Golden State Warriors almost assured of giving up major asset following elimination

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors' season came to a brutal end on Tuesday, providing little resistance in the second-half against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.

The 118-94 blowout loss succumbs the Warriors to just their third playoff absence over the past 12 seasons, leaving the franchise in an unfamiliar position as they seek to navigate an incredibly important offseason ahead.

The Golden State will almost assuredly give up their first-round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft

Where most teams that miss the playoffs can at least look forward to a lottery pick, the Warriors are highly unlikely to yield the reward of a disappointing season. While their absence from the playoffs actually gives them an improbable chance of keeping their first-round pick, it remains almost assured that the Portland Trail Blazers will get access to a second lottery selection.

How has that come about? Because Golden State traded their 2024 first-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies five years ago -- an asset they were forced to give up in order to move Andre Iguodala's contract which allowed them to bring in D'Angelo Russell. The pick has now flipped hands on multiple occasions since to land with the Trail Blazers.

You could even make the argument that the pick won the Warriors a championship. Without moving Iguodala then there's no cap space for Russell, and without Russell there's no Andrew Wiggins who was the franchise's second-best in the 2022 playoff run. There would also be no Jonathan Kuminga who Golden State drafted with Minnesota's first-round pick from the Russell-Wiggins trade.

The only saving grace for the Warriors is that the pick is top four protected, leaving them with the slightest possible chance of actually getting a significant asset from Tuesday's defeat. According to GWSCBA on X/Twitter, the chance of a top four pick sits at 3.8% ahead of the May 12 Draft Lottery in Chicago.

If the pick does actually convey in the top four, it would mean their 2025 first-round pick would head to Portland unless it was the first overall. It might actually be best for the franchise to give up a pick in the teens this year in a weak draft, rather than have to go through next season with the threat of giving up an even higher selection.

The Warriors will also be without their own second-round pick, but will have a late selection (mid 50's) that was acquired in their decision to trade Cory Joseph to the Indiana Pacers at February's trade deadline.