Following a disappointing 2019-20 season, the Golden State Warriors hope to get back into the championship picture. The Warriors have a slew of options ahead aside from trading the second overall pick in this year’s draft. The organization also has another game-changing trade asset this offseason.
The Warriors are eyeing bounce-back season
The Warriors headed into the 2019-20 season with the expectation that things could take a considerable step back.
Golden State experienced just that as injuries marred the campaign while the lack of depth and experience played a significant factor in their struggles. The team finished with one of the league’s worst records but managed to secure the second overall pick in this year’s draft.
Things have continued to move forward over the last few months as the Warriors have worked back to health. Two-time league MVP Stephen Curry has moved past the wrist injury that cost him nearly all of last season. Meanwhile, All-Star guard Klay Thompson is expected to be ready to go to start next season with more than a year to recover from his torn ACL.
All that has begun to build hype around the franchise that could see them back in the title picture behind their star core group primed for a bounce-back campaign. With that in mind, the Warriors may have a unique trade chip in their back pocket this offseason.
Warriors’ $17.2 million trade exception expiring soon
Much of the chatter that surrounds the Golden State Warriors this offseason concerns trade rumors.
The Warriors have been linked to potential trade targets such as Kelly Oubre and LaMarcus Aldridge. What lies at the center of the discussion is their still unused $17.2 million trade exception that will expire on Nov. 23, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN.
General manager Bob Myers recently spoke about the matter, stating that the team will use it if a trade scenario “makes sense.” (H/T Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area)
“If something makes sense, we’ll do it. If it doesn’t, we won’t,” Myers told reporters in a video conference last Wednesday. “It’s there. It’s a tool. We can use it. We’ve known that for a long time. It’s finally kind of upon us, and it seems like the structure is set.”
The Warriors made the $17.2 million trade exception when they elected to move veteran forward Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in July 2019. Since then, the team has toyed with the idea of using the asset over the last year.
There isn’t a sense of urgency from the franchise to utilize it, but it’s something at their disposal that can be quite beneficial to them. There are many different ways things can unfold over the offseason, which the expiration date would require them to use it by the day after free-agent signings can become official.
Focus remains on the bigger picture
Many different scenarios have been tossed around the Golden State Warriors over the last several months.
However, the focus has never changed away from the long-term future. The franchise is committed to its core group led by their dynamic backcourt. The Warriors have a strong belief that they can extend the championship window with Stephen Curry leading the charge.
All that will put the team in the thick of the rumor mill to add premium talent over the next couple of years. Golden State remains heavily linked to back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetekounmpo as both a trade option this year and free agency possibility in the summer of 2021.
Meanwhile, other star players such as Karl-Anthony Towns have been mentioned as potential targets. It’s also hard to count them out as significant factors in the expected stacked 2021 free agency class.
Many scenarios can unfold, but it’s quite evident that the Warriors are aiming to get back into the championship picture.