Warrior's owner Joe Lacob has made it clear that his young point guard, Stephen Curry, is expendable.
In return, he'd like a "superstar." The two biggest names on the market are Carmelo Anthony and Andre Iguodala, both guys that Lacob has expressed interest in.
First, I want to eliminate the Carmelo Anthony scenario swiftly and convincingly.
The Warriors offense is, by almost any measure, excellent. Monta Ellis is as good a No. 1 option as any team needs to win, their three point shooting is the NBA's best, David Lee is a dynamic offensive forward and of course, Steph just knocks down shots.
The Dubs are in the top 10 in shooting percent, offensive efficiency, assists and PPG. Carmelo would make the offense even better, but no team should trade a potential future star for slightly better offense.
Andre Iguodala, on the other hand, would be a great addition to the Warriors. Dorell Wright has been very impressive at SF this season, but it is still a position that the Warriors need to upgrade.
With Iggy at the three, alongside David Lee at the four, the Warriors would have a more dynamic front-court and D. Wright would be one of the best sixth men in the NBA, making our bench far more dynamic.
But all of this is ignoring two factors:
1) The hole the move would leave at PG.
The next best PG on the roster is Acie Law, who is a mediocre backup at best. No way would he get the nod.
Monta could move to the point, but considering his 5.7/3.4 assist/turnover ratio coupled with his success at the two this year, that would be a limiting move to say the least.
No one else in house is really an option, so the Warriors would have to make another trade. To get a quality PG would probably take a package involving Andris Biedrins, Vladimir Radmanovic and Brandan Wright.
Iggy would clearly help this team, but at the end of the day, is he worth a downgrade at PG, Center and a depleted bench?
2) Steph Curry's potential.
Lacob is not completely right in his assessment that Curry has underperformed this year. Although his stats are up from last year, he started off last year slowly and as a result, his stats are misleading.
In the final three months of 2009-10, he put up better numbers than he has this year. However, if the marginal drop-off is his version of a sophomore slump, then I wouldn't call that a bad thing.
His shooting numbers are unreal: He's 47 percent from the field, 41 percent on three and an NBA-leading 93 percent from the line. His 5.9 APG are more a result of Monta putting in 5.7 APG to help out rather than a sign of Steph not being a quality facilitator.
Even if Lacob expects more out of Steph (and we all do down the road, of course), it is way too early to say he won't get there and beyond.
He is 22 and already may be the best shooter in the NBA. Catch-and-shoot snipers are a dime a dozen, plenty of bigger guys can work the mid-range/short-range shot percent over 50 and lots of guards can hit free throws at or near 90 percent.
But a guy who can create his own shots from anywhere on the floor and still stripe it as well as Steph can? Unheard of.
He's developing as a passer in front of our eyes, and his defense is picking up as of late. He clearly has potential to become a solid defender; his reflexes are good and he is quick. He just has a lot to learn about positioning and help.
All in all, what the Warriors probably have here is a future Gilbert Arenas (in his prime), and they possibly have the next Steve Nash (remember, Nash didn't average 5.6 APG or more until he was 26).
Lacob doesn't know what the future of this team is. Something could go wrong with Monta, the team could find an Iggy-type player via free agency or draft, etc.
They're not going to contend for any titles anytime soon, so rather than making a premature decision on Steph, holding onto him for a while is the appropriate course of action.