Why Warriors trading first-round draft pick is best to restart dynasty

Why Warriors trading first-round draft pick is best to restart dynasty

The Warriors will have a decision to make when it comes to the 2020 NBA Draft, and the choice won't just be about which top prospect to add to a roster that's built to win now.

Yes, the Warriors have a 14 percent chance to take home the top pick in the draft by owning the NBA's worst record during their pause year. But the 2020 NBA Draft is a weak draft without a truly transcendent talent at the top. Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball are talented players who each come with question marks.

The Warriors are looking to maximize what is left of their title window, and developing the future of the franchise doesn't often mesh well with title-chasing. There will be a lot of value in that draft pick and the Warriors could opt to trade the pick in order to add an immediate difference-maker to a roster that is built to contend.

"I honestly think having someone with experience come in and join the team would make the most sense," NBC Sports Bay Area's Kelenna Azubuike said on the Warriors roundtable. "Like we've talked about, the win-now mentality. The window won't last forever. I honestly at this point would be surprised if -- depending on what happens with the lottery -- if they just took whoever they could at that point and didn't trade down or didn't package it with something else, some other asset to get a veteran in there.

"Again this is not the best draft when it comes to talent and high-impact guys that are going to come in and change your franchise," Azubuike continued. "As is right now, it makes more sense to me and I think the Warriors are probably thinking that to get a little more creative ... Maybe you trade down or maybe you package that and get someone else is who is a veteran guy. There are a lot of kind of disgruntled guys around the league -- talking about Ben Simmons, Bradley Beal, people have talked about Giannis, maybe that's a pipe dream, who knows? But if there is anyone who can get creative and put stuff together it is Bob Myers."

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The Warriors find themselves in the unique position of being in the lottery but also having a roster than is primed to contend when all the pieces are healthy. They should enter the 2020-21 season with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins all fully healthy and ready to go. That's a top-four that can rival any team in the NBA. While adding a talent like Edwards or Wiseman would benefit the Warriors' future, their title chances would be better improved if they were able to package that top pick in a deal for a proven veteran player.

With the $17.2 million trade exception not expiring until October, the Warriors can package the exception with their first-round pick or a pick swap to add a more proven veteran presence. The Warriors would be unable to acquire any player who makes more than $17.2 million, so players like Simmons or Beal would not be apart of any potential deal that includes the exception.

But there are a number of veteran players who the Warriors could add by packaging a pick or a pick swap with the exception, including Domantas Sabonis, Marcus Smart and Jonathan Isaac. If the Warriors wanted to add a bigger name like Beal, Simmons or Joel Embiid (depending on how the 76ers' season ends) they would likely have to trade Wiggins to make the cap numbers work.

While adding a superstar likely isn't in the cards for the Warriors, acquiring a veteran player like Ricky Rubio, J.J. Redick or Smart would help the Warriors in their quest to get the most out of the remaining years of their championship core. Finding a way to add a young player like Sabonis or Isaac would give the Warriors both a young building block and someone who can come in and contribute immediately to a title-contending team.

[RELATED: Myers believes these are main keys for Warriors to contend]

Trading a top draft pick might seem like a risky strategy, but keep in mind the Warriors' also own the rights to the Minnesota Timberwolves' lightly protected 2021 first-round pick, so they will have another opportunity to add a young, impact piece next year. Also if the Warriors add a pick swap to the trade exception they still could select a player later in the first round who they might be just as high on as one near the top of the board.

The Warriors are focused on winning now, while Curry, Thompson and Green still are in their primes. The best way to do that is to surround them with veteran players who can make an impact right away.

There's no doubt that draft Edwards, Wiseman, Ball or Tyrese Haliburton would be better in the long run than acquiring Redick, Rubio, Smart or any number of veterans. But the development of rookie often is pushed aside on contending teams -- think Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell -- and their potential never is realized. The Warriors can't be wearing a win-now hat and a build for the future hat.

If they truly want to restart their dynasty next season, they need to get Curry, Thompson, Green and Wiggins another veteran piece who has been through the NBA grind and be a valuable piece come playoff time.

Eight things Warriors must do to return to NBA championship contention

Eight things Warriors must do to return to NBA championship contention

Until the current NBA season is completed -- if it ever is -- the Warriors will remain the reigning Western Conference champions. Yes, the 15-50 Golden State Warriors.

Obviously, they didn't come anywhere near their recent level of success this season, ending their season with the worst record in the league after making five straight NBA Finals. That said, the Warriors' roster isn't anywhere near the worst in the NBA. Not even close.

Though it would seem like quite a bounce-back, a Golden State resurgence next season isn't out of the question. In fact, for many reasons, you can bank on it. But resurgence isn't what the Warriors are aiming for. They don't simply want to climb out of the cellar.

They want to win championships.

Though they have many of the key ingredients already in place, some vital developments will have to occur in order for the Warriors to get back to title contention. Some will be more easily accomplished than others, and not all of them are in Golden State's control. But if the Warriors do these eight things, they'll give themselves a chance to lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy once again.


Warriors bizarrely only NBA team with no pending 2020 free agents

Warriors bizarrely only NBA team with no pending 2020 free agents

To say the Warriors had a rough season in 2019-20 is an understatement. The team ended the season with a 15-50 record, and stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson missed almost the entire season with injuries.

They do, however, find themselves alone in one very unique category when it comes to the current roster.

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Thirteen players under contract, all of them extending into next season. But the Warriors didn't begin the season that way. This was the Golden State roster when training camp opened in September of 2019.

From the current roster, Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney all entered the 2019-20 season with multiple years remaining on their contracts.

Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic and Eric Paschall were 2019 NBA Draft picks and received standard rookie contracts with multiple seasons of team control.

Andrew Wiggins had three years and almost $100 million remaining on his contract when the Warriors acquired him at the NBA trade deadline.

[RELATED: Ranking Warriors' five best free-agent signings since 2000]

Ky Bowman signed a multi-year extension with Golden State in February, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole. Bowman originally started as a two-way player for the Warriors and spent time with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League as well.

On the same day Bowman's contract was converted to a standard NBA deal, big man Marquese Chriss also signed a reported multiyear extension with the Warriors. Chriss had been a two-player for a few weeks after being released to make way for Damion Lee, who himself was converted from a two-way player to a full-time member of Golden State's roster.

Local product Juan Toscano-Anderson began the season in Santa Cruz with the Warriors' G League team, playing 31 games there this season before being signed to the Warriors' roster in February on a multi-year deal.

Finally, Mychal Mulder impressed Golden State's front office enough during his 10-day contract that the Warriors inked him to a multi-year deal in an announcement on March 10, just a few days before the league's coronavirus suspension.

Trades could open up roster spots for Myers and the organization, but free agency won’t be much of an issue this offseason, as all 13 of the players on the active roster are locked up for next season.