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: Warriors can't afford to trade Gary Payton II

At the height of their dynasty the Warriors did not lack for options to deploy on opposing guards. From Klay Thompson chasing ball-handlers over screens, to Andre Iguodala enveloping them with his long wingspan, to Shaun Livingston and Harrison Barnes and even Patrick McCaw able to take on high-octane backcourt players.

Now the Warriors have a very different lineup of players, and what was once a strength is now a weakness. Thompson is older and slower after his injuries and can't stay in front of guards anymore. Iguodala is retired. Stephen Curry and Chris Paul play smart and strong on defense, but they aren't lockdown defenders.

The Warriors have one clear answer and that is Gary Payton II. The Warriors let him walk in free agency and immediately regretted it, months later leveraging James Wiseman to bring him back. Payton has been brilliant to start the season, a ballhawk swiping steals and continually pressuring up to stop an opponent from moving easily into their offensive set.

Payton is now out indefinitely with a torn calf, so the Warriors will get to test the waters of playing without him. Perhaps they can piece together enough help to survive, but Payton will be sorely missed. Once he is back the Warriors will be offered trade packages involving Payton going to another team and they need to turn those down, as losing Payton permanently would turn a weakness into a gaping wound.