The NBA’s trade deadline is noon Thursday, and both Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers have used the word “aggressive” in describing their mindset leading up to it.
What that means in terms of getting a deal done by the deadline is unclear. There are impact players the Warriors would certainly love to add. But at what cost?
“I think we’d be very reluctant to trade any of our core pieces; we like our core,” Lacob told Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami.
While the door is left open for the Warriors to unload a player like Harrison Barnes to get an impact player in return, what is being offered back obviously hasn’t been satisfactory thus far.
Trading Barnes carries with it significant risk even as his second year hasn’t lived up to some expectations. The 21-year-old has room to grow, and giving up on him early would be a gamble.
As Myers told KNBR, the Warriors would be “hard-pressed to get better starters” via trade before the deadline. So quite possibly the Warriors are setting their sights lower.
“If there’s another player out there who can improve the bench in another way we’d do that,” Lacob said. “I think the bench certainly could be better–it has not met expectations overall for the year.”
Adding a bench piece might not even require the Warriors to give up a player, as the team has traded player exceptions of $9 million and $4 million at their disposal from trading away Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush.
The Warriors can go out and get a player and his salary — possibly one from an expiring contract — without giving away a player that could lend a hand to their postseason run.
But what’s the catch? The Warriors according to Myers are “about $2 million and change” under the luxury tax, so taking on salary could cost the team big-time if it goes into the luxury tax.
“Bob Myers has the ability, he knows, to propose anything to ownership, even if it means going into luxury tax, if it means using those trade exceptions,” Lacob said. “We’ll consider all things.”
The Warriors have some wiggle room to make a key trade, and national analysts are expecting it would be for a bench player. Maybe that player provides a spark for a team that was hoping to get some of that out of Jordan Crawford. Maybe he doesn’t, and the trend of inconsistent play continues as the Warriors fight it out just to make the postseason.
Or maybe the deadline comes and goes without the Warriors making noise considering their options appear limited.
“We’re not going to make a move just to make a move,” Lacob said.