As expected, Carl Landry has opted out of his two-year deal with Golden State Warriors Wednesday. The 29-year-old power forward had a player option with the Warriors worth $4 million, and after a strong season with the Dubs, has decided to test the free agent market. He will become an unrestricted free agent when the period begins on July 1.
Landry averaged 10.8 points and six rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game off the bench last season. Landry would like to remain with Golden State, but only if the price is right.
The Warriors will likely be operating over the luxury tax threshold. According to spotrac.com, the Warriors have about $71.7 million on the books for 2014. Earlier in June, Marc Stein reported the tax threshold for next season will be $71.6 million.
That is without back-up point guard Jarret Jack on the payroll, whom the team would like to resign and has reportedly made a priority over Landry.
There isn’t nearly as much depth at point guard. Stephen Curry has had his injury issues and injured his ankle during the Warriors’ exciting playoff run. The team has Scott Machado, but he is inexperienced and hardly saw the court in his first year.
The encouraging play of rookies Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes provides more depth at the forward position compared to that at point guard. The team also has Festus Ezeli from last year’s draft. If Landry walks, Green would likely take on his role as David Lee’s backup. Barnes also played some power forward during the playoffs when the team went with a small-ball lineup.
It is also worth noting that Brandon Rush will be back from injury, and has experience playing the forward position.
The Warriors do not have a pick in either round of the 2013 NBA Draft.
It isn’t believed that the Warriors will back into the draft tonight, but as Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News writes, “there’s a decent shot that the Warriors will flash some of (owners) Joe Lacob and Peter Guber’s cash and buy a second-round pick if they see somebody intriguing falling into the mid-40s.”
The Warriors won’t be making too many changes this offseason. They will try to retain Jack first, then Landry. If they can’t re-sign Jack, they will likely sign another veteran point guard.
If the Warriors cannot sign Landry, some veteran power forwards the team could sign include Elton Brand (DAL), Chris Wilcox (BOS) and Antawn Jamison (LAL) among others. Or maybe they could convince Al Harrington (who could be expendable for Orlando) to give the team another shot after a, for lack of a better word, weird divorce in 2008.