The Golden State Warriors are 34-13 and sit second in the Western Conference.
By any objective measure, this group is having a stellar season.
That said – they still have a very noticeable Achilles heel. James Wiseman continues to be out of action and Draymond Green has struggled to get healthy.
The Warriors need to address their weaknesses down low.
So will they make a trade to deal with that hole? No.
According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, there is one specific deal the Warriors absolutely refuse to make: trading for a center.
“This offseason, the Warriors front office opted against adding an extra traditional center when rebuilding the roster, caring so little that the team even went with more guard help with its two vacant two-way slots,” he wrote.
“Marquese Chriss could’ve been had. He wasn’t pursued. Part of the reasoning is easy to read. The decision-makers wanted to leave a clear path to playing time for James Wiseman. The franchise used its most valuable draft asset in a few decades on him. He, the Warriors figured by December, would be that extra center, growing while absorbing increased minutes.
“But December has become late January and Wiseman’s stalled rehab hasn’t yet advanced to full-contact work. It’s unreasonable to expect to see him before the All-Star break and, at this point, it’s unwise for the Warriors to count on Wiseman in any meaningful way as a rotation center in the playoffs…Is it time for the Warriors to go searching for center help?”
“No, sources insist, the front office doesn’t have any current plans to add outside help to shore up the center spot in the immediate…Paul Millsap, whom the Warriors discussed adding this summer, is in search of another team. But don’t expect a shake-up. The reasoning is layered. It begins with the 15 players the Warriors currently have on the roster, all locked into guaranteed deals the rest of the season since the non-guarantee deadline has passed.
“They are hesitant to add to the tax bill, value continuity and don’t intend to sacrifice wing depth to shore up what they believe is a short-term problem.”
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Golden State opts to do ahead of February’s trade deadline.
Ben Simmons has obviously made it clear that the Warriors are one of two teams he wants to land with, but time will tell if anything materializes on that front.
The team has also been linked to an intriguing trade with the Indiana Pacers.
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 23, 2022
But a lot will likely depend on how the Warriors play over the next few days. If Klay Thompson’s cold streak continues, maybe the front office will feel a move has to be made.
Should Thompson return to form, though – they’ll like stand pat.