According to ESPN and several other online sources, Corey Maggette has agreed to join the Golden State Warriors just hours before the free agency moratorium is lifted. Reportedly, Maggette will sign a 5 year $50 million dollar deal with the Warriors who lost out on signing Elton Brand.
The Spurs were believed to be the frontrunners to land Maggette all along. But several teams, including the Celtics, Pistons, Jazz, Cavs and Magic were ready to offer the midlevel exception.
Allthough he said he was only interested in playing for a contender, it looks like Maggette chose a big payday from a team that didn’t make the playoffs and just lost their franchise player over playing for a perennial contender.
With Maggette off the market and Mickael Pietrus heading to Orlando, I expect the Spurs to turn their efforts towards restricted free agent J.R. Smith. Project Spurs writer Shawn Kirsch wrote about the possibility of Smith signing with the Spurs months ago, and since then, several other media outlets and sports bloggers have mentioned Smith as a possible offseason target. There have also been reports that the Spurs have talked to Carlos Delfino, Jarvis Hayes and Roger Mason, neither of which would command the full midlevel exception.
As Jeff Garcia and I discussed in our latest Spurscast recording, due out tomorrow, Smith would not be a bad backup plan and I had my concerns about Maggette’s constant injuries. While Smith could start for the Spurs, Delfino, Hayes and Mason would be best suited as backups.