The Golden State Warriors may have opted out of wheeling and dealing at the NBA trade deadline, but that’s not to say the club couldn’t still make an addition for the stretch run. The buyout market may be an option for GM Bob Myers in the event that he wants to bolster the Warriors roster.
However, if the team decides to go down that particular road, it’ll come at a price. As it stands, the Golden State’s roster is full up with 15 players under standard contracts with two more filling two-way spots.
So, adding a new piece would mean subtracting a current one. And, clearly, the Warriors are firing on all cylinders as constituted.
Nevertheless, GM Bob Myers has indicated that the team is, at the very least, open to the idea. Moreover, some potentially valuable veteran players will inevitably find themselves looking for new basketball homes over the next several days. To that end, NBC Sports Bay Area‘s Josh Schrock has identified some possible targets.
One of them stands out among the crowd.
Magic’s Robin Lopez a Top Buyout Option
Although the Warriors have one of the deepest rosters in the Association, they have at least one glaring weakness heading into the playoff run. Specifically, they lack a stone-cold, seven-foot (or close to it) center to man the paint on both sides of the court.
Right now, only former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman fits the bill, and he’s currently in month 10 of what is typically a six-month rehab process. So, there’s no telling if he can be counted on to contribute toward a potential title run.
Per Shrock, Magic big man and 14-year vet Robin Lopez could fill the role if he gets bought out in Orlando:
This is the Warriors’ best option and likely the only one they would realistically jump at.
Lopez, 33, is averaging 8.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for the Orlando Magic. He still plays good enough defense to make a postseason rotation and it has been known the Warriors have been interested in him in the past.
If Orlando does let Lopez go, the Milwaukee Bucks are another team that could be interested in signing Lopez.
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Lopez to the Dubs Has Been Floated Before
Shrock isn’t the only one who has identified Lopez as a target for the Warriors. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons namechecked him as a possibility last week, noting a connection with Golden State’s head coach.
“I would watch out for Robin Lopez with them, because Kerr drafted him, [he is a] good chemistry guy, fits in, [adds] some size,” Simmons said. “[He] seems like a buyout guy.”
However, the Bucks angle is one to watch as well; Lopez’s twin brother, Brook, is on their roster and Milwaukee also has a decent shot at a title run.
Basic stats aside, Lopez boasts an offensive rebounding percentage of 10.7 in ’21-22, which is the No. 1 mark team-wide for the Magic. Meanwhile, his defensive rating of 108.4 ranks second on the team to Jalen Suggs and Orlando has been 3.6 points per 100 possessions worse on that end when Lopez is on the bench.