One would think the Golden State Warriors wouldn't be in a hurry to break up their incredible group of players that has led them to a host of impressive - sometimes unprecedented - feats in the past couple of years.
Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli are restricted free agents as of 12:01 am tomorrow, but it appears that their futures with the Dubs depend entirely on the franchise's pursuit of 2014 MVP, Kevin Durant.
Although their contracts would only free up around $8 million, Barnes operates at the small forward position that KD would occupy if he opted to head to Oakland.
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The Warriors actually have the biggest committed payroll in the NBA at the moment with a fraction over $80 million of the projected $94 million available locked in for the 2016-17 season, bar the $8 million they have to play with should they ditch Barnes and Ezeli.
If they really want to land Durant, they are going to need all the cash they can muster and some sacrifices will clearly need to be made.
An unlikely casualty might be their starting center Andrew Bogut.
CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole reports that the Warriors drafted Vanderbilt center Damian Jones with their first-round pick in last week’s NBA draft in part because of their dissatisfaction with Bogut and how unreliable he has become.
Poole's report reads: "Drafting Jones also was, according to league sources, an indication of the team’s frustration with starting big man Andrew Bogut, who is a candidate to be moved should the Warriors succeed in their pursuit of upcoming free agent Kevin Durant.
"The Warriors, should they win the race to KD, will have to shed salary and several sources indicate they’d like to move Bogut as much if not more than anyone else."
Let's not forget, now 31, was the top overall draft pick back in 2005. The Australian has acted as the glue for the Warriors providing solid rim protection and effective pick and rolls for his shoot-happy guards.
He was the NBA blocks leader in 2011 and is an influence on the boards in a team where Draymond Green dominates that area.
He hasn't played less than 67 games over the past three seasons, which means he misses, at most, 15 games a season. That's pretty durable for a center who has had a decade on the hardwood, but, he did go down with a knee injury at a crucial time during the past NBA Finals that ultimately saw the Warriors lose the final two games in his absence.
Previous coach Mark Jackson apparently questioned the big man's fortitude on more than one occasion and, according to Poole, the Warriors brass is speculating as much, too. They also have concerns with his rebound numbers and how engaged he is on the offensive end, even though he would be the fifth option at best.
Bogut has one-year left on his $12.68 million contract and dumping that salary would be almost essential to securing KD. The Warriors could probably get away with an athlete at the pivot spot, but losing Bogut might adversely affect the Warriors' style too.
Is it a risk for Golden State to dump Bogut?