So there's your standard hide-your-true-intentions-so-as-not-to-lose-leverage statement right? Well, not really. It made sense that the team not immediately go out and make wholesale changes now that Andrew Bogut is back and the team is poised for a playoff berth. Even through a five-game losing streak, it appeared that the Warriors would stand pat with their current roster.
But TRADE DEADLINE! And here we go. The time of year where a rumor of a rumor turns into full-blown trade speculation. According to team sources, of course.
Let's break down the team's assets.
Stephen Curry—untouchable due to his play and being face of the franchise and all.
Klay Thompson—good young player other teams will look to trade for.
Harrison Barnes—in most trade rumors because of his potential and rookie contract, like Klay.
Andrew Bogut—probably won't be traded due to injuries.
David Lee—massive contract until 2016 and the owners' best friend. Not happening.
Andris Biedrins/Richard Jefferson—one more year for each so they're expiring expiring contracts that don't present much value yet.
Jarrett Jack/Carl Landry—on one-year contracts (Landry player option) but most likely not traded due to their versatility off the bench.
Everyone else will probably be a throw-in or a player to match salaries—Draymond Green and Kent Bazemore do offer a bit of value as young complementary role players.
So it appears if the Warriors were to start any semblance of a trade, they'd have to build a package around either Klay or Barnes.
In the past few days, the Warriors have been linked to Eric Gordon, and since Josh Smith is on the trade market, isn't he the type of player the Dubs have been looking for as a franchise player (even though he's not) the past couple years? And if we're starting with those two players, why wouldn't Danny Granger, Andrea Bargnani, Dwight Howard, and even J.J. Redick be on the Dubs' radar?
And let's face it: even with their great start and numerous young players, they still don't have a bona-fide superstar.
It isn't to say that the Warriors are seriously considering these options. Let's be clear: the Warriors probably SHOULDN'T be considering these options given each players' injury history, contract, and chemistry issues. But with each trade deadline comes hypothetical ESPN Trade Machine deals that form the perfect fantasy basketball team.
"What if our starting lineup is Curry/JSmoove/Bogut/Redick/Jack? We could trade RJeff/Klay/Jack for Josh Smith?! How about Green/Biedrins for Redick?"
It's impossible to predict what the Warriors will do, especially given the new owners and their propensity to pounce on what they believe are great basketball opportunities. They aren't afraid to do something bold and perhaps alienate the fan base for what they believe is the long-term greater good. Just last season, they traded long-time fan-favorite Monta Ellis for a center who was injury-prone and wasn't going to play for the rest of the season. They had no issue trying to pry away the Warriors from one of the the best fan-bases in basketball and move them to San Francisco.
There may not be a trade of the Stephen Jackson-Al Harrington caliber, or even the Baron Davis for Dale Davis/Speedy Claxton fleecing. However, it is clearly evident that Bob Myers is looking at this team's long-term success and not a win-now-at-all-costs condition. Short-sightedness is the last thing on their mind, especially mortgaging the future for the present. Given the current nature of the Western Conference, there may not be as much incentive to trade current young assets for a year of "going for it all".
That's not the way the current Golden State Warriors run business and for the better.
Regardless of that fact, speculation is always fun so leave your hypothetical Trade Machine deals in the comments.
No Monta Ellis for us though.