After showing signs of life during their recent five-game winning streak, the Golden State Warriors are suddenly floundering with three straight losses to then-sub-.500 teams. And while there are some legitimate excuses for the recent difficulty — injuries factor prominently here — major issues continue to linger.
One such issue is the lack of overall depth on the roster. Sure, the Dubs have a unique mix of well-traveled vets and intriguing prospects, but their two and three-deep rotations are, nonetheless, not where you’d like them to be for a title-contending club.
No more apparent is the shortfall than in the frontcourt, where those aforementioned injuries have left the club with no one but an aging Draymond Green and a size/athletically-challenged Kevon Looney as the sole options in the pivot.
Said Dubs coach Steve Kerr recently: “I’m concerned about Draymond and Loon right now. They’ve been playing such heavy minutes with the number of bigs who have been out over the last few weeks… The guys who have been playing heavy minutes absolutely need a break, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
That said, one team insider says that the Warriors are looking into lessening the duo’s burden ahead of the trade deadline.
The Warriors Are Prioritizing Size in Trade Chatter
Despite everything that has gone on with the Warriors over the first half of the 2022-23 campaign, the prevailing thought is that team president Bob Myers is considerably more likely to roll with what he’s got than to mix things up in a significant way.
That’s not to say, though, that the Dubs’ top decision-makers are simply kicking back with an expectation that everything will work itself out and the team will inevitably find itself back in the title hunt. On the contrary, Myers and Co. look to be exploring their options (particularly in the frontcourt).
Wrote NBC Sports Bay Area‘s Monte Poole:
With the NBA trade deadline precisely 30 days away, the Warriors are active in the market, according to league sources. Though nothing is said to be imminent – the front office is more concerned with getting Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins back to speed – there is a desire to add size and shooting.
More Size Could Could Come at a Significant Cost for the Warriors
Over the last eight-plus months, San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl has emerged as a popular potential trade target for the Warriors. Before that, Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers was a player who was constantly namechecked as a possible fit in the Bay. And you could definitely make a case for either player being worthy of a look.
Alas, other NBA teams aren’t looking to just give these players away. So, if the Dubs were to deal for either Poeltl or Turner, the cost could end up being rather significant.
For his part, Turner is in the midst of a career season, averaging 17.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 37.9% from deep. It’s difficult to envision Indy giving up on him unless they’re getting a high-level prospect in return (like a one or more of the James Wiseman-Jonathan Kuminga-Moses Moody trio).
The cap-crunched Warriors would also have to match salary on any incoming baller, shedding a useful player or two in the process.
Poeltl, meanwhile, may be a rung below his Pacers counterpart, but he’s still putting up 11.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.1 blocks per game while pulling down a $9 million salary in ’22-23. So, Myers would have to part with something substantial to acquire him.