As the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaches, fans across the league wait with faded breath to see if their team will make a big splash. The Golden State Warriors are no different, as they currently sit 4 games behind the Utah Jazz for 8th place in the Western conference. Can the W’s shuffle the line up in time to make a late playoff push? Is it even worth it? Let’s examine a few of the factors playing into the W’s decisions.
According the ESPN’s Bill Simmons the Warriors currently have 3 of the 10 most cap-appealing contracts (Simmons’ excludes rookie and expiring contracts from his list) in the NBA. With Dorell Wright at 4 years $11.5 million, Louis Amundson at 2 years $4.6 million, and Monta Ellis at 4 years $44 million, the Warriors have some decent bargaining chips to bring to the table. The David Lee deal (6 year, $80 million) has somewhat handcuffed the W’s in terms of cap space, making it difficult to try to add anyone of substance (like another big man) to the current roster. Even with that as a hinderance, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t make a deal or two.
2) The Front Office
As Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports, The Warriors currently have $17 million in expiring contracts on their hands, but a relatively slow trading market and a lack of viable additions (once again big men) has kept the talks to a minimum. When asked by Kawakami about the upcoming deadline, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Larry Riley said:
“Right now, there isn’t anything jumping out that indicates that people are real anxious to make a deal…“It would take a very good deal for us to move any of our pieces that we consider to be building blocks for the future. “I think there’s a certain amount of desire on my part and on Joe’s [Lacob] part to take this team and add to it without subtracting.”
Doesn’t sound too promising, does it? When asked about the David Lee deal, Riley had this to say:
Didn’t the Lee deal erode the Warriors’ chances to do something now — financially at the very least?
“If you look at the free-agent market coming up, I don’t agree with that,” Riley said. “Now what you could say is maybe you could’ve made a move to trade for another player, that kind of thing.”
Still, doesn’t sound too promising.
3) The Future
With a slew of young, athletic players on the squad, the Warriors are a team that is looking ahead more than focusing on the now. But for the more immediate future, there are still some possibilites to be had before the trade deadline. According to ESPN’s John Hollinger, one of the better players to be had at the deadline is Brandan Wright.
“We’re talking about a 54.3 percent career shooter with a career PER near 18. Despite his thin frame, he’s a good rebounder, and he averages better than a block every 20 minutes. He’s also only 23 … yet he doesn’t play. He’s a restricted free agent after the season, too, so at this point I have to think the Warriors would give him up for a bag of peanuts. There are lots of teams he can help.”
Whatever the Warriors eventually decide, I don’t see them doing much to make them better before February 24th. Let’s just hope the team that we have now can keep coming up with wins.