According to various reports released no more than an hour apart Saturday, the Warriors top two free agents have decided to play elsewhere next season.
Carl Landry is cashing out with the Kings, who are reportedly giving him $26 million over four years. Landry opted to help babysit DeMarcus Cousins over joining the Clippers, who were reportedly also in pursuit of his services. Landry previously played in Sacto for parts of two seasons between 2009 and 2011. He averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 23 minutes last season as a key reserve for the Warriors. His importance was magnified when Andrew Bogut’s barely more-durable-than-cardboard body was a problem throughout the year.
Jarrett Jack is reportedly off to the Cavs to play alongside Kyrie Irving and this year’s first-overall draft pick Anthony Bennett (and, if you love baseless speculation, LeBron James as early as 2014). Word is he agreed to a four-year, $25 million deal.
None of this is a surprise, however. There were doubts when he season ended that the Warriors could retain either player. And when the Warriors agreed with Andre Iguodala, it essentially sealed that belief.
Of the two, Jack’s absence will perhaps be felt more. His leadership and constant impact off the bench were vital throughout the season and playoffs. His 30 points in that thrilling home win over the Spurs on ESPN in February sticks out. He averaged 12.9 points and 5.5 assists in 29 minutes during his lone season in Oakland.
But if there’s anything positive to take from Jack leaving it’s that it likely means Stephen Curry will have the ball in his hands more often at the end of games. Down stretches this season, Curry frequently played off the ball while Jack ran the offense, leading to a lot of SMH moments for the Warriors.
Both players, though, leave big shoes to fill. There was much to celebrate on Friday, but as we’ve already discussed, the Warriors have their work cut out for them.