3 playoff outcomes that could impact Golden State Warriors' trade plans

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors
Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors may be missing the playoffs for just the third time in 12 seasons, but there's still a plethora of storylines to follow that could have significant implications on the franchise moving forward.

After their elimination in the Play-In Tournament on Tuesday night, the Warriors will look ahead to an offseason where they'll undoubtedly explore potential trades to upgrade their roster. The franchise chose to stand pat at February's mid-season deadline, but much of that was do with the lack of options available on the market.

There's a number of outcomes the Golden State Warriors should be hoping for as the NBA Playoffs prepare to get underway

This offseason's trade landscape could be largely dependant on what happens in the playoffs, with a raft of teams under the microscope with certain expectation. While Golden State won't be involved in the postseason themselves, they could certainly benefit from the results. Here are three outcomes the Warriors should be hoping for:

1. Suns fall flat in first-round exit

The Phoenix Suns are one of the team's most under pressure heading into the playoffs, having swung a number of trades in the last 18 months headlined by their acquisition of former Warrior Kevin Durant.

The Suns will face the third-seed Minnesota Timberwolves in what presents as one of the many fascination first-round matchups. Yet regardless of the opposition, an early exit for the trio of Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal would be nothing short of a disappointment.

The Ringer's Howard Beck reported in February that Durant could look around if Phoenix fail to win a playoff series, and given the Warriors' own disappointing season, one could imagine they'd have interest in reuniting with the two-time Finals MVP should he become available again.

2. Bucks get upset for second-straight year

The third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks will enter as favorites against the Indiana Pacers in their first-round matchup, but the latter won't be without a chance given the injury status of two-time MVP Giannis Antetekounmpo.

Speaking of Antetekounmpo, his future will once again be in the spotlight if the Bucks are upset in the first-round for a second-straight year. The 29-year-old is contracted until the end of the 2027-28 season, but that hasn't stopped ESPN's Brian Windhorst from questioning where Antetekounmpo may be if Milwaukee fail to advance.

Given the tantalizing thought of an Antetekounmpo-Stephen Curry combination, best believe the Warriors would be up their eye balls in trying to make it happen should the Bucks' superstar request a trade.

3. Cavaliers flame out against Magic

The Cleveland Cavaliers may not possess the superstar power of Durant and Antetekounmpo, but they do have some talented assets who could become available if they can't move past the fifth-seed Orlando Magic.

That's headed by Donovan Mitchell whose future in Cleveland has been in question since he arrived via trade in 2022. The 27-year-old continues to be linked with a potential move in the offseason, but the Warriors may be more interested in the Cavaliers' frontcourt and their double-big combination of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.

If that duo proves ineffective as they did a year ago against the New York Knicks, then there's a real chance the franchise may move on from one or the other. If so, Golden State could be there to pounce should they wish for an upgrade from rookie center Trayce Jackson-Davis.