SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The reality of NBA Free Agency, which started Thursday, is players will move from team to team — not every NBA team can keep its same 15 players year-to-year. That applies to the Golden State Warriors who are fresh off their fourth championship in the last eight years.
Some notable free agents on the Warriors: Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. The free agency signings are usually first reported via Twitter by either ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski or The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Looney, 26, signed a three-year, $25.5 million deal to return to the Warriors, according to Wojnarowski. The center was a key piece in the team’s title run, starting the majority of the postseason games and played in all 82 regular-season contests.
This is the second time in three years Looney hit free agency, and each time he has elected to return to the Warriors. He was a free agent during the 2019 offseason before he signed a three-year, $15 million deal.
Gary Payton II
A Dub Nation fan favorite is gone. Payton II will sign a three-year, $28 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Charania.
Payton II, 29, is no stranger to Oregon as he attended college at Oregon State. After bouncing around from team to team and spending time in the G-League, Payton II seemed to find a home in Golden State as he played a significant role with his defensive prowess — even started two games in the second-round series against the Grizzlies before injuring his elbow on a play involving Memphis forward Dillon Brooks.
The Oakland native is heading down south to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes tweeted. Stephen Curry showed loved to “JTA” by wishing him well in this tweet.
“All good things do come to an end-for new ones to start. #DubNation I can’t thank y’all enough. The experience I had at home was something I’ll never forget,” Toscano-Anderson, 29, said on Twitter. “But with all that said, I’m extremely excited to be a Laker. New opportunities, new chapter of my life. The story is still being written!”
Otto Porter Jr.
Porter Jr.’s run with the Warriors will end after one year. According to Haynes, Porter Jr., 29, signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors.
He started Games 4, 5, and 6 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. Porter Jr. averaged 8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists during this past regular season.
Like Porter Jr., Bjelica’s time with the Warriors will only last one year. Bjelica, who is from Serbia, has reportedly signed a two-year deal with Turkish team Fenerbahce, according to Sportando. He played 71 games during the regular season and averaged 6.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists.
Lee, 29, signed a one-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, Wojnarowski reported. The 6-foot-5 guard has been with the Warriors since the 2018-19 season. Lee, who averaged 7.4 points per game in 19.9 minutes last season, is the brother-in-law to Curry as he is married to Curry’s sister Sydel.
Free Agency Signings
To make up for the multiple departures of key players, the Warriors signed guard Donte DiVincenzo, Charania reports. DiVincenzo, who won an NBA Championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, signed a two-year deal worth $9.3 million.
He played for the Sacramento Kings this past season and averaged 10.3 points per game off the bench. DiVincenzo starred on a Villanova team that won two NCAA National Champions in 2016 and 2018.
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Note: Andre Iguodala signed a one-year deal in August 2021 and is currently a free agent. However, reports have hinted the 2015 NBA Finals MVP might retire, although Iguodala has not announced a decision. He is 38 years old.