It’s hard to believe, but it’s only been two years since the Golden State Warriors traded Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III, and Willie Cauley-Stein. Admittedly, the last two years are roughly the equivalent of two dog years, but still.
Heck, for that matter, it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s only been a year since the Dubs traded away Brad Wanamaker. Now please hold me in your thoughts and prayers ... nothing happened to me, I’m just thinking about the Brad Wanamaker era.
Another deadline is fast approaching, with trades being halted for the season on February 10. And the Dubs, as one of the league’s top contenders, will have a lot of eyes focused on them, to see if they can add some extra toppings to an already potent sundae before the postseason rolls around.
Upgrading at the deadline is always a promising sounding thing, unless you’re a bottom-dwelling team like the aforementioned 2019-2020 Warriors, at which point selling off by any means necessary is a sound strategy.
The problem with the Warriors and upgrading is that their 17 players almost all fall into one of the following three categories:
Players that are untouchable
Players that the Warriors really, really like, who do not have nearly enough trade value to make the Warriors even think about trading them
Gary Payton II
Otto Porter Jr.
Players that don’t really have any trade value
You can play around with placement if you’d like, as you might not agree with the tiers I put each of those players in. Perhaps Poole and Kuminga are in the second tier, or perhaps Looney and Wiggins and Wiseman are in the first, or maybe Lee and JTA are in the second.
That part doesn’t matter. What matters is that, wherever you choose to place them, 16 of the Warriors 17 players fit into one of those tiers that all but assures they’ll still be wearing a Golden State jersey when February 11 rolls around.
That leaves just one player: Moses Moody.
Moody doesn’t fall into a box titled, Trade this guy STAT!!! Instead, he pops in one labeled, Well dude, we just don’t know.
Do the Dubs view Moody as a part of the future franchise quartet, along with Poole, Kuminga, and Wiseman, and thus have him placed behind velvet ropes? We don’t know.
Does the league see Moody’s lack of playing time (190 total minutes) and unsuccessful shooting numbers (5-for-34 from distance) as an indictment that virtually eliminates his trade value? We don’t know.
Even if we assume that the Warriors are open to trading Moody and that the league values him, it’s hard to find an available impact player who matches Moody’s $3.5 million contract, which would be necessary to make a deal work.
There’s a reason that, when offseason trades were devised, rumored, and debated on, most either involved Wiggins’ contract (to make a trade for a star work), or Looney’s and/or multiple rookie deals (to bump up the total package to a mid-range cost). Want a bench spark plug to lead the second unit when Curry rests? Moody doesn’t get you anywhere near Eric Gordon’s $18.9 million. How about an offensively-talented center to share duties with Looney? Good luck finding the $9.5 million that Montrezl Harrell is owed.
There are smaller names on more modestly-priced deals — Kenrich Williams comes to mind — but the Warriors are already having a hard enough time finding minutes for all their players, and that’s with injuries to Green, Wiseman, and Iguodala. It’s hard to imagine them trading an intriguing, cost-controlled rookie for another player to battle for the ninth or tenth spot on the bench.
The bad news is this means you can expect the Warriors to be fully silent at the trade deadline this year. The good news is that it sure beats what happened the last two years.