Why the Warriors stood pat during wild NBA trade deadline


Why the Warriors stood pat during wild NBA trade deadline

OAKLAND -- Barely 15 minutes after the trade deadline passed, Warriors general manager Bob Myers was lacing up his high-tops for some 3-on-3 hoops at the team’s downtown Oakland facility.

That’s not to suggest Myers and CEO Joe Lacob believe the team can’t be improved, and soon. They certainly do, and as Myers took the court his ear was still warm from a morning on the phone discussing possible moves.

But nothing developed that couldn’t be declined, and that’s mostly because potential trade partners were more interested in Warriors draft picks, in 2018 and beyond, than what is available on the far end of their bench.

The Warriors had two options. Option A would require moving the team’s only pick in the 2018 draft. Option B would be waiting to shop the buyout market.

Myers went with B, which under the circumstances make the most sense.

The Warriors have owned only two picks over the past five drafts -- though they bought two others -- and they’re unwilling to give up the first-round pick they hold for 2018. That will be only their third first-round pick since Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli arrived in 2012.

Why give that up when there is an excellent chance the Warriors can address their greatest need -- reliable scoring off the bench -- without jeopardizing their future finances?

Stephen Curry is in the first year of a five-year max contract worth $201 million. Kevin Durant awaits a similar deal in July. One year later, in July 2019, Klay Thompson becomes an unrestricted free agent. It’s Draymond Green’s turn in 2020. Assuming the Warriors want to have any chance of keeping their four All-Stars beyond 2018-19, as they surely do with the upcoming move to Chase Center, it’s going to be costly.

The Warriors are going to need some cheap labor, and that means rookie deals. The Warriors own their next seven first-round picks, but only one second-round pick over the next three seasons. They’re not currently assured both picks until 2021-22.

So now the Warriors will focus on the buyout market. There will be options, and veteran scorer Joe Johnson, traded to the Kings on Thursday, is expected to be among them.

Multiple league sources have said the Warriors are interested in Johnson, and it was been reported that Johnson, once bought out by Sacramento, would consider the Warriors.

Another player the Warriors would consider is Hawks guard Marco Belinelli, their first-round pick in 2007. Belinelli’s name came up in trade talks but he remains in Atlanta. There is a good chance he’ll be available on the buyout market.

A player’s contract must be bought out before March 1 for him to be eligible for the playoffs with his next team.

2019 NBA All-Star Game: Klay Thompson knows how Steph Curry's opponents feel

2019 NBA All-Star Game: Klay Thompson knows how Steph Curry's opponents feel

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson's entertaining back-and-forth on Sunday didn't end when the buzzer rang on the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. 

In their postgame press conferences in Charlotte, the Splash Brothers continued to talk trash. Thompson, in particular, thought Curry benefitted from a favorable call early in the fourth quarter.

Curry drew a shooting foul on a 3-point attempt, drained the shot and let his teammate know just how many points it was all worth. 

“I was pissed off, but that happens,” Thompson said (via The San Francisco Chronicle). “I felt like the opposition for once. I’ve seen him do that so many times in his career that it sucked to be on the receiving end. Then for him to rub it in my face, what a terrible sport."

Thompson quipped that Curry should have been hit with a technical for taunting. 

"For real. I know, that's crazy," Thompson told reporters. "Guy just gets away with so much. But, he should have got a 'T'. But it's life, you gotta move on."

[RELATED: Check out what Iverson told Curry at the All-Star Game]

Thompson's tongue was planted firmly in his cheek, in case his tone didn't give it away. The Warriors are not exactly headed for a sequel of the Kevin Durant-Draymond Green beef, and Thompson and Curry enjoyed the rare chance to compete against one another.

“We’re obviously each other’s biggest supporters, but we kind of do it in a fun way,” Curry said. “We talk so much trash to each other. There are a couple of sayings we throw out there when each of us is shooting. And we almost like get happy when the other one misses. It’s just a weird kind of vibe, but it comes from a good place."

That's all well and good, but ... but what does it mean for Thompson's pending free agency??? The rumor mill needs to be fed, after all. 

Allen Iverson tells Steph Curry the Warriors star is in his 'top five'

Allen Iverson tells Steph Curry the Warriors star is in his 'top five'

Greatness respects greatness.

During Sunday's All-Star Game, Allen Iverson had a mic'd up exchange with Steph Curry.

The 76ers icon told Curry that the Warriors star is in Iverson's “top five,” a nod to where the A.I. thinks Steph places on the all-time list of greatest players in NBA history.

Iverson also references playing against Steph’s dad, Dell Curry, in their brief conversation.

The admiration between the two stars is mutual, as Curry said back in 2017, "Lowkey, I always wanted to be like Allen Iverson."

In December, Iverson famously put Curry as the point guard in his all-time "Starting Five," alongside Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Shaquille O’Neal.

While Iverson’s lineup caught a little flak for its recency bias, it clearly would be a pretty fearsome quintet of Hall of Fame (and future Hall of Fame) players.

[RELATED: Durant joins exclusive club with second All-Star Game MVP]

As Curry is only 30 years old and is still in his prime, his final standing among the all-time greats is yet to be cemented. 

But whenever all is said and done, you know "The Answer" will place the two-time MVP at the very top of the list.