All offseason long, the prevailing thought has been that the Warriors were hunting for a blockbuster trade to add another star to their championship nucleus of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Ben Simmons, Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard all have been floated as potential targets for Golden State to go after as the NBA draft approached. But the draft came and went, and the Warriors stayed pat at No. 7 and No. 14, selecting Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
In fact, owner Joe Lacob is adamant that the Warriors aren't as fixated on trading for another superstar as the media and fan narrative would suggest, and that it's unlikely such a move is in the cards for Golden State.
“And I know this isn’t popular with a lot of people," Lacob told The Athletic's Anthony Slater. "They think we ought to go get the next star. We already have the stars. And we have a payroll that’s — and I’ve said this when I was interviewed before, but nobody listened. It’s very unlikely, I’ve said that we’re not going to trade for anybody that people are expecting. Very unlikely. It’s not impossible. But if it was going to be somebody, it was going to be somebody really great. It was going to be a big trade. It’s unlikely.”
Lacob knows the clock is ticking on the Curry-Thompson-Green window, but he also knows the Warriors have to plan for life after the championship core. Adding Kuminga and Moody to 2020 No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman is a good way to start planning for the next step.
“So the more likely path — and the path that I think, as an owner, I feel most comfortable with, quite frankly — is to bridge the gap to the future,” Lacob told Slater. “We’ve got three or four contracts and big players that are still in their early 30s, still have quite a bit of time to go, especially in this day and age. If we can kind of have a Wiseman and a Kuminga and a Moody and a Poole (help in the meantime). They don’t have to be awesome next year. With a great investment in our player development staff, we just want them to show great potential.”
Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers was candid about where the team sits in the NBA title picture after selecting Kuminga and Moody, both of whom will be 19 next season.
Myers knows the Warriors will have to add veterans in free agency to fill the holes on their roster, and Thompson's return will be the key to whether or not Golden State can be considered a legitimate championship contender next season.
"I think that's mostly on Klay, what he can be," Myers told reporters Thursday. "Not 'on him,' but with a healthy Klay Thompson we are right there with everybody. But I don't know if, when, how -- I expect him to come back healthy. I don't want to put any pressure on the date because it's not going to be at the start of the season, it's not going to be the first game. But really we need one of our top two or three players to be one of our top two to three players."
As rumors about Simmons, Beal and Lillard swirl, the Warriors are content to move forward with the stars they have, trying to simultaneously contend for a title while building for the post-Curry era.