Warriors contract buyout candidates: Six players who could be targets
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is in his 10th NBA season, and after being traded to the Suns on Wednesday, he's currently on his seventh team.
Ellington isn't expected to remain in Phoenix long, however, and would make plenty of sense for Golden State when he gets bought out. In 25 games this season, he's averaged 8.4 points per contest, but on 37.5 percent shooting from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range.
However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday that Ellington is closing in on an agreement to sign with the Detroit Pistons. So it appears Dubs will have to turn their attention elsewhere.
DeMarcus Cousins' return from his Achilles injury has gone better than anyone could have expected, but that doesn't mean the Warriors should pass on backup plans on the buyout market.
Behind Cousins, Kevon Looney is the closest thing Golden State has to a true center, and if anything were to happen to either of them, the Warriors could be in significant trouble. Lucky for them, several intriguing big men are expected to be bought out over the next couple weeks.
One of those bigs -- perhaps the best of them -- is Bulls center Robin Lopez, who is averaging 6.2 points per game in his 11th NBA season. While he's known more for his defense (which is why Golden State would bring him in), a couple Warriors already have noticed what he also can add to their 3-point shooting.
Safe to say Lopez's sense of humor would fit in just fine.
Gortat would make plenty of sense for the Warriors, too, if they're looking for some insurance behind Cousins.
At 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds, Gortat would provide a big, tough-to-move body, if nothing else. But he also has decent hands and passing capabilities for a big man, and he could help any team on the boards.
Gortat reportedly has interest in joining the Warriors, although it sounds as though Golden State wants to see who becomes available before zeroing in on someone.
Of all the names on this list, Kanter probably is the least likely to join Golden State this season. For one, he's had frequent run-ins with multiple players on the team throughout his career. And, more importantly, he's a turnstile when it comes to playing defense.
If you're a sub-par defender, you'll have a hard time getting on the floor for Steve Kerr (and Ron Adams). But perhaps Kanter's supreme offensive skill set will overshadow his defensive deficiencies.
Just don't count on it.
I told you there were a lot of bigs.
The former lottery pick has flamed out in Charlotte, seeing his playing time drop significantly this season. In 24 games with the Hornets (zero starts), he's averaged just 5.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per contest.
Still, he's a career 34.7 percent shooter from 3-point range, which is more than adequate for a backup big, and you can't teach height (he's a 7-footer). If the Warriors do end up pursuing Kaminsky, it's likely because they believe they can unearth some of the promise that made him the ninth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Tolliver is unlike any other player on this list in that he can play both forward positions. Those aren't necessarily positions of weakness for Golden State, but you can never have enough depth.
A former Warrior -- he played 44 games with Golden State in 2009-10 -- Tolliver is good friends with Steph Curry, which certainly can't hurt his chances.
In 37 games with the Timberwolves this season, Tolliver is averaging 4.4 points per contest on 41 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. He's probably not atop the Warriors' list, but if they strike out with other buyout candidates, Tolliver wouldn't be a terrible fallback option.