The Golden State Warriors have a first-round pick and a large trade exception, but they don’t need to give both up at the same time.
The Golden State Warriors have a $17.2 million trade exception. They also have a guaranteed top-five first-round pick in this upcoming draft. They could combine the two to bring in a top-tier player.
However, that’s not necessarily what they must do to improve with that exception. The Warriors have options that could result in them getting a top-tier player through the exception and an elite prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Warriors, mainly because Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry combined for just five games this season, were 15-50. They won’t be part of the NBA’s Orlando restart that is scheduled for July 30 with the 22 best teams returning to action.
The team’s mindset should already be on improving this offseason. They have the mid-level exception and the trade exception at their disposal. What they don’t have to do is package them, especially with the talent on the market.
A player like Montrezl Harrell is on the market this summer. While he may be a bit far out of the exception’s price range, it’s a free agent like him that could bring some allure to the Warriors that they may have struggled to find over the past year.
At the same time, if they sign a player instead of coupling the pick and the exception for a player like Marcus Smart, they may be better off given that those two players could help fill both a current and future need instead of one or the other.
NBC Sports’ Monte Poole recently ran an article of five trade options that the team should explore which they’d combine the pick and the exception. Those are good options, and they include players that would certainly help improve the roster.
That doesn’t mean that coupling the two is the best way to go about it. It makes more sense if there is a free agent target they would want for that much money that outright signing said player is the more desirable action.