2 best players Warriors must re-sign in 2024 NBA free agency

Tony Nguyen | Golden State Warriors
May 15, 2024

The Golden State Warriors are entering an offseason of uncertainty. The last two seasons have proven that they are not title contenders as currently constructed. Perhaps that could signal that trades could be on the horizon in the Bay Area. If the Warriors do make some trades, that would put a bigger emphasis on retaining their players in free agency. There are at least two such members of their roster that qualify and Golden State should make sure they retain them.

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) warms up before a play-in game against the Sacramento Kings in the 2024 NBA playoffs at the Golden 1 Center.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State’s biggest question to answer this offseason very well could be what they do with Klay Thompson. Thompson is not the franchise pillar that Steph Curry is but he is close. He’s been there from the beginning and has four championships and a number of big moments under his belt.

Thompson is also still a useful player. He isn’t the defensive ace he was in his prime but his frame allows him to defend multiple positions capably. Thompson is still one of the best shooters in the NBA. His shooting percentages (43.2% from the field and 38.7% from three) were about the same as his career percentages (45.3% and 41.3%). He continues to be a major threat in big moments with his jumper.

But his asking price as a free agent could be what determines his future in the Bay. He is not worth the $40 million he was making this past season. Thompson’s play the last two seasons, especially in the postseason, was far too inconsistent to be making that type of money. Including his performance in the Warriors’ Play-In Tournament loss to Sacramento a month ago, Thompson has shot 85-229 from the field in his previous two postseasons. That number dwindles to a paltry 14-66 (21.21%) over his last five postseason games.

Not only has Thompson failed to perform in the postseason lately, but the Warriors also have young players who need minutes. Brandin Podziemski, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, and Trayce Jackson-Davis all played well last season. They proved they deserve playing time and need more minutes to accelerate their development.

While that is true, none of them compare to Thompson, even at his advanced age, as a shooter. Golden State’s identity has revolved around Curry, Green, and Thompson all together. It wouldn’t be the same without one of them. If the Warriors and Thompson’s camp can make the financials work, both sides should work to make a deal happen.

Lester Quinones, guard

Golden State Warriors guard Lester Quinones (25) drives to the basket while Boston Celtics forward Xavier Tillman (26) defends during the second half at TD Garden.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The majority of the Warriors’ roster from this season is under contract for next season, but there is another player who is poised to become a free agent that they should want to retain. That would be guard Lester Quinones.

Quinones has largely played in the G League during his tenure in Golden State, but flashed two-way potential this season. He shot 36.4% from three on solid volume (eight threes per 36 minutes) and gets after it defensively. Quinones really was able to showcase these skills at Summer League last season.

Quinones would primarily serve as depth for the Warriors but they could use all the depth they can find, especially if moves are on the horizon. He fits their system with his ability to shoot and move without the ball and wouldn’t cost a whole lot to be retained.

Quinones was upgraded from a two-way contract to a standard NBA one during the 2023-24 season. The Warriors believe in his ability and he has shown progress in their program since going undrafted in 2022. Quinones can help this team in the future. The Warriors would be wise to keep him around.