X

NBA Trade Rumors: Warriors, Bucks, Mavericks Named as Prominent Buyers by Execs

Adam WellsJanuary 20, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 01: Bob Myers and head coach, Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors speak during 2022 NBA Finals Practice and Media Availability on June 1, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Three weeks away from the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline, three teams have been identified as some of the leading contenders to make a move.

Per Ric Bucher of Fox Sports, the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks are "looking to add a proven player—or two—to complement their star-studded core," based on a sampling of general managers, scouts and front-office executives around the league.

Bucher noted scouts and general managers identified players like Bojan Bogdanović, Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, Jordan Clarkson, Terrence Ross and Eric Gordon as options to fill a need for those three clubs.

The Mavericks might be most in need of an upgrade. They are the only one of those three clubs that hasn't won a title with its superstar.

ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported Wednesday that Luka Dončić has "strongly indicated" he wants the Mavs to add talent before the deadline.

The Bucks have been fine this season with a 29-16 record that ranks second in the Eastern Conference. Their offense ranks 20th in points per game and 23rd in rating, but that can be expected to improve when Khris Middleton returns.

Middleton has only appeared in seven games this season thanks to offseason wrist surgery and a knee injury.

It's unclear when Middleton will return. The three-time All-Star told The Athletic's Eric Nehm last week he's still going through rehab and trying to strengthen his knee.

If the Bucks have concerns about Middleton's ability to make an impact down the stretch, they could look to make an aggressive trade to put another high-quality player on the court with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday.

The Warriors may be under the least pressure because they won a title last season, but the clock is ticking on how much longer the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will play together.

Green, who has a $27.6 million player option for next season, has said his time with the franchise could end sooner than later.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"Quite frankly, the writing's on the wall."<br><br>Draymond Green on the possibility of not being a Warrior 👀<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/TaylorRooks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TaylorRooks</a>) <a href="https://t.co/dzIOaq5e2I">pic.twitter.com/dzIOaq5e2I</a>

Following Thursday's 121-118 overtime loss to the Boston Celtics, the Warriors sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with a 22-23 record. They have lost three of five games since Curry returned from a shoulder injury Jan. 10.

Another complicating factor for Golden State is the luxury tax. The franchise has an estimated tax bill of $170.2 million on top of its $189.5 million payroll.

Warriors ownership has shown a willingness to spend big to keep this core group together, but the mediocre results this season might increase the sense of urgency for general manager Bob Myers.

One thing that helps the Warriors is the state of the Western Conference. Despite being below .500, they're only four games behind the Sacramento Kings for the No. 3 seed.

The Mavericks could also feel either good or bad about their position. They are fifth in the West standings at 24-22, 2.5 games back of the No. 3 seed and 1.5 games ahead of all four teams in the play-in tournament spots.