The Golden State Warriors’ starting lineup is going to look very different next year. Not just because of the addition of Kevin Durant, but because of the roster moves necessary to sign Durant to that 2 year, $54.3 million contract.
The Warriors have now renounced their rights to Harrison Barnes, and he will sign with the Dallas Mavericks for 4 years and $94 million.
Joining Barnes in Dallas will be Andrew Bogut, who the Warriors have agreed to send to the Mavericks in their necessary contract shedding.
Dallas and Golden State have agreed to an Andrew Bogut trade, sources say
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 4, 2016
Bogut makes $11 million, and the Warriors were likely going to have to trade either Bogut or Andre Iguodala to free up enough space to sign Durant.
Iguodala makes about $11.1 million, but when he was included in the Warriors’ meeting with Durant, it became clear that he was not going to be the guy traded if Durant was acquired.
Although his offensive game had been limited in recent years, Bogut was a fantastic defensive presence in the interior. With his removal from the roster, the Warriors don’t have a proven rim protector down low.
Barnes now gets an opportunity for an expanded role in Dallas. He deferred in Golden State to the multitude of other scoring options, and his supporters would claim that on another team he would assert himself more and elevate his game due to his immense talent on offense. That theory will get put to the test now in Dallas.
Losing 40% of a starting lineup that won an NBA record 73 games would normally be a sobering occurrence, but these are special circumstances.
A guy who has lead the NBA in scoring during 4 of his 9 seasons in the league is going to a team with a starting lineup consisting of a back-to-back MVP (Stephen Curry), arguably the best defensive player in basketball (Draymond Green), and an all-time great shooter (Klay Thompson).
Bogut and Barnes deserve much appreciation for helping the Warriors win a championship, but their departure is a small price to pay for a lineup of Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green coming to fruition.