NBA Trade Deadline: Is Harrison Barnes Expendable to the Warriors?

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 13, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the Golden State Warriors goes up for a dunk between Matt Barnes (L) #22 and Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the first half at Staples Center on January 5, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

With the NBA trade deadline looming (February 21st), the Golden State Warriors are in a position that they haven't been in for quite some time.

The Warriors are in a position where, if they choose, they can acquire a player who will help put them over the top and make them a championship contender.  The Warriors also have the option to stick with the guys they have and see how it plays out.

The Warriors have reportedly been getting interest from around the NBA with teams looking to acquire rookie forward Harrison Barnes.

The Warriors are moving up in the basketball world, and trading Barnes for a proven contributor like Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics would accelerate the Warriors climb to the top.

However, there are consequences of trading a young player for an old player.

While a player like Pierce may be better right now in terms of helping the Warriors compete for a championship, a player like Barnes will help the team in the long run.  Acquiring Pierce, or another older player, would only help for no more than three years while Barnes can help for the next decade and beyond.

Personally, I say keep Barnes and play for the long run.  Barnes is on his way up while Pierce's level of play will come down soon enough.

Of course, there is an exception to every rule.  

If a team were willing to take on a large contract like that of Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins in a trade for Barnes, then the Warriors would be wise to consider it.  

The Warriors could use some cap room to re-sign Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry (if he declines his option) to keep the team mostly intact moving forward.

Unless a team were willing to take a large contract off the Warriors payroll, I say Barnes is not on the trade block at the 2013 trade deadline.