guard.

Why it should not be a priority: Ultimately, “this is our insurance for if our two point guards both get hurt and our veteran backup doesn’t play well” is probably a more compelling case for signing a two-way player than a guaranteed contract.


Why should it be prioritized: You can never have too many wings. That is it. That is the answer. In the modern NBA, you can never have too many wings. Wings are “why don’t they just build the whole plane out of it?” of the NBA. The Warriors routinely put three, four or sometimes even five wings on the floor, and the results are usually quite good.

Why it should not be a priority: The Dubs are pretty loaded with wings, especially when you consider Wiggins’ durability. And they are too picky with wings, which is understandable … the Warriors don’t like to play wings unless they are really good shooter or really good defenders, and well that’s because there aren’t really any wings that are successful that don’t do one of those things really well. Can the Warriors find a veteran-minimum player who can actually impact floor spacing or defense? Enough to take minutes from a fairly stacked position that also likes to draw from the lead guard pool?


Why should it be prioritized: Extra size certainly doesn’t hurt. Dunleavy had a great quote the other day where he basically said they want skill players not big players, but if the skill players are big then so much the better. More power forwards means more size, and that also means more minutes for Green and Šarić at the five where they can provide mismatches.

Why it should not be a priority: Kuminga is entering his third season and his age-21 season, and the general consensus – which I strongly agree with – is that he will greatly benefit from playing alongside Paul. Do we really want a player like Gay potentially blocking Kuminga’s minutes?


Why should it be prioritized: No team in NBA history has ever said “oh no, we have too many tall players.” You can copy and paste my comment on Dunleavy’s quote here.

Why it should not be a priority: When and where do they play? Sure, Looney probably won’t play all 82 games for the third straight season, and that opens up a few games and minutes. But Looney only averaged 23.9 minutes per game. game last year…not even half the game. If the Warriors wanted to play with a traditional center more, they weren’t limited by a lack of options … they could have just played Looney more minutes. With Looney as good and durable as he is, and Green and Šarić both playing the small-ball five so well, it’s hard to find minutes for another center. Or at least for one that would be available to the Warriors.

What position would you like to see them add?

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