The Golden State Warriors are among the few teams in the league with open roster spots and could turn to the NBA buyout market to fill them. The Warriors only have 13 players on a full-time contract, one less than the NBA mandated number of 14. GM Bob Myers has until April 8 to fill this shortfall.
While the Golden State Warriors could simply upgrade a two-way deal to a full-time contract, they're better off seeking reinforcements in the NBA buyout market.
NBA Buyout Market 2021: 3 Targets to improve Golden State Warriors' playoff chances
Any signing would inflate the Warriors' luxury tax bill even further. But it's better to go for the kill instead of sitting pat given that they'll have a huge wage bill anyway and aren't even guaranteed a playoff spot right now. Making the right acquisitions could at least remedy the latter.
On that note, here are three players whom the Golden State Warriors can target in the NBA buyout market if they become available.
#1 Cory Joseph
After moving Brad Wanamaker off their books, the Golden State Warriors need someone to lead the second unit. Jeff Teague would've been a good option, but he's reportedly heading to the Milwaukee Bucks after clearing waivers. In the meantime, the Warriors can monitor Cory Joseph who was traded to the Detroit Pistons by the Sacramento Kings in a deal for Delon Wright.
Joseph has played three games so far for Detroit, averaging 11.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and four rebounds. The Pistons have a logjam of guards on their roster and the 29-year-old is not in their future plans. He's also owed $12.6 million this season and GM Troy Weaver might want to shave off some of the cap hit.
If he becomes available, Cory Joseph will bring ball-handling and discipline to the table for the Golden State Warriors. Joseph is a consummate professional who always buys into the role that the team needs him to perform and has no problems taking a back seat when needed.
#2 Ben McLemore
The Golden State Warriors could unlock another level to their offense by surrounding Stephen Curry with more shooters. While Jordan Poole could be that catch-and-shoot guy, it's not advisable to entirely rely on a sophomore still finding his stride.
Houston Rockets' Ben McLemore is someone worth considering for the Golden State Warriors. He was able to impress by playing off of James Harden last season as he recorded 10.1 points per game on 40% shooting from range. Slotting alongside Curry will allow McLemore to exploit the same dynamic.
McLemore is currently on a minimum deal with the Houston Rockets but much like the franchise, he's also struggling to make an impact. He needs to prove his value before free agency to land another contract in the summer. That's unlikely to happen in H-Town and McLemore could be knocking on GM Rafael Stone's door soon to execute a buyout.
#3 DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins was waived by the Houston Rockets earlier this season and is readily available for the Golden State Warriors to approach. Cousins was averaging 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game when the Rockets let him go. He was mediocre from the field but was still able to size up against other big men, which is the role that the Warriors will expect him to play.
The Dubs moved Marquese Chriss' contract ahead of the trade deadline. They're left with Kevon Looney and James Wiseman as the recognized bigs on the roster. While Steve Kerr is sticking with the latter in the starting lineup, Wiseman is a clear liability on the defensive end.
Cousins can help the Golden State Warriors in this regard. He could also play the mentor's role for the rookie. Kevon Looney's recent injury history also makes it imperative for the Warriors to look for additional cover underneath the rim.