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Anthony Slater details Warriors’ most likely strategy at trade deadline

© Daniel Dunn | 2023 Jan 17

It sure seems like the Warriors need to do something at the deadline.

Past the halfway point of the season, the issues that plagued Golden State at the beginning of the year continue to nag them. Lack of depth, poor defense and an inability to win on the road have been consistent issues. At 22-22, it’s hard to imagine Golden State as currently constructed being in position to repeat.

Still, the nature of their roster makes any big changes at the deadline difficult. The Warriors have a ton of salary on the books, making adding a big piece unrealistic. They also would likely need to part with one of their underachieving young pieces in order to land a serious contributor, something ownership doesn’t want to do, according to Warriors beat writer Anthony Slater.

It’s for those reasons that Slater believes the most likely scenario is that the Warriors make only one or two minor moves come Feb 9.

“Sources with knowledge of the Warriors’ thinking, who were granted anonymity so that they could speak freely, indicate this sort of strategy profiles as the most likely path for these current Warriors,” Slater writes in The Athletic. “Those in the know do not expect a loud trade deadline with substantial roster shuffling, instead anticipating some nibbling on the fringes, if anything. Here’s a more detailed rundown of the situation.”

So what might that look like? Most likely, it will mean adding a reserve big, someone like Jakob Poeltl or Kelly Olynyk. With Wiseman hurt and playing questionably when healthy, and JaMychal Green in the same situation, they could use a big body on the floor when Kevon Looney sits.

In order to land either, however, it is likely Golden State would have to part with a draft pick and probably Wiseman. “The Warriors aren’t moving with a desperation to maximize the present,” according to Slater. With both players on expiring contracts, a move for either seems unlikely.

That said, it’s more likely than adding a wing. Golden State would rather do that, according to Slater, but trading for one would likely come at an even heftier price. Jalen McDaniels, Darius Bazley, Rui Hachimura and Obi Toppin are the players considered available.

For all the reasons above, Slater believes it is most likely that the Warriors explore the buyout market, targeting the likes of Rudy Gay and Eric Gordon should either become available. It is also possible the Warriors send someone currently on their roster elsewhere.

With one roster spot available and Anthony Lamb likely to be offered a full-time contract, it appears GS will need to clear space if they want to add another body at some point.

 

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