The Warriors snuck in at the final moments ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, making two trades before time ran out. No, Kelly Oubre Jr. wasn’t dealt and Steph Curry didn’t exactly get any help. Well, not yet.
Golden State sent point guard Brad Wanamaker to the Charlotte Hornets for cash, and injured center Marquese Chriss to the San Antonio Spurs for Cady Lalanne. However, Lalane will not be part of the roster. More than anything, this was a way to get off two expiring contracts and open two roster spots.
After these two minor moves, the Warriors could go a number of ways in the near future. The Warriors now have two open roster spots, and according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, they saved $11 million on the luxury tax and created trade exceptions of $2.25 million and $1.8 million.
The two Golden State trades will save them a projected $11M toward the luxury tax.
They also will create a $2.25M and $1.8M trade exception.
Golden State has 2 roster spots open.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) March 25, 2021
With these two open roster spots, the Warriors could turned Nico Mannion and Juan Toscano-Anderson’s two-way deals into guaranteed NBA contracts. Or, they could did their toes into the buyout market. Reports have surfaced that the Warriors will see how they can improve their roster depending on who becomes available as buyout options.
Players like Andre Drummond, LaMarcus Aldridge and Otto Porter Jr. all could intrigue the Warriors on the buyout market. There likely will be other options as well.
Moving on from Wanamaker also shows the Warriors’ trust in Mannion to be their backup point guard now and in the future. The second-round draft pick has appeared in 14 games this season, averaging 4.4 points and 2.6 assists while shooting 34.4 percent from 3. He also averaged 19.3 points, 6.9 assists and nailed 36.5 percent of his shots from long range in nine G League games for the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Wanamaker, 31, just flat out didn’t work with the Warriors. Golden State signed him to a one-year, $2.25 million contract last offseason, but he shot just 35.3 percent from the field and 21.3 percent from 3 in 39 games for the Warriors.
Chriss broke his leg two games into the season and is expected to miss the entire season. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Warriors try to bring him back next offseason.
The Warriors aren’t desperate and didn’t act desperate at the trade deadline. They held on to Kelly Oubre, which makes them a better team right now and helps their chances of keeping him after the season. How these two trades are viewed is all about what happens next.
Will the Warriors really be players on the buyout market? Is Mannion ready for a bigger role right now? It’s too soon to say.
Grade: C? TBD? IDK? We’ll go with a C average for now, with the chance to go up or down in the near future.