Grading Golden State Warriors' Trade Deadline Performance

James Pearson@JKPIIICorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2013

December 21, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Charles Jenkins (22) looks on during the second quarter against the Charlotte Bobcats at ORACLE Arena. The Warriors defeated the Bobcats 115-100. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors made two separate deals before the NBA trade deadline expired.

Both were about exciting as the deadline itself.

The Warriors traded Charles Jenkins to the Philadelphia 76ers and Jeremy Tyler to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for draft considerations.

The arrival of Jarrett Jack made Jenkins an afterthought despite performing well late last season. He is a solid point guard and may have a long future in the league. His presence will be missed if the Warriors are unable to re-sign Jack, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Tyler, the $2 million dollar second round draft project, has so far failed to live up to his high school hype. Buried at the end of the bench for his career, if he ever realizes his potential in the NBA, it is not going to be in a Warriors uniform.  

Golden State was more than $1.5 million off the salary cap figure, and they needed to trim $1.2 million to avoid paying the luxury tax penalty. By giving up on both players, it got the Warriors under the luxury tax, meaning that they can go over the tax next season and not incur the harsh penalties for being a repeat offender.

The trades also might get a little bit of excitement into the 2013 NBA draft. Currently without a selection in either round, the Warriors might get themselves back in the draft depending on the restrictions of the acquired picks.

All things considered, the Warriors did about as well as they could have at the deadline, and for that the Warriors earn an A.

Mainly, their high grade stems from the trades that they didn’t make.

The concrete rumor from had the Warriors involved with the New Orleans Hornets to land Eric Gordon in a package headlined by Klay Thompson.

Leaving that as a speculative deal was the right move.

Thompson has yet to miss a game in his career and will make around $8 million over the next two seasons. Gordon has missed 36 games this season alone and will make about $29 million dollars over the next two seasons.

Look at their per 36 minutes stat line for their sophomore seasons (which has been Gordon’s best year thus far). You can hardly tell them apart. Sure, call Gordon the better player right now, but $20 million over the next two seasons better?

Don’t get me wrong. Gordon would fit in great with this team if he was healthy. But it’s not like he would be the difference for an NBA Finals appearance this season.

Plus, if the Warriors still wanted to make this deal, surely it would still be there in the offseason. And doesn't Golden State have one too many guys who are injury-prone anyway? Right now, they couldn't afford another player that was one bad cut away from missing multiple games.

Carl Landry is still a Warrior, despite rumors, according to Marcus Thompson, that the team was exploring trade offers for him. While it never hurts to look, with just a $4 million cap number, Golden State would have been hard pressed to find a better option than Landry while staying under the luxury tax. 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds on 52.4 percent shooting in 24.3 minutes per game is nothing to sneeze at.

Avoiding the luxury tax and deals with key members of their team, the Warriors set themselves up nicely for next season.

By then, the contracts of Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins will have gone from immovable objects to attractive expiring contracts. Especially with teams looking to clear cap room for the expected 2014 free agent class that might include LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, among others. Both of them could become extremely valuable trading chips for any team looking to unload cap space for the summer of 2014.

By getting under the luxury tax and not gambling on any high-priced talent right now, the Warriors played it smart. Despite their recent struggles, they are still better off than most expected from the start of the season.

The Warriors really could not have handled the trade deadline any better than they did. With a winning record, an A at the trade deadline, jerseys with sleeves, and appearing playoff bound, exciting things are happening for Golden State.

Well, maybe not the jerseys so much.