This season hasn't gone according to plan for the Golden State Warriors, and as a result, the team may look to the trade deadline in order to get things back on track.
Earlier in the week, Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher wrote that the Warriors were in the "buyer" camp ahead of Feb. 20:
A quick list of teams that could be active at the trade deadline, split into buyers and sellers: 76ers, Jazz, Bucks, Lakers and Bulls are potential sellers; Bobcats, Warriors, Knicks, Nets, Cavaliers, Wizards, Suns, Mavs and Pistons are all potential buyers. The Timberwolves and Nuggets, one executive opined, could swing either way depending on how the next week or so goes.
Looking at the team's current construction, it's not as if major changes are needed. A couple of tweaks, though, could mean the difference between home-court advantage in the playoffs or having to play somebody like the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs or Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
However, general manager Bob Myers threw a wet blanket on any speculation that the team would do much before the deadline, per Basketball Insiders' Nate Duncan:
Yeah, we’re comfortable. I read today that the starters are 21-7 and I don’t know how much stock to put into something like that. I guess it’s better than 7-21, but we do feel like it can be a competitive group heading into the future. We feel like it hasn’t hit its ceiling or even close to it, we hope, both for this year and beyond. We are comfortable with it. We have time to see how it develops. You have to sometimes be patient as you progress as an organization. We are not thinking that if we don’t win a championship this year, it’s a failed season; we don’t have that dialogue, we don’t believe in that mentality.
GSW about $2.2M under tax line. Bob Myers said no mandate from owner Joe Lacob to stay out. Would take a special deal, but they’re willing.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) January 16, 2014
The Warriors have little flexibility in terms of cap space, so that also hinders their ability to be a major buyer in the trade market.
Still, you never know what can happen between now and Feb. 20.
Read on to stay updated with the latest news and rumors surrounding Golden State ahead of the deadline.
Late Wednesday night the Lakers Twitter account confirmed that they had traded Steve Blake to the Warriors in exchange for Kent Bazemore and Marshon Brooks:
The biggest bargaining chip the Warriors have to trade is arguably Harrison Barnes. The second-year wing hasn't made the kind of jump this year that you would've expected after his strong freshman campaign, especially in the postseason..
Still, you'd have to consider that the Warriors would do it all over again regarding the speculation that they refused to trade either Barnes or Klay Thompson in order to get Dwight Howard in a sign-and-trade last year, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist, though, to see that the Warriors are bereft of trade assets at the moment.
That leaves Barnes and Thompson.
As Memphis tries to upgrade small forward spot, I'm told they've been among the many teams pursuing the Warriors' Harrison Barnes.
Marcus Thompson III of the Contra Costa Times reports it would take a 'blockbuster' offer to move Barnes:
The calls are coming in for Harrison Barnes as the Thursday trade deadline nears. But Golden State isn't doing much more than listening.
While fans might be disappointed, the Warriors aren't biting. General manager Bob Myers would deal Barnes only in a blockbuster that would significantly improve the roster, according to league sources.
Grantland's Zach Lowe previously hypothesized the idea of moving the two young stars, but ultimately came to the conclusion that it won't happen:
Barnes and Thompson draw interest as trade chips all over the league, and Barnes hasn’t met the organization’s high expectations for him this season. With three years left on (David) Lee’s contract, parting with one of these guys is Golden State’s only present-day means to a real game-changing trade. Just don’t expect one.
Head coach Mark Jackson made it clear that the organization isn't doubting whether Barnes will come good, per the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami:
"When you believe in somebody that doesn't mean you just believe in them when they're rolling," Jackson said before the game. "The Harrison Barnes that showed up 12 games in the playoffs started the whole year—that guy didn't play 82 nights.
"We believed he had that in him and I still do. So he will play his minutes, he will get his calls, he will get his touches, and he's going to be just fine."
Without Barnes on the table, it would seem that the Warriors will hold firm this year at the deadline, something that Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio confirmed:
The Golden State Warriors are believed to be looking for veteran depth at the guard positions, and one of the options on the table may be Gary Neal.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported that the Warriors could target the Milwaukee Bucks guard before the trade deadline:
Watch for the Golden State Warriors on the Gary Neal trade front... heard they have interest.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) February 15, 2014
Although Bucks are in the midst of a terrible season, little can be blamed on Neal. He's come of the bench to average 10.2 points a night in 20.2 minutes on the floor.
If anything, the 29-year-old proved his professionalism when he reportedly called out Larry Sanders back in January for what he perceived to be a poor attitude from the 25-year-old big man.
Neal is one of those players from whom you know exactly what you're getting. He's a steady three-point shooter who can provide immediate offense off the bench. Occasionally, he can go off for 15-20 points, as well.
If the Warriors can get him relatively cheap, he'd be a solid addition.