The Golden State Warriors’ 2023 NBA Trade Deadline plan has been a topic of much speculation in recent weeks.
Obviously coming off their incredible title-winning performance in 2021-22, expectations were sky-high for Stephen Curry and Co. heading into the new season. Unfortunately, locker room rifts and injuries have culminated in something of a disappointing first 50 games.
Presently, the Warriors are 26-24 and sit fifth in the Western Conference. That is despite winning six of their last 10 and being on a three-game winning steak.
It feels like the Warriors are one move away from truly legit contention. But what is that move?
People around the league have a couple of opinions.
According to NBA insider Sean Deveney, there is one school of thought that Golden State should dump Draymond Green.
“They should [trade him this year],” a Western Conference executive told Deveney.
“If they made the decision that they’re not giving up any of the young kids, then that’s fine, but are you going to just keep chugging forward with what you’ve got? Obviously, the Draymond punch with [Jordan] Poole was a bigger deal than they let on, it is still dragging down that team. No doubt about it.”
A couple of things complicate the situation. One, it unclear what Green’s trade value currently is. Two, there is a belief among some that Green wants to leave next summer anyway for one particular franchise.
“Hard to say what you could get for Draymond at this point because he can be a free agent, and everyone assumes he’s going to the Lakers next summer,” the Western Conference executive told Deveney.
“You’d probably have to take back a bad contract to move him, and they’re not going to see that as being worth it, so he’s not going anywhere. But it is a big shadow over that team. They’ve had injuries and some bad personnel decisions, but the Draymond thing is still there.”
If Golden State opts against doing something so drastic, the team can make of an around-the-margins alteration by acquiring defensive stalwart Matisse Thybulle.
“Multiple NBA sources said the Golden State Warriors have had internal discussions about Thybulle and that they do like him as a defensive stopper,” Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported this week.
“The Sacramento Kings are also reportedly monitoring his availability. A league source confirmed the interest, saying Kings coach Mike Brown is a fan of Thybulle, who would add a defensive presence to Sacramento’s starting lineup.
“The Kings (28-21), who surprisingly sit at third place in the Western Conference, are pondering upgrades for a postseason push after an NBA-record 16 straight seasons without a playoff appearance. The Kings’ and Warriors’ interest makes sense and is something to pay attention to.”
The Warriors still have most of the pieces that mattered most from last year’s title run.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/xrazdX5WuI
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 1, 2023
Presumably, if they get on track, repeating should be a viable option.
Thus far, though – they simply haven’t looked like a legitimate title contender.
Will the Warriors make a big trade ahead of the 2023 deadline and make a late-season run at a championship? One way or the other, an answer should emerge within the next week.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.