The Golden State Warriors shockingly traded Jordan Poole for Chris Paul this offseason. The future Hall of Famer has been a part of many playoff battles against the Dubs, but he is now a key piece to the franchise winning their fifth title in the last decade. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson will lead the way, but they must have others step up to make another deep run.
The two timeline plan is gone. The Warriors are all-in on winning the championship in 2024, which brings plenty of pressure. It has been a strong start for their young talent in the preseason, but can they step up and be impactful when the games count? The second tax apron penalties begin in the summer of 2024, and the Warriors have to make moves before the deadline if they want to win another ring.
Their core of Curry, Green, and Thompson remains, but others need to step up if they want to stick in the Bay Area. If these players struggle, they could be searching for a new home.
5. Gary Payton II
Payton II helped the Dubs win the championship in 2022, but they were unwilling to match the Blazers’ offer in free agency only to re-acquire him before last season’s trade deadline. The 30-year-old struggled with injuries and failed to make a massive impact in the playoffs.
The Mitten is owed $8.7 million this season and has a $9.1 million player option for the 2024-25 campaign. With the Warriors well over the second tax apron and paying a massive luxury tax bill, cutting every dollar counts, especially when discussing a player who has struggled to stay healthy.
Gary Payton II played 71 games during the 2022 regular season, but it was the only time he played more than 29 in his seven NBA seasons. Can the Golden State Warriors count on the 6’3 guard to play a consistent nightly role? If the answer becomes no, they could look to move on before the trade deadline.