According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “frst-rounders have never been gripped so tightly in the league” during this trade deadline’s discussions. The 2018 NBA draft class is thought to be loaded with high end talent, though there is some question about its depth.
The Warriors can trade their 2018 or 2019 first round draft pick. They probably won’t, as young guys on cheap contracts are valued around the league, but in all likelihood, the 30th pick in the draft won’t turn in into anything special. Moreover, young guys aren’t as valuable for championship teams, and with few exceptions, are not good players for their first couple years.
The Warriors could also pay for another Jordan Bell in the second round, though I expect most teams to be wary about giving up a second round stud to the Warriors for just cash considerations in the future.
If teams are holding onto their first round draft picks so stubbornly, the Warriors’ pick becomes more valuable to other teams: it may be the last pick of the first round, but it is one of the few first round draft picks available. Packaging the pick with Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia, Patrick McCaw, or others could net decent return. It could net that shooting wing or sturdy center the Warriors could really use, even if they’re on an expiring contract.
The trade deadline is only hours away, and the Warriors will probably just stand pat. But they should look into how much their 2018 first round draft pick specifically could bring in return.