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Trade rumors update: Warriors will test market for Chris Paul, Wiggins

Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: Chris Paul #3 of the Golden State Warriors looks on against the Washington Wizards during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on December 22, 2023 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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We are just more than a week away from the trade deadline and the NBA world is buzzing — as much with smoke and misdirection as real trade talk. Here’s some of the latest buzz from around the NBA.

• Warriors reportedly will test trade market for Chris Paul, Andrew Wiggins. This is not surprising news, but with the Warriors struggling and more than one trade away from contending, questions about their next move have been raised. The Warriors will test the trade market for Chris Paul and Andrew Wiggins — and even Klay Thompson is not off the table, The Athletic’s Shams Charania said on FanDuel’s Run It Back.

“They’re gonna take calls on Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul. Could they get interest even on a guy like Klay Thompson? I think those are very much open conversations for the Warriors. They have to be open-minded.”

That feels like a leak targeting the Golden State fan base, showing management is trying, when in reality very little likely comes of it. The Warriors were always going to test the market with CP3, who is making $30.8 million this season on an expiring contract (he has a $30 million team option for next season nobody will pick up). The hope in Golden State was that contract plus a pick could get the Warriors a better wing player or fit to help put them over the top, except that player is not really available (unless you are a huge Zach LaVine fan).

The Warriors need wing help because of the disappointing, inconsistent play of Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson this season, which is why the team will listen to offers for both. It’s also unlikely either is traded. Thompson makes $43.2 million on an expiring contract and he and the Warriors have not been able to reach terms on an extension. How much would a team really give up to rent him (even if they wanted his Bird rights to re-sign him)? Not much. Wiggins is making $24.3 million in the first year of a four-year extension, which might interest teams that think they can turn his play around and get back closer to the level he was at when he was the second-best player on the team in its 2022 championship run. However, teams are not going to give up much of quality to the Warriors to take on that risk. Golden State would need to throw in sweeteners.

The questions the Warriors face are bigger: What do they want to do next? Curry is still a top-10 player in the league but little else on this roster says contender. This season has felt like the end of the dynasty era, and if they want to revive that around Curry it is not a one or even two trade thing — the Warriors would need a serious roster revamp. Or, do they re-sign Thompson to go with Green and Curry under contract, and ride this out as far as it will go? That kind of big question rarely gets answered at the deadline.

• Warriors not open to trading Jonathan Kuminga. This ties into the last trade note — Kuminga is off the table. He was never really on it unless a game-changer of a player became available, but Kuminga’s run of strong play has the Warriors wanting to keep him around, reports Marcus Thompson III at The Athletic.

Multiple team sources said the Warriors have no plans to do so and never did. Assuredly, his stock is rising with the NBA trade deadline two weeks away. But Kuminga can’t be considered a sweetener. He’s not some add-on. He is a foundational piece. Nothing in this trade market suggests a worthy return is out there.

The real decision date for the Warriors is coming up. Kuminga is eligible for an extension after this season, with the new contract kicking in for the 2025-26 season. That is when the tax bill for the Warriors being over the second apron hits hard, and that’s when the Warriors have to make some choices about this roster (although most of those likely come this offseason).

• Hawks coach Quin Snyder wants team to keep Dejounte Murray. Trade talks between the Lakers and Hawks around Dejounte Murray have stalled out, which suits Atlanta coach Quin Snyder just fine, according to Marc Stein in his latest newsletter.

League sources say Coach Quin Snyder has lobbied the Hawks to keep him. Murray has not only played well amid considerable trade noise — he recently drained game-winners in back-to-back games against Charlotte and Miami... — but also possesses a pretty manageable contract based on today’s standards.

He also clearly does not mesh in the backcourt with Trae Young. This leak sounds like one side is trying to motivate the other through the media: “Our coach doesn’t want to trade him, maybe we should keep him... unless the offer is so good, we can’t say no.” This sounds a lot like what the Lakers are doing on the other side with D’Angelo Russell, who would be part of this trade and has played better of late and reportedly giving the Lakers pause.

The real catch is that Atlanta doesn’t want Russell in a trade, so now a third team would have to be brought in, making things complex.

• 76ers interested in Kyle Lowry if Hornets buy him out. The Charlotte Hornets, who received Kyle Lowry as part of the Terry Rozier trade with Miami, are trying to re-route the veteran NBA point guard in a second deal. That is highly unlikely. Lowry makes $29.7 million this season on an expiring deal — a lot of salary to match for a rental. The expectation on the market is he will be bought out.

If that happens, the 76ers would have interest reports Marc Stein. Lowry would be a solid fit as a backup point guard behind Tyrese Maxey in Philly. As a side note, any team over the tax apron — Denver, Boston, the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix, Milwaukee and others — cannot sign Lowry if he is bought out under the teams of the CBA (because Lowry makes more than the mid-level exception).

• Cavaliers not interested in trading big man Jarrett Allen. This also is not a surprise, but in today’s world of disinformation sometimes we have to state the obvious publicly: The Cavaliers are not going to trade Jarrett Allen at the deadline, reports Chris Haynes of TNT/Bleacher Report. Cleveland has won 14-of-17 with Allen as the lone center (Evan Mobley is out following knee surgery) and the team has the second-best defense in the NBA over their last 15 games. While the Knicks (rightfully) have been grabbing headlines for their play, the Cavaliers have been right with them and will not blow things up with a trade. Cleveland plans to keep this core intact (including Mitchell), ride it through the playoffs and see how far they go, then make some potentially tough roster moves next offseason, league sources told NBC Sports.

One question for Cleveland: The team and Donovan Mitchell have looked much better with the floor spaced more while Evan Mobley has been out. He is an elite defender coming up on eligibility for a contract extension; what direction do they go with him and the roster overall?