The Suns’ willingness to give numerous free agents a two-year deal with a player option has helped them trump the Warriors in the free agent market, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic explains.
Golden State has been unwilling to provide minimum-salary offers with a second optional year due to luxury tax implications and the risk of committing a 2024/25 roster spot to a signee who didn’t work out. The Suns also had more playing time available and those factors helped sway Eric Gordon, who was the Warriors’ top backcourt target in free agency.
The Warriors are planning to go with a 14-man roster and have two slots open, which they intend to use on bigs, Slater writes. Power forward Dario Saric remains their top target still on the board.
We have more from the Pacific Division:
- The Athletic’s John Hollinger gives the Suns high marks for their free agent catches, including a couple of underrated players in Keita Bates-Diop and Drew Eubanks. Bates-Diop, who previously played for the Spurs, could emerge as a key role player in the postseason, since he can guard multiple positions and shoots reasonably well from long distance. Eubanks is an energetic backup center who’s a superior rim protector and defender than Jock Landale, whom the Suns let go.
- The Lakers‘ front office made a series of shrewd moves this summer, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times opines. The Lakers’ didn’t chase another star, as they have in the past. Instead, they re-signed Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura and signed two other solid players in Gabe Vincent and Taurean Prince, rather than trying to sign Kyrie Irving or trade for Bradley Beal.
- DeMarre Carroll is joining the Lakers as an assistant coach, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin tweets. Carroll was an assistant on Mike Budenholzer‘s staff with the Bucks last season and now will join Darvin Ham‘s staff. Carroll played for the Hawks when Budenholzer was the head coach there and Ham was one of the assistants.