Top 5 questions facing Warriors at NBA trade deadline
Will Warriors make a move?
As the NBA teams approach the trade deadline working the phones to address needs immediate or future, the Warriors can afford to be passive or even smug. They have three All-Stars, relatively good health and the league’s best record. They need not make a single call. The Warriors can spend the next two days – the deadline is noon (PST) Thursday – in listen-only mode. And they are willing to listen, largely because of the uncertain status of injured big man Festus Ezeli. “Yeah, but we fully expect to have him back,” said a member of the team’s front office. “Now if he were out for the rest of the season, we’d be approaching things differently.” Today’s NBA contenders, every one of them, are chasing the Warriors. -- Monte Poole
1) Do they have enough big men?
The Warriors seem comfortable with the Andrew Bogut/Marreese Speights tandem at center. Bogut’s defensive presence is crucial, particularly with Ezeli out. And Speights provides a constant pick-and-pop threat that’s tough to defend. Which is enough, assuming Bogut is able to stay on the court. That’s the risk, as his injury history can’t be overlooked. If he can give them 25 minutes a night, while sitting out two or three times over the final 30 games, the Warriors can stand pat. With Draymond Green, who usually anchors the highly effective small lineup, also in the mix there is no urgency to make a move. -- Monte Poole
2) Should they listen if someone dangles a rangy, wing shooter?
Yes. But unless it’s a cost-effective, clear upgrade, the Warriors should hang up. Though the Warriors can never have too many of these, they seem deep enough as is. Brandon Rush, shooting 45.0 percent, has emerged from his dark days to become that 3-point threat off the bench. If 6-foot-9 rookie forward Kevon Looney is able to contribute anything at all, and it appears he can, the Warriors don’t even have to listen. -- Monte Poole
3) What if someone offers a poor man’s Draymond Green?
The Warriors should jump all over it, because Green is paying a high physical toll. But let’s face it: There is only one Draymond Green. His value is in his uniqueness, for he fills so many boxes in the positive. If you think another is out there, much less available, prove it. -- Monte Poole
4) How about a reserve point guard to give Steph Curry a break?
This one is a conceivable option, because Curry is such a precious commodity. But the Warriors have four other players who can spell Curry at the point. Shaun Livingston is the primary backup, with Ian Clark behind him. Andre Iguodala also comes in handy as a playmaker. And, frankly, the backup point guards that might be available would not be an upgrade over those already on the roster. -- Monte Poole
5) Should Dwight Howard be on their radar?
No. There was a time. That time has passed. The defending champions don’t have to do anything, nor should they unless a team serves up a bargain without any perceptible risk. They’ve put such distance between themselves and other contenders that there is more peril in making a deal than not. This is a don’t-mess-it-up situation, and all indications are the Warriors realize it. -- Monte Poole