NBA free agency grades: Warriors adding Brad Wanamaker is a smart move

Ali Thanawalla
·2 min read

Grading Warriors' Wanamaker addition in free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors weren't going to make a big, splashy move in free agency, despite what fans hoped.

With limited resources, general manager Bob Myers had to wait for the dust to settle before pouncing. On Saturday, with most of the high-priced free agents accounted for, the Warriors finally made a move, agreeing to a one-year, $2.25 million contract with guard Brad Wanamaker, his agent told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

It's not a sexy transaction, but the former Boston Celtics guard is exactly what the Warriors need in reserve. The 31-year-old is gritty and tough, and will give Warriors coach Steve Kerr 15 to 20 solid minutes off the bench during the 2020-21 NBA season.

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With the Warriors waiving Ky Bowman on Friday, Wanamaker will serve as the primary backup point guard to Steph Curry. But Wanamaker has the versatility to play shooting guard alongside the two-time NBA MVP. Second-round draft pick Nico Mannion might assume the backup role at some point, but he probably won't be ready for that when the season opens Dec. 22.

Wanamaker won't fill up the stat sheet, but he should provide enough offense to be effective when playing with the second unit. Last season, in 71 games with the Celtics, he averaged 6.9 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game.

Wanamaker is well-traveled, having made several international stops before latching on with the Celtics two years ago, so he likely will be able to adapt to any style of basketball he's asked to play.

This likely is the first of several small incremental moves for Myers and the Warriors as they fill out the roster. There will be more over the coming days and weeks, but for now, this is a solid start for Golden State. At $2.25 million for one year, it's hard to find fault with this move.

Transaction grade: B