OAKLAND – Those Warriors fans worried about Jordan Bell being shipped out this week can sleep in relative peace.
Bell was thought by some to be a trade candidate because he’s not in the rotation and then, two weeks ago, had a sideline spat with coach Steve Kerr. But neither he nor any other Warrior is likely to move before the NBA trade deadline at noon Thursday, according to team president Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr.
“I don’t sense that we’re in a position this year where anybody is worried – nor should they be,” Kerr said Monday. “The sense in here is, (trade deadline anxiety) that’s everybody else’s problem.
“We’re in a different position, where we have our team. We have an empty roster spot, so we might add somebody. But the chances of us making a trade are highly unlikely and Bob will probably tell you the same thing.”
Actually, Myers was slightly less certain – because general managers are wired to give themselves acres and acres of wiggle room – but of similar mind.
“We’re pretty healthy. We know who we are,” he said. “But I don’t expect any big changes. We’ll see.”
The Warriors internally consider DeMarcus Cousins their blockbuster deadline acquisition. The 6-foot-11, 270-pound center was activated six games ago and has played well enough to ease front office concerns about additional depth up front.
Though Myers will operate mostly in "listen mode" the next couple days, it’s certain once the deadline passes he’ll be active in the buyout market. It’s the virtual shopping mall for front offices, particularly those with strong belief they’ll make the playoffs. Any buyout acquisition must occur before March 1 to be playoff-eligible.
“We’ll see who’s bought out, first of all,” Myers said. “If it’s a player that makes sense, that can help us win a championship, then we’ll look at it. Whether it’s a wing or a big, it’s hard to know right now. We’re still probably a week or so from those things happening.”
Prior to Cousins being cleared, the Warriors were keeping an eye on Bulls center Robin Lopez as an option But because Cousins has looked good so far the Warriors are more likely to pursue a wing.
With Rodney Hood off the market, traded by the Cavaliers to the Trail Blazers on Sunday, no fewer than seven other wings on bad teams are candidates to move via buyout if not traded before the deadline to a contender seeking quality depth.
They are, alphabetically: Trevor Ariza (Wizards), Alec Burks (Cavaliers), Wayne Ellington (Heat), Wesley Matthews (Knicks), Terrence Ross (Magic), J.R. Smith (Cavaliers) and Garrett Temple (Grizzlies).
Smith who is the only one the Warriors wouldn’t waste a minute researching.
Matthews would be the preferred choice. He’s a solid shooting guard capable of sliding to small forward in small lineups. But interest around the league is high enough that he may be traded before the deadline.
The Warriors would rather not trade because they don’t need to. They have an open roster spot and want to fill it with someone who can help them in the postseason.
“I don’t sense that any of guys are counting down to Thursday and nervous about anything,” Kerr said. “It’s more for other teams to have to sort through.”
Teams willing to make significant trade deadline deals generally have one of two motives. One, it is a decent team trying to improve its chances of making the playoffs that season. Two, it is willing to reshape a roster going nowhere.
The Warriors clearly don’t fit either profile.