The Golden State Warriors are entering the 2013-14 season with high hopes. Their combination of youth, athleticism and hopefully renewed health from the offseason will allow them to compete and eventually evolved as one of the Western Conference’s powerhouses.
The last thing the Warriors need is an infusion of young talent from the draft, and in a historically weak draft, there may not even be young talent that would be an upgrade at any position. There may be, however, an upside to trading for a draft pick.
The Warriors have a couple of contracts they would love to get rid of. Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson are two of the highest paid players on the Warriors. In a scenario where the Warriors are attempting a hail mary to do some massive damage over the next season or two, Golden State could look to dump their salaries by pairing them with either Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes with a lottery team.
This would free the Warriors up to make free-agent signings this offseason or the next. Many Warriors fans would love to see Jarrett Jack return next season, but with players like J.J. Redick and J.J. Hickson on the market, Golden State could free themselves up to sign quality role players.
None of these scenarios are incredibly likely, realistic or very beneficial to the Warriors, but here are five teams the Warriors could trade with to cause chaos in the Western Conference.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers have one of the most promising young players in Kyrie Irving. With Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and plenty of cap space to play with, the Cavaliers could be a scary team with Barnes (with Biedrins/Jefferson’s expiring contracts)
2. Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets)
If the Bobcats had the option to go back to the 2012 draft, they would undoubtedly have second thoughts about drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Though Waiters or Damian Lillard are extremely tempting, how could they pass up another chance at Barnes.
3. New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans)
There have always been rumors of the Warriors wanting Eric Gordon. By trading their sixth pick in the draft and Eric Gordon, the Hornets could pick up young talent in Barnes or Thompson. The Warriors would obtain an explosive 24- year-old scorer.
4. Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings just hired Mike Malone as their new head coach. The Kings would benefit from trading for Barnes or Thompson as opposed to hoping their seventh pick will produce any great players. Malone’s influence and system would be familiar, as well as an opportunity to be a part of the rebirth of a stories franchise.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
In 2013-14, the Timberwolves will be in need of solid wing players. Minnesota may be willing to give up their seventh pick but would be unable to return any solid players to help the Warriors. Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love provide Minnesota with a one-two punch that is one of the most exciting in the league. One last piece could put them into contention.
There you have it – five crazy trades the Warriors could make to free up cap space and stir up some trouble in the West.