Warriors room for error narrows after West rival trades for former All-Star

Golden State Warriors v Atlanta Hawks
Golden State Warriors v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors are reportedly pursuing a deal for Paul George, seemingly putting all their chips in on adding the 9x All-Star should he opt in to his $48.8 million player option for next season.

Given the increasingly expected departure of franchise legend Klay Thompson in free agency, the Warriors have a tight window of needing to make a blockbuster trade to find an upgrade. If it doesn't happen to be George, then the alternative options are starting to become more limited.

The New Orleans Pelicans addition of Dejounte Murray further reduces the Golden State Warriors room for error this offseason

Former Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso has already been dealt to a Western Conference contender in the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the New York Knicks went all in earlier in the week on adding former Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges.

Now another West playoff team, the New Orleans Pelicans, have made their major move of the offseason by trading for Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hawks will receive Larry Nance Jr., Dyson Daniels, and first-round picks in 2025 and 2027.

Caruso, Bridges and Murray are all players the Warriors could have had interest in adding themselves this offseason. Golden State had reportedly made a strong offer for Caruso at February's mid-season deadline, while Murray was viewed by a rival executive as the franchise's most realistic trade target.

With that duo and Bridges now off the trade market, the Warriors room for error continues to shrink as we prepare for a pivotal few days for the future of the franchise. If George extends with the Clippers or heads elsewhere, where do Golden State head as alternatives?

Does Brandon Ingram become an option if the Pelicans are looking to move on? Do they go all on a trade for Lauri Markkanen which would undoubtedly take a similar overpay to what the Knicks did with Bridges. The Warriors would become desperate in that scenario, potentially limiting their negotiating power with rival teams.

George is all of a sudden becoming close to a must -- not just because he's a genuine star -- but because of the deteriorating relationship between Thompson and the Warriors, and because of the limited options elsewhere on the market.