Warriors: 3 free agent centers to target in the offseason

Warriors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Warriors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Warriors (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

1. Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol is the type of player the Warriors have a history of targeting during their championship run. At 35 years of age, the 6-foot-11 center will likely not be looking for a lucrative, multi-year deal while favoring teams who plan to play deep into the playoffs.

With Curry, Thompson, Green, and Wiggins on the court, the Warriors do expect to return to the NBA Finals.

Though, this iteration of the Warriors will be different. It goes without saying, but the Warriors need to prove that they can continue to win without Kevin Durant.

Center remains an obvious need that they can fill through free agency. Not surprisingly, Gasol has at least one fan on the Warriors coaching staff in head coach Steve Kerr.

Gasol was much more of a scoring threat earlier in his career, but at this point, any bucket he makes is a bonus.

The addition of Gasol would bring a presence similar to what Andrew Bogut and David West brought to the table in that he is a defensive presence and can improve the spacing and ball movement on offense.

The long-time Memphis Grizzlies center battled a hamstring injury that put him on the shelf. He has appeared in only 36 of Toronto’s 66 games this year.

While on the floor, the 35-year-old has posted 7.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 3.4 APG while shooting 42 percent from the field. Statistically speaking, the Warriors do not need any more than that from a center.

However, similar to West and Bogut, Gasol is known for having a high basketball IQ that does not necessarily show up in the box score.

So, could Golden State even afford to reel in the Toronto Raptors center?  That, of course, is where it gets complicated. According to Spotrac, the Warriors have committed $129 million consisting of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Green.

Must Read. Warriors: Does Kevin Durant’s number belong in the rafters?. light

They have almost no wiggle room. Similar to the pay cut West took prior to joining Golden State, the Warriors would need Gasol to do the same.

That is never fair to ask any player to do. However, at Gasol’s age, he will need to weigh that against the possibility of winning another NBA title.

To add to the complication, Gasol is already on a championship-contender in Toronto. If he does want to win another ring, he does not need to move at all.

The Warriors would need to emphasize the team’s culture and chemistry as well as the unique investment opportunities that are available in Silicon Valley as Gasol considers opportunities after his basketball career.

It is a long shot, but one that would really move the needle in terms of improving the Warriors odds of winning another title.