5 Biggest Issues the Golden State Warriors Must Address at the Trade Deadline
The trade deadline is usually reserved for a whole bunch of fan speculation on what superstar the Golden State Warriors should trade for to build the team around. And no, none of the ESPN Trade Machine rumors ever play out. Dwight Howard? No. Kevin Garnett? No. Rudy Gay? No.
That was mainly due to the fact the team had little to no assets and didn't resemble any sort of winning team any player would want to go to. Fast-forward to 2013 and the team by the Bay is not only an up-and-coming contender in the Western Conference, but one that should contend for the foreseeable future.
Because of this, there really is no need for a blockbuster trade that would alter the infrastructure of the current Warriors team.
However, this hasn't stopped management from mulling offers and working hard to improve the team.
Warriors have eyed Gay 4 couple yrs. Grizz wanted Barnes & Jack & would've assumed final year pact of AB or RJ. GS split decision against— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 1, 2013
Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury News has also stated that the team may want to try to get under the luxury tax and acquire some veterans to fill small backup holes.
This isn't to say that the team is without flaws, of which there are plenty like any other team. It's that for the first time in a long time—even more so than the "We Believe" team that lacked depth—there aren't any immediate players the Warriors need to add.
Arguing for the sake of trading, the Warriors do hold several assets that other teams would crave; Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and two near-expiring contracts in Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson.
Grading the top five needs in terms of importance isn't easy, as one may include something the Warriors won't be able to necessarily trade for.
Andrew Bogut may be back but there's no way to predict when the self-proclaimed injury-prone center may fall victim to another fluky play.
Just last night, he was thrown down by Brandan Wright and was seen clutching the elbow he hurt a couple years ago. Although there is no immediate news on his injury—good news—it's hard to rely on the Australian center for 35-plus minutes a game at any point this season.
With non-offensive entities in Biedrins and Festus Ezeli backing him up, there is a little concern over the course of the season about their production. Granted, Ezeli has played admirably, especially for a rookie, but their combined lack of offense and aversion to the ball hurts the team.
Backup Wing Slasher
Richard Jefferson is playing much better in the past couple weeks but he's nearly a century old (kidding) and more likely than not, he won't sustain this type of production for the rest of the season. Last year, his shooting dropped off noticeably in the second half, as will happen with older players.
Harrison Barnes is a candidate to fill that role as a slasher, post-up nightmare for opposing teams, but his up-and-down play so far may be a little worrisome. Granted, he has very high potential and may grow into that aggressive style of play that seems to be lacking at times but he hasn't shown it consistently yet.
Draymond Green is getting more court time as well but has been, for lack of a better word, terrible on the offensive end. His defense is above average as his solid instincts and quick feet has served him well even against the best like LeBron James. However, his play on the offensive end has him looking like the Ezeli of wing players.
A veteran wing player along the lines of Charlotte's Gerald Henderson would provide excellent depth on a team full of players playing extremely well.
Veteran Point Guard
Kent Bazemore and Charles Jenkins are promising young players for the Warriors, but they may not be consistent enough over the course of a full season. This is no time to let them play 15-20 minutes per game in the middle of a playoff race.
With Stephen Curry's ankle keeping him out every couple weeks, the Warriors may have to address this weakness sooner rather than later. If an injury befalls Jarrett Jack or Klay Thompson, the team is suddenly frighteningly thin at the guard position. It's hard to rely on any more than 70 games from Curry, so an injury to either starting guards—who are playing at an extremely high level right now—would throw this team for a loop.
The main reason the Warriors would make a trade would be to get under the luxury tax. They are currently $2 million over after the guaranteed contract given to Kent Bazemore.
It's hard to get rid of current behemoth contracts from Jefferson and Biedrins because they are still a year away from becoming expiring contracts. The Warriors aren't the Brooklyn Nets, where owner Mikhail Prokorov doesn't care how much he spends as long as there are wins on the board.
If the Warriors are able to kill two birds out with one stone—trading Jefferson/Biedrins for a cheap veteran player that puts them under the luxury cap—it would be the dream scenario.
Is it possible to trade for these guys?
The vaunted, and near-mythical status of the Phoenix Suns medical staff is exactly what the Golden State Warriors needs for the second half and the future.
Look what happened to Steve Nash and Grant Hill after they left.
It obviously isn't possible to trade for another team's medical staff but this does bring into light the shortcoming of this Warriors team—and that is themselves.
Looking at the sheer potential of the team without injury is tantalizing. With Curry, Lee, Thompson, Barnes and Bogut on the floor at the same time, the offensive options are limitless. We see a little sneak preview here.
The most underrated aspect of the offense is the passing abilities of the two big men. When they post up, they aren't looking just to score like a Zach Randolph or Al Jefferson. With Curry and Thompson's three-point shooting creating space, it is extremely tough to not just guard this five for a game, but one possession. The spacing and willingness to pass bodes well for a team with many great shooters.
It is in that regard that the most important issue the Warriors have to address at the deadline is the rest and healing of Bogut and Curry's ankles. As of right now, Bogut isn't playing back-to-backs and Curry is resting his as a precaution.
If they are able to miss only 10-12 combined games (excluding playoffs), the Warriors will mark this season down as a rousing success—more so than it has been.