Kerr huddle lenght

By Jared Williams

With the 2016 Presidential election beginning approximately one year from now, this trade deadline article will be the antithesis to a campaign speech. There won’t be any infeasible statements -no unrealistic promises. The number of roster transactions the Warriors will make before the trade deadline (this Thursday) will most likely equal the amount of basketball fans who genuinely dislike Steph Curry, zero. With that said, the Lacob regime has proven it’s always active in the NBA market and GMs have been known for the occasional surprise. Most importantly, constructing hypothetical trades is a go-to hobby for Warriors fans (like throwing 3 fingers in the air for every splash or shouting MO BUCKETS) so let’s jump into this Warriors trade deadline special.

We’ll start with the assets that wouldn’t result in the Warriors immediately hanging up phone if another team inquired about their availability.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Golden State Warriors

  • David Lee: averaging 19 minutes, 8.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and one “can the NBA please grant us a second amnesty clause?” thought per game. The contract’s brutal: 2 years (including this one) with $30.5 million guaranteed. For context, $30.5 million could pay for the next two seasons of Steph Curry and MO BUCKETS, and Draymond Green’s contract for this season.
  • 2015 1st Round Draft Pick: according to, a player historically picked between the 28th and 30th spot (where the Warriors’ pick should fall) has a Win Shares value between 1 and 2. This is equal to an average role player, typically off the bench. Win Shares = the estimated number of wins contributed by a player. 
  • 1st and 2nd Round Draft picks from 2019 through 2021: NBA teams cannot trade successive future 1st round draft picks. As such, the Warriors can’t trade their 2016 or 2018 1st round pick because they owe their 2017 1st rounder to Utah via the Iggy deal.

With moveable assets identified let’s get to the possible acquisitions.

1) Bogut’s Backup

As typical of humans taller than the common door, Warriors backup center Festus Ezeli’s injuries have proven more consistent than his free throw percentage. That coupled with Kuzmic’s lack of development (a great last name though), leaves the Warriors without a legitimate center when the Aussie needs a break. Here are some options for Lacob & friends to explore:

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks

  • Big Name Buyouts: Larry Sanders (Milwaukee, an NBA leader in rim protection and marijuana use) and Kevin Garnett (Brooklyn, although if KG gets bought out it’s likely he goes to the Clippers where Doc Rivers is seemingly attempting to acquire every player who was good in 2008).
  • Aborted Projects: Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte, 7th overall pick in 2011, expiring contract, shot swatter, and Spell Check’s least favorite player), Andrew Nicholson (Orlando, former 1st rounder whose minutes have fallen off a cliff, but he’s available and big), and Jason Thompson (Sacramento, a rebounding percentage 4.4% higher than Festus Ezeli).
  • Personal Favorites of Mine: Brandon Bass (Boston, $6.9 million dollar contract would require salary cap gymnastics by the Warriors) and Ed Davis (Lakers, 6’10”, shooting 58%, marvelously cheap contract).

2) Bench Shooting

Outside of the Splash Brothers and Harrison Barnes from the right corner 3 (73.3%), the Warriors secretly lack shooting. With Draymond Green’s declining 3 point percentage (36% in November and 30.7% since), Justin Holiday’s recent absence of playing time, and Iguodala’s general offensive struggles, the Warriors sorely need a floor spacer off the bench.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic

  • Steve Novak (Utah): everything’s negative (his contract, defense, general movement) except for his 48.5 three point percentage.
  • Robert Covington: 16th in the league in 3 pointers made, shooting 38.9% from behind the arc, and tied for the best plus-minus on the “we’re willing to trade anything for picks” Philadelphia 76ers.
  • Ray Allen: outside of a terrific nickname (the Splash Uncle/ Father/ Son from a previous marriage?), Allen would bring a pedigree of clutch shot-making. NBA defenses often respect a shooter’s reputation more than his current stats -Allen’s reputation would single handedly open the floor.

Remember, this shooter only needs to play 10 to 15 minutes per game. That small role might actually impede Allen’s chance of coming to the Warriors but it’s the truth -the man known as Jesus Shuttlesworth doesn’t deserve more than 15 minutes/game on this team.

3) Fantasy Trades

Outside of a backup for Bogut and a bench shooter, I don’t see any scenario where the Warriors make a deal. But why should the Warriors’ league-leading record and ensuing extreme hesitancy in making a deal deny us the pleasure of trade speculation? Here are some players to play with on ESPN’s Trade Machine. All are either currently on the trade market or should be.


  • 21 Year Olds Who Are Undervalued: Moe Harkless (Orlando, 3 years in the league and have I mentioned he’s 21?) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte, a lockdown defender in his 3rd year), and Nik Stauskas (Sacramento’s front office is officially bonkers and fully capable of being ripped off in a deal).
  • Big Names Who Would Push Us Deep Into the Luxury Tax: Thaddeus Young (Minnesota’s got to officially start tanking), Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler (fire sale in Denver!), and Terrence Ross.
  • Inconceivable Acquisitions: Goran Dragic (imagine if as a reward for Steph coming out, opponents got a fresh Dragic) and Nikola Peković (the ultimate Bogut backup).

With the highest point differential since the NBA-ABA merger (the Warriors lead Jordan’s 95/96 Bulls by 0.1 in point differential), the Warriors have every right to approach the trade deadline with acute caution. As Assistant General Manager Travis Schlenk recently stated, “I tell (general manager) Bob (Myers) all the time, ‘our job is not to screw it up…We’d hate to do a move just to do a move and have it mess up our chemistry’”.

Joe Lacob’s knack for the unanticipated and the Warriors’ needs at backup center and bench shooter warrant monitoring the team’s trade activity, but expect a trade-free deadline. In exchange for deadline midnight deals we’ve got a championship caliber team -that’s a tradeoff I’ll take any day. Maybe we should devote our time to making trades for the Kings. Who knows, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé might just hire one of us as GM -I’m only somewhat joking.