Presuming general manager Bob Myers is right and a trade for Kevin Love is unlikely, the Warriors are looking at pretty much the same roster coming back.
The pipe dream of getting LeBron James stands no chance without Love. Golden State could make a play for Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh, but they don't make the Warriors all tingly the way Love does.
That means the Warriors enter free agency Monday night with about $11 million, four open roster spots and a few significant needs.
Why $11 million? Because that's how much room they have under the luxury tax line. Given their preference not to offer multiyear deals, the pickings are slim.
The Warriors' needs: a backup point guard, a backup shooting guard, reliable scoring off the bench, a penetrator, a big man who can shoot the 3-pointer, a low-post scorer and a third-string center. But when you're on limited funds, you have to find players who knock out a few needs.
Since Festus Ezeli is expected to return and David Lee can serve as the third center, the Warriors' greatest need is on the perimeter. Jordan Crawford and Steve Blake won't return, leaving no backups for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Guard Rodney Stuckey, a free agent after seven seasons with Detroit, makes a lot of sense for the Warriors because he can back up Curry or Thompson. Stuckey is 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, and his game is attacking the paint off the dribble. His career percentage of free-throw attempts to field-goal attempts is .381, well above Curry's career-high of .252 last season.
Jeremy Lin, a Bay Area native and former Warrior, is an even better penetrator than is Stuckey. But Lin will count $8.4 million against the salary cap on his expiring contract -- if Houston were willing to trade him. That would leave the Warriors with less than $3 million to fill out the roster.
Another option is Patty Mills. The former Saint Mary's College guard is a hot name after his showing in the NBA Finals for San Antonio. He can score off the bench and spell Curry.
But will Stuckey or Mills take around $5 million? Are the Warriors willing to sign either for more than one year?
Free agents Shaun Livingston and Ramon Sessions could be had under the midlevel exception. Atlanta might also be willing to part with Lou Williams' $5.45 million expiring contract, though he's another jump-shooting guard.
The big men are much more scarce. Free agent Channing Frye would fill a couple of needs for the Warriors in that he can stretch the floor and be a backup center. But he opted out of a $6 million contract with Phoenix and probably is looking for a multiyear deal -- a lot to ask for a big man who doesn't rebound or defend well.
A better fit is probably Spencer Hawes. He's 7-feet, 245 pounds and made 41.6 percent of his 308 3-point attempts and averaged 8.3 rebounds last season. Having played in Philadelphia and Cleveland last season, maybe he's willing to take the midlevel exception to be on a winning team.
Former Lakers backup Jordan Hill, now a free agent, is a rugged big man who can shoot well from midrange. He's affordable but doesn't shoot the 3 and can't generate offense from the post.
The Warriors can likely get one player they really like. If they get lucky, they can lock up two players they really like for $11 million combined.
They actually have $15.1 million in cap space to spend. They have a $9.8 million traded player exception they can use to acquire a player from another roster without sending one back. They got it in the Andre Iguodala trade last year, and it expires July 10. They also have the midlevel exception -- $5.3 million -- to sign free agents.
But they won't use all of both. They would for the likes of Love. But for bench help? Don't bank on it.
They could free up $3.6 million by dumping Marreese Speights, but that won't be easy.
Yes, they have talked for years about a willingness to pay the luxury tax. Yet, once again, they're choosing not to pay it. At some point, prudence will have to take a back seat to pursuit of a ring.
But the collective bargaining agreement is such that if you can avoid paying the tax, you do it. The Warriors won't be able to avoid it next season, so becoming a tax team now means harsher penalties when Thompson's expected sizable raise kicks in for 2015-16.
So, barring a major trade to significantly upgrade the team, the Warriors are scouring for filler for the third consecutive offseason.
Contact Marcus Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Curry comes out in support of Klay Thompson and David Lee. See mercurynews.com/warriors