Surprise No. 1: The Warriors changed plans on the fly and cashed in a bunch of chips for Andre Iguodala, instead of letting it all ride on Dwight Howard.
Very responsible, and opportunistic, of them.
Surprise No. 2: The Warriors put themselves in the middle of the NBA free-agent whirlwind and not only survived, they won.
All very, very, very new experiences for this franchise.
And startling for anyone used to the old and hoary Warriors traditions of stale ownership, nervous over-reactions and listless off-seasons.
The Warriors pulled a great big snooker job Friday, focusing everyone's attention on their pursuit of Howard, then quietly agreeing to a four-year, $48-million deal with Iguodala, the free agent swingman and long one of their favorite players.
They set this up by sending Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush and their 2014 and 2017 first-round picks to Utah, a trade that created enough space under the salary cap to fit Iguodala outright.
Jefferson (at $9 million) and Biedrins (at $11 million) were both thought to be tricky to unload, especially under the gun, without much leverage.
And Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob, general manager Bob Myers and the rest of the personnel staff pulled it off, to acquire the versatile, defensive-minded Iguodala.
Now the Warriors have somebody to guard Kevin Durant or Tony Parker in the playoffs, if it should come to that.
And it didn't cost them Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson or even Andrew Bogut. By the way, it actually reduced their payroll by $11 million this season.
Surprise! That's an incredible set of events (first reported by Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski), all at once, and here's how I suspect it happened:
The Warriors were locked in on chasing Howard, and to do that, they had to explore ways to shed $31 million in salaries to get far enough under the cap to sign him.
They were also intrigued by Iguodala, who was Denver's best player in the two teams' playoff series last spring and whose two-way game can fill a lot of holes.
And Iguodala was ready to say "yes," after spurning Sacramento's entreaties and a larger offer from Denver.
A good player took less money to join the Warriors. When has that ever happened? Iguodala can play small forward, off-guard and maybe even some point guard for the Warriors -- and his loss directly harms one of the Warriors' closest conference rivals.
When the Warriors realized they had Utah ready to pick up a lot of their contracts, and that Howard was still uncertain, the Warriors went ahead and landed Iguodala -- ready, willing, and talented.
That all but precluded the Warriors from signing Howard outright (they just don't have much more else to package -- even dumping David Lee's deal, which would be difficult, wouldn't clear enough).
When word leaked that Howard was about to sign with the Rockets, it was no surprise -- the Warriors made their moves to do the Iguodala surprise.
The central core of this entire process, I think, was that the Warriors decided to hold onto Barnes and Thompson, instead of offering them to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade proposal for Howard.
They never had to make that final decision -- Howard picked Houston -- but it sounds like the Warriors were not giving up Barnes or Thompson.
Read all of the PD's fire coverage here