SOURCES: Warriors Simply Don’t Have Enough to Trade Up

For those holding out hope the Warriors will trade up into the draft to land Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, you can forget about it.

It’s looking like the Warriors’ best hopes for trading the No. 7 pick will be to move down in the draft, according to multiple sources. With two days left before the NBA draft, it’s turning out that the Warriors don’t have a worthy offer.

“Dorell Wright isn’t enough,” one league source said. “The offers in the top five are better.”

Golden State has been dangling the No. 7 pick and their starting small forward, Wright, who has one year left worth $4 million. But the Warriors 7th pick is too low for teams above Golden State to still get a player they want. For example, Charlotte is reportedly looking to trade the No. 2 pick. But Cleveland’s No. 4 allows them to get Harrison Barnes, someone they like. The Warriors’ No. 7 leaves them choosing between Andre Drumond and Dion Waiters. That’s just not so desirable a spot.

And Wright isn’t the ooomph in the deal the Warriors’ need. His expiring contract is relatively small and he’s coming off a down season. But the Warriors don’t have much else to offer to a team holding a top five pick. The No. 30 doesn’t raise any eyebrows. Klay Thompson is off the table. The other players the Warriors have are either free agents or sitting on undesirable contracts.

Trading down is difficult as well because the teams looking up are hoping to go higher than the Warriors. Houston now has three draft picks to work with and presumably will be looking to land a lottery pick. But they wouldn’t have to settle for No. 7 when Charlotte figures to be interested at No. 2 and Sacramento could be interested at No. 5. According to sources, the Warriors are seriously looking at their moving down options, but face a few obstacles.

* Trading down from the No. 7 pick is likely to yield multiple draft picks. That’s not exactly where the Warriors want to be. For example, trading #7 for #14 and 16 would net them five draft picks (#30, #35 and #52). So a deal like that would require the Warriors to do something with their other three picks, lest they end up drafting a couple international players who can hide away.

* The Warriors prefer trading down for a later pick and a player, but the pickings are slim. Houston is dangling Kyle Lowry, but he could very well net them the No. 5 pick. Chicago wants to move up, but not for what the Warriors want (Luol Deng, Joakhim Noah, Taj Gibson). Dallas wants to move up, but Dallas doesn’t have much worthy of the No. 7. Certainly, Rodrigue Beaubois and Shawn Marion would have to be in the conversation. Minnesota wanted to move up from 18, but they don’t have much to pair with 18 outside of untouchable Rubio, Love and Pekovic (which is why they settled on Buddinger for 18). Philadelphia wants to move up from 15 but the Warriors can’t (yet) seem to pry away Andre Iguodala or even Thaddeus Young.

This is probably why Jerry West’s emphasis on collecting assets is making headway in the Warriors’ front office. It’s becoming painfully obvious the Warriors don’t have as many assets as they’d like to portray. That’s why the best-available approach — “regardless of position,” as I’ve been told — is the Warriors new mantra. That bodes well for the Warriors’ drafting of Damian Lillard or Dion Waiters, two players who are widely recognized as among the better talents in the draft. These are the kind of players who will have value this offseason, and next February, when the Warriors are looking to make trades.

For that reason, don’t be surprised if the Warriors use Nos. 30, 35 and 52 to get a higher pick to follow up on No. 7. According to a couple sources, the Warriors would be happy to head into the offseason with three quality players to fill out their roster and start to build up their assets in the young talent department. That may not be good news for Charles Jenkins, Jeremy Tyler and Chris Wright.


Marcus Thompson