Warriors’ ‘valuable’ $9.8 million traded player exception expires without a trade

LAS VEGAS – The Warriors were unable complete a trade by Thursday night’s deadline to utilize their $9.8 million traded player exception.

The traded player exception, which would have allowed the over-the-cap Warriors to take on a player’s contract without giving one back, was one of the tools that the Warriors had to make an impact on their roster in absence of a draft pick and a blockbuster trade.

“I do think the trade exception in itself gives us a pretty decent vehicle,” general manager Bob Myers said last month after the draft. “It’s almost like having 9.8 million in (cap) space, which we don’t have. That’s a valuable thing to have not just necessarily to acquire players but to field offers from teams that are looking to maybe move off contracts that might help us and aren’t helping them.”

But with free agents like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony still unsigned and giving several teams pause in making major moves, no trade or sign-and-trade materialized for the Warriors, who did not necessarily have to use the traded player exception.

The expiration of the trade exception doesn’t take the Warriors out of the Kevin Love sweepstakes. The Warriors under co-owner Joe Lacob have been known to be aggressive even though rumblings of a trade for Love have died down while Minnesota digs in its heels and holds out for a better deal.

Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders covets Klay Thompson in a deal for Love and has expressed his willingness to hold onto his star right on into the season when he believes a good deal could still come before the trade deadline.

Meanwhile, the Warriors officially signed guard Shaun Livingston on Friday to use their mid-level exception and now in order to stay under the luxury tax are expected to pursue another shooter.

Diamond Leung