The NBA trade deadline is just eight days away and the Warriors are still in a wait-and-see approach heading into Feb. 9. But reading from the tea leaves, it sounds like Bob Myers would like to make an addition to what’s been a highly-paid yet mediocre 2022-23 Warriors squad.
Golden State’s president of basketball operations and general manager joined 95.7 The Game’s “Steiny & Guru” to discuss the franchise’s outlook going into the deadline. Myers said he’s still undecided if the Warriors will be able to execute a roster this season.
“That is the question. We gotta look and see if there’s something that makes sense to answer that question. Something that’s clear,” Myers told hosts Matt Steinmetz and Daryle ‘The Guru’ Johnson. “ We gotta see, is there someone out there that fills that spot – is there someone in a buyout, is there someone in a trade? Is there someone who supplants that and becomes the seventh guy, the sixth guy (in the rotation)? That’s our job in the next eight days.”
The Warriors roster costs a league-high $359.7 million this season, yet the squad will roll into Wednesday’s matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 26-24 record through 50 games, good for fifth place in the West.
When he has a full roster, Warriors coach Steve Kerr is currently using a starting five of Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green, while big man Kevon Looney, guard Donte DiVincenzo and wing Jonathan Kuminga are firmly in the rotation. From there, Kerr likes to use two-way player Anthony Lamb or veteran forward JaMychal Green, based on matchups.
Myers is cautiously optimistic that the current squad would be able to win a playoff series, but he’d still like to increase their chances. Looking at the Warriors, it appears they could benefit by adding another contributor to the frontcourt for depth.
“I think we stack up good enough – that’s assuming health,” Myers said. “But you always wanna add to your margin of error. It’s not a margin of error that I’m entirely comfortable with as it stands. Can you increase that margin of error?”
During the heyday of the dynasty from 2015-19, the Warriors became a fixture atop the Western Conference standings. After fumbling away some victories in the fourth quarter and struggling mightily on the road this season, Golden State finds itself in the middle of the pack.
“There was years, when the margin of error was so big that I could answer that question and say, ‘No, we don’t need to do anything.’” Myers said. “I’d probably lie and say, ‘Oh, you know …’ but the truth is we didn’t need to anything. Those rosters and those seasons bore out that way. Our margin of error is not what it was. The record is not what it was. Comparing to what I know about the team’s we’ve had, I’d like to get a bigger margin of error. Can we do it? I dunno.”
Perhaps the Warriors’ biggest obstacle is the league-wide parity, which Myers called unexpected at this point of the season. The No. 13 seed Los Angeles Lakers currently sit two games out of the final play-in spot, meaning virtually every team is still in the hunt for the postseason. Myers even implied that he’s surprised more teams aren’t tanking to get Victor Wembanyama in the upcoming draft.
“There’s less sellers,” Myers said. “I think the league thought more teams – whether they were trying for a certain player in the draft – would be clearly out on the playoffs at this time. That is not the case. … There are not a lot of teams that are making the decision that this season is lost. You got a lot of teams that are saying to each other, ‘We wanna get better.’ But if 12 of the 15 teams in your conference or 22 of the 30 in the league are all wanting to get better, it doesn’t make for a lot of trading partners.”
If they can’t execute a trade, the Warriors will likely be surveying the landscape for any potential buyout players in the weeks after the deadline passes.