For the Golden State Warriors, balancing a guard-heavy team will be crucial this offseason, especially in addressing forward depth after a second-round playoff elimination where their lack of size was blatantly exposed.
The team will be looking for Jonathan Kuminga to have another huge surge, but the Warriors still need other options. Possibly in a trade for the previous seventh overall choice, but if they want to continue betting on Kuminga’s growth, they’ll have to do it through free agency.
The Golden State Warriors have identified forward Torrey Craig of the Phoenix Suns as an ambitious but realistic free agent target for them this summer.
Torrey Craig, 32, is coming off a career-best season with the Phoenix Suns and will be a free agency once his two-year, $10 million contract expires. The defensive-minded forward has been identified by Bleacher Report as a guy the Warriors should be considering when it comes to each team’s one ambitious free agent target.
“Some team, somewhere, should be open to throwing most or all of the mini mid-level ($7 million) Craig’s way. But does the chance to play a potentially higher-minute role on the Warriors, who desperately need a combo forward if Jonathan Kuminga isn’t part of the present, make any sort of difference?”
For the Suns, who had to contend with injuries and the unexpected mid-season arrival of former Warrior Kevin Durant, it was a pretty turbulent season. The sixth-year wing played a career-high 24.7 minutes during the regular season as a result of Craig’s steady presence.
Craig’s three-point shooting, which was previously considered a weakness, became more consistent in 2022–23. He shot a career-high 39.5% from outside the arc on 3.2 attempts per game by utilizing the space that Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul created for him. Teams will need to determine whether that percentage can remain in their system or whether Craig’s career-long average has been below 33% in four of his previous six seasons.
The Warriors already have a strong point-of-attack defender in Gary Payton II, but they might benefit from having a bigger wing who can guard the top forward on the other team. With Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green, Golden State may already have that capability, though it only resulted in the 14th-ranked defense during the regular season.
Although Craig provides the crucial winning plays that frequently slip by without being noticed, his offensive shortcomings do restrict his impact and viability during the playoffs. Despite having a smaller role throughout Phoenix’s 11 postseason games, his three-point shooting percentage remained at a relatively respectable 44%.
Although Craig wouldn’t be a definite postseason rotation player for the Warriors, he would be a significant addition on a minimum deal and able to play 15 to 20 minutes each night during the regular season. But there’s a reason he’s a lofty target; after having his finest season ever, you’d assume he’d be looking for a wage raise rather than accepting a reduction.