3 Golden State Warriors who are expendable, and 3 they can't afford to trade

Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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No. 3: Chris Paul is expendable

On the surface it may seem that Chris Paul is already invaluable to the Golden State Warriors six weeks into his first season in The Bay. He leads the team in total plus-minus at +51 in his 482 minutes. He has logged 131 assists to just 20 turnovers, a pristine number, and for a team that at its worst is slinging the ball all around the court his steady hand appears to be the hand of a savior.

At the same time, however, Paul is shooting just 32.8 percent from 3-point range and 39.9 percent from the field; he has lost yet another step and can't always gain separation even for his patented midrange jumper. He also has been mostly healthy, missing his first game Thursday night due to a lower leg contusion. Paul has the shine of a good season on him and hasn't suffered a mjor injury, so moving him before the wheels fall off for the 38 year old makes some sense.

The Warriors also don't need Paul as much as it may seem. Cory Joseph is a perfectly fine backup point guard; per Cleaning the Glass the Warriors outscore opponents by 2.3 points per 100 possessions when Joseph is on the court and Paul isn't. When rookie Brandin Podziemski is on the court without Paul the Warriors are a +11.1.

Paul's large expiring salary is a major asset in matching salary in a trade. The Warriors shouldn't look to simply dump him on another team, but if they see a deal for a core player that they like, including Paul likely won't kill them. They have depth behind him and can't rely on Paul to either stay healthy, stay effective or be an option in the closing lineup given his size. As bizarre as it may feel to say it, Chris Paul is expendable (for the right trade).