Warriors could target these five Magic players in NBA offseason
The Bay Area native is known for his high-flying dunks, but there is a lot more to him than that. Standing at 6-foot-8, Gordon is the perfect small/power forward hybrid who has the athleticism to keep up with quicker players, and the strength to push back on the stronger ones. He is not a perfect defensive player, but the tools are there. Offensively, he can be streaky at times. In some stretches, he looks the part of an All-Star, impressively shooting from the outside and slashing to the rim and finishing over the best opponents. In other stretches, he is a liability from deep and will clog up the lane.
Despite playing in the NBA for six seasons, Gordon turns 25 in a couple months, which means he probably has a little room to refine his game. Perhaps putting him in the Warriors system, alongside Curry and Klay Thompson, would do exactly that. Unfortunately, health issues have also limited Gordon from fully reaching his potential, which is obviously something the Warriors would have to take into account.
But the biggest detractor for the Warriors potential pursuit of Gordon, is that his contract does not fit into the trade exception. He makes over $18 million next season, which would put him about $1 million over the exception. In that case, the Warriors would have to make a series of moves to acquire other players that fall within the exception, to then turn around and trade a matching amount of salary to land Gordon.
It would be very complicated, which makes it unlikely. But if Bob Myers and the Warriors are sure of his fit, then it would be worth making an attempt.
Making exactly $17 million next season, Fournier falls perfectly into the trade exception. However, given the financial ramifications of the pandemic and the immense luxury tax the Warriors are already paying, it is very unlikely Joe Lacob will want to shell out another $17 million for someone like Fournier.
That does not mean he would not be a nice piece to add to the team though. Fournier averages nearly 19 points per game for the Magic this season, and is making over 40 percent of his shots from deep. He is a shooting guard type, that is tall enough to be a wing. One big problem for Fournier' fit on the Warriors though, is that he is not known for his defensive abilities and does not provide many intangibles other than scoring.
The Warriors will need some more scoring punch off the bench, so in that way he is an option to pursue. But with his hefty price tag and imperfect fit with the team's needs, there is a good chance Fournier is not the best match.
Ross is an intriguing player to watch for the trade exception. He stands to make about $13.5 million next season, which is still probably a bit higher than the Warriors would like to shell out, but a little bit more reasonable to rationalize in terms of his fit.
At 6-foot-6, Ross can be a shooting guard or small wing, and he has shown the ability to play solid defense when in the right situation. He is very athletic and can fly above the rim for lobs or fast breaks. He mostly resides behind the 3-point line however, where he is a bit of a chucker. This season Ross has launched over seven 3s per game, making those shots at a good, not great, 36 percent.
On the Warriors, Ross would not be asked to create for his own as much as stand ready for catch-and-shoot opportunities as well as cuts to the rim. That adjusted role should improve his efficiency in theory, something the Warriors would need for him to be effective. Yet concerns about his streaky shot and slightly elevated salary might make the front office hesitate from pursuing too hard.
MCW burst onto the scene with the 76ers back in 2013-14, averaging nearly 17 points per game, with over six assists, six rebounds and about two steals per contest. He was ticketed for stardom. However, his inability to consistently hit a jump shot, coupled with injuries, curtailed a once promising career into one that is in need of a jumpstart.
With the Magic, Carter-Williams has started to blossom again. He will never be the player he once was, but in the backup guard role, he has found a niche. At 6-foot-5 and a strong frame, he has the ability to guard positions from one to three, and provides a lot of intangibles the Warriors are missing.
But the jump shot...
MCW is a career 26-percent shooter from deep, and has never found a way to show consistency from any range. The Warriors were able to get by with Shaun Livingston's inability to make 3s, but he also was a lethal midrange shooter, something that MCW is not. It must be a scary thought for coach Steve Kerr to evision an offensive lineup with him and Draymond Green sharing the floor, clogging the lanes. Yet there might be enough there defensively and other tools to cover that inefficiency.
The Warriors will go into the offseason desperate for a veteran point guard to backup Curry. Carter-Williams is an unrestricted free agent after the season, so if he is available at the veteran minimum, there is a good chance the Warriors take a hard look.
Speaking of imperfect players the Warriors might look at for the backup point guard role, Augustin is the quintessential unsexy, yet modestly productive option.
He has been in the NBA since 2008, and has logged many minutes from the backup point guard role, so in terms of veteran experience from that spot, the Warriors cannot find someone more seasoned.
Augustin is sure-handed with the ball and while unspectacular, he is efficient with his passing, limiting his turnover and taking care of the rock. He plays the role of facilitator, which is needed for a Warriors team that has plenty of players that look to score. That is not to say that Augustin cannot get buckets though, as he is a career 38 percent shooter from deep, and before this slightly inefficient season, put together back-to-back seasons with the Magic where he shot 42 percent from long range.
The biggest and most obvious slight for Augustin is his size. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 183 pounds, he is by no means the defensive stopper that the Warriors would be looking for. Kerr would much prefer to have a point guard that could spell Curry defensively, as much as offensively, which makes Augustin a flawed candidate.
The Warriors have limited money to spend, and since Augustin is a free agent that probably will be available at the veteran minimum, he will surely be worth considering.