Warriors Predicted to Pivot off Trade Plans, Make Run at Ex-No.6 Overall Pick

Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors.

Heading into the 2023 NBA trade deadline, the Golden State Warriors have some serious choices to make. While there were some initial reports that they would stand pat and avoid making any moves, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report doesn’t think that will happen. He believes they’ll go after small upgrades to the roster.

“While appearing on The Lowe Post podcast, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Golden’s State’s trade deadline “aggression level” isn’t viewed as being “very high,” noting, “I think their aggression level has to be tempered by the money that any trade would bring in to next year, which is already a complicated year… According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Golden State’s roster and luxury-tax payments are projected to hit $483 million next season. Four players alone (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins) will account for $148.1 million in salary, already putting the Warriors well over a $134 million projected salary cap,” Swartz wrote. “This doesn’t even take into account Draymond Green’s future, as the veteran forward holds a $27.6 million player option… Despite their financial concerns, Golden State should still be looking for low-cost upgrades at the deadline… Golden State shouldn’t be complacent with doing nothing at the deadline. Exploring players who make a similar salary to Wiseman’s should be the goal, a list that could include Jakob Poeltl, Alec Burks, Jae Crowder, Josh Richardson, Alex Caruso and Mo Bamba.”

All of the suggested targets would be massive upgrades to Golden State’s bench unit. Poeltl and Bamba, the ninth and sixth picks in their respective drafts, would give their big man position a huge boost. Meanwhile, Burks, Crowder, Richardson, and Caruso would all be able to remedy their wing position.

Warriors Have ‘Painful Decisions’ to Make

Trading away players at the deadline is never easy, but that’s the business. And according to David Thorpe of True Hoop, the Warriors have some “painful decisions” in their future.

“There’s an argument, of course, for the Warriors to exercise patience through the postseason,” Thorpe wrote. “Don’t forget that their starting five from last June—Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, [Draymond] Green, Looney—has the second-best net rating among all starting lineups this season. Maybe the young guys can figure it out. If not, take a first-round loss on the chin, and then put everyone but Curry up for grabs this summer. They could renovate quickly by cashing in on big names, even if it cost them next-stage darlings like [Jordan] Poole, Wiggins, or Kevon Looney. Not sure how Dubs Nation would feel about that, but no matter what happens, painful decisions are coming.”

Bob Myers Admits Warriors Activity

While the Warriors may not have wanted to be an active trade deadline team this year, it’s clear that they will be. Warriors GM Bob Myers hinted at this fact during a recent talk with Steiny and Guru of 95.7 The Game.

“That is the question. We gotta look and see if there’s something that makes sense to answer that question,” Myers said. “We gotta see, is there someone out there that fills that spot? Is there someone in a buyout? Is there someone in a trade? Is there someone who supplants that and becomes the seventh guy, the sixth guy? That’s our job in the next eight days.”

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