Warriors unlikely to make big splash before trade deadline
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:41 p.m.
The Golden State Warriors almost certainly won't day anything to get smaller or slower and won't add crazy money or crazier players.
As today's NBA trade deadline arrives, they won't tear up their core group before they've seen a healthy Andrew Bogut in the middle of it.
Let's also add that the Warriors also don't have upcoming first-round picks to offer or any salary cap space to utilize.
So ... unless something dramatic happens over the next few days, the great likelihood is that the Warriors will remain mostly status quo through the deadline, despite entering Wednesday's game at home versus Phoenix on a six-game losing streak.
The big shake-up was last March, when they landed Bogut from Milwaukee for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh.
The Warriors got bigger and stronger with that deal, but there are still things to be settled from that franchise-changer.
“This team is performing well and as Bob (Myers, the general manager) has stated, we need to see this team perform as a group over an extended period,” co-owner Joe Lacob said.
Lacob spoke before the Warriors' started their post-All-Star break play in Utah that extended the losing streak to six games and put them in some jeopardy of dropping out of a Western Conference playoff spot.
But with Bogut only now getting medical clearance to play in back-to-back games and beyond 25-27 minutes a game, Lacob's words echo through the organization.
The Warriors like their team and like their current spot in the West top eight; it would take something huge to get them to change things up again now.
Of course, the front office wants to see Stephen Curry and David Lee continue to raise their games, and it wants to see the younger players grow.
Mostly, the Warriors need to see how it all works with Bogut, who played in only his 12th game as a Warrior on Wednesday against the Suns.
Until they have more complete answers about those issues, the Warriors aren't likely to consider adding a big salary and injury question mark such as New Orleans' Eric Gordon or a volatile pending free agent such as Atlanta's Josh Smith.
Basically, what's available right now doesn't fit what they're looking for or is too expensive for what the Warriors can fit.
Here are the quick details of why the Warriors are not in a big rush to make moves at the deadline:
The Warriors won 30 of their first 47 games with a blend of great play from Curry and Lee, tremendous chemistry throughout the roster under coach Mark Jackson and with more true NBA size than the franchise has had in many years.
Why mess with that unless the Warriors know they're getting a guaranteed upgrade?
There's probably no guaranteed upgrade out there.
Any player who could clearly help the Warriors would probably cost them either Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson or both, and the Warriors aren't interested in that right now.
The Warriors are already above the luxury-tax line by a few hundred-thousand dollars, which squeezes the options.
Though Lacob suggests they could go higher over the line for the right deal, it's likelier that the Warriors would try to go under the tax line by today by trading Jeremy Tyler or Charles Jenkins for a future second-round pick.
But Lacob made it clear that giving away useful players to drop under the line is not mandatory.
“Sure, in a perfect world we would like to be under the tax now,” Lacob said. “But it is not an imperative ...
“We have a nice mix of younger veterans and youth. We now have size and great shooting and depth.
“We have an excellent coaching staff and a very good locker room with guys that care, want to win and genuinely like each other ...
“Bottom line: this is not about money or tax limits or whatever; this is about the ONLY thing that matters to our fans, our players and to our ownership group ... WINNING.”
First-round picks are almost always crucial components in big deadline trades, and the Warriors can't trade this year's (owed to Utah) or next year's (can't trade picks in back-to-back future drafts).
That's one of the reasons the Warriors couldn't get seriously involved when Oklahoma City was ready to trade James Harden — and why he went to Houston, which gave up multiple first-rounders.
The Warriors should have little interest in most of the potentially available headline players, who are either duplications of what the Warriors already have or come with issues of their own.
A partial cast of availables: Andrea Bargnani, Carlos Boozer, Evan Turner, Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis (!), J.J. Redick.
Not much realistic help there.
Who knows, something spectacular could develop in the last moments before the deadline, drawing the Warriors into a megadeal.
But they're not looking for one, set up for one, or likely to make one.
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