Pitt product Brad Wanamaker became an unrestricted free agent on Thursday, after the Boston Celtics declined to extend him a qualifying offer. However, the 6’3”, 210-pound point guard did not last long on the free-agent market, as the Golden State Warriors signed him to a one-year contract worth $2.25 million on Saturday night. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was the first to report the deal.
Free agent G Brad Wanamaker has agreed to a one-year, $2.25M deal to join the Golden State Warriors, his agent Steve McCaskill tells ESPN. Wanamaker played a productive role with Celtics – and now’s expected to see some significant minutes as Steph Curry’s backup.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 22, 2020
Wanamaker confirmed the news later on Saturday night in a message posted on Twitter and said goodbye to Boston.
"Appreciate you Boston," Wanamaker said in the message. "Signed my first and second NBA contracts with a great organization. Loved hooping with all my teammates and coaches I came across my two seasons there. Wish you guys all the best going forward, and I’ll always be grateful for my time there."
The move will see Wanamaker become the primary backup to Warriors point guard Steph Curry and join a dynasty coming off a down year. He will add depth to a lineup that also boasts Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Marquese Chriss as well as younger talents like Ky Bowman and No. 2 draft pick James Wiseman. But Thompson will miss the season due to an achilles injury.
Last season, the Warriors went 15-50 after losing Thompson to an ACL injury and Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. The depleted team finished with the worst record in the NBA after winning the Western Conference in each of the previous five seasons and accruing three championships in that span.
Meanwhile, Wanamaker was part of a Celtics team that went 48-24 and finished with the fifth-best record in the NBA. The team also made the Eastern Conference Finals but was dispatched in six games by the Miami Heat. In his second season in Boston, Wanamaker played in 71 games, averaging 6.9 points and 2.5 assists in 19.3 minutes per outing. While those stats don’t jump off the page, the guard performed well when called upon and posted an NBA-best 92.6 free-throw percentage.
Upon his arrival in the Bay Area, the Pitt product is expected to see significant minutes. There, he will be relied on for his defensive contributions and his three-point shooting, which was particularly notable in the last postseason. After converting on a respectable 36.3 percent of his shots from long range in the regular season, he made 44.4 percent of his three-pointers in the playoffs.
The NBA season is set to kick off on Dec. 22. However, the Warriors schedule and the schedules of other NBA teams have yet to be finalized and released by the league.