With a 19-18 record at the All-Star break, the Warriors have slipped out of the top eight in the Western Conference and haven’t kept pace with many of the teams viewed as legit title contenders this season. However, as Tom Haberstroh writes for TrueHoop, Golden State is better equipped than many of those top teams to make a major trade at this month’s deadline.
One of the Warriors’ most intriguing assets is the first-round pick they’re owed from the Timberwolves. That pick is top-three protected in 2021 and would be unprotected in 2022 if it doesn’t convey this year.
“Golden State is the team to watch right now,” one general manager told Haberstroh. “No one knows what they’re going to do with that pick.”
The Warriors had a lottery pick for the first time in years in 2020 and used it to select James Wiseman, who is viewed as a foundational piece for the franchise. If Minnesota’s pick falls outside the top three this year, that would give Golden State another opportunity to add a young building block to its core.
However, Warriors star Stephen Curry will turn 33 years old next Sunday and the team wants to remain in title contention while he’s still in his prime. A package built around Wiseman, the Timberwolves’ pick, and Andrew Wiggins‘ sizeable contract could return a star.
A couple of factors reduce the odds of the Warriors making a big swing at this year’s deadline though. For one, it’s not clear if it will be worth mortgaging the team’s future for any players on the trade block this month, with Bradley Beal and other stars expected to be off limits. Additionally, it might not make sense for Golden State to make a splash on the trade market right now when Klay Thompson won’t be back on the court until next season.
Rival teams still view the Warriors as a wild card at the March 25 deadline, but as Haberstroh writes, the club may ultimately have to wait until the offseason to make its move.