Golden State Warriors exploring trade options as D-Day looms for veteran guard

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

With Gary Payton II opting into his $9.1 million player option for next season, and Kevon Looney expected to have his $8 million contract fully guaranteed, the next port of call for the Golden State Warriors is the future of veteran point guard Chris Paul.

The 39-year-old has a $30 million non-guaranteed contract for next season, with this upcoming Friday, June 28, currently presenting as the date by when they'll have to choose to either retain Paul on that deal, cut him, or have orchestrated a trade prior.

The Golden State Warriors are reportedly exploring the trade market ahead of the looming June 28 deadline on Chris Paul's contract

The caveat on this is that the date can be pushed back should both sides mutually agree. That would allow the Warriors to enter free agency with greater flexibility while also negotiating the free agency of Klay Thompson, and for Paul it would retain the chance of still getting the $30 million rather than simply being cut.

NBA insider Marc Stein referenced that possibility in his recent piece on Sunday, while also alluding to the fact that the Warriors are pursuing trade possibilities involving Paul's deal.

"The Warriors, league sources say, have continued to explore their trade options with Paul's trade-friendly contract in conjunction with Wednesday's draft as well as the prospect of pushing the Friday deadline into July if Paul is amenable to that amendment "

Marc Stein

The Athletic's Anthony Slater referenced on Saturday that Paul's contract is being utilized as a tool for "larger-scale upgrades". Who that may include in return is yet to be seen, but there's little doubt that the following few days and next fortnight may be the most important in Golden State's hopes of returning to deep playoff action next season.

If Paul does get waived by the Warriors, he'll become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his illustrious career. Stein reports that both the Clippers and Lakers would hold interest given the 12-time All-Star's desire to remain close to family in Los Angeles.