OAKLAND -- Free-agent swingman Brandon Rush has reached a two-year agreement to return to the Warriors, according to a Yahoo Sports report Wednesday and confirmed by Rush's agent to The Associated Press.
Rush, who played for the Warriors from 2011-13 before being traded to Utah last offseason, has agreed to a $2.5 million contract with a player option for the second year. The Warriors had not yet officially announced the deal, but it appears they will be bringing back Rush for essentially the NBA minimum salary for a player with his service time.
The Warriors are expected to use Rush as both a backup guard and small forward. He averaged 9.8 points and 3.9 rebounds for Golden State during the 2011-12 season. He also finished seventh in NBA 3-point field goal percentage at 45.2 percent that year and also shot a career-best 50.1 percent overall. He was regarded as one of their best perimeter defenders.
But two games into the 2012-13 season, the 29-year-old Rush suffered a serious knee injury against Memphis that required surgery to repair his left anterior cruciate ligament. He was sidelined for the rest of the year.
On July 5, 2013, Rush was then included as part of a trade along with Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson to the Jazz, a deal that cleared enough salary for the Warriors to sign free-agent forward Andre Iguodala. But Rush, a No. 1 pick (13th overall) in 2008 by the Portland Trail Blazers and then traded to the Indiana Pacers, struggled in Utah, averaging just 2.1 points per game in 38 games. He shot just 33.3 percent from the floor.
The Warriors were aggressive in their quest to reacquire Rush, according to the player's agent, Mark Bartelstein. Rush held a workout for teams in Las Vegas recently before signing with the Warriors, and Bartelstein told the AP that Warriors general manager Bob Myers and assistant G.M. Travis Schlenk inquired about him every day once free agency began.
Bartelstein maintained Rush is now fully rehabilitated from his knee issue.
"The second year is when you get your game back," the agent said. "That first year you're really trying to survive. He's worked really hard to get back and is excited for the opportunity."
Rush is the Warriors' second acquisition in the past week in an effort to strengthen the bench, which was clearly one of the club's weaknesses during the 2013-14 season. Earlier, Golden State signed guard Shaun Livingston to a free-agent deal.
The Warriors reportedly are also still in active discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire All-Star forward Kevin Love, but Golden State apparently isn't willing to part with guard Klay Thompson in any deal.