Despite putting up a disastrous effort in a 22-point loss to the Denver Nuggets Monday night, the two-time defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors still boast the best record in the NBA.
At 46-9, Golden State is also four games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs for the top seed in the Western Conference. That’s all fine and dandy. But even with Kevin Durant in the mix, the Warriors seem a bit more vulnerable this season than they did last year. Monday’s loss to Denver is a prime example of this.
None of that necessarily means the Warriors won’t repeat as conference champs. They’ll have four All-Stars take the court in New Orleans this upcoming weekend. They also boast two of the top-10 NBA MVP candidates and are on pace to put up the best scoring performance in the NBA in over a quarter century.
This has led the Warriors’ organization to publicly declare that they are not prepared to be involved in any trades prior to the deadline later this month.
“We’ll take phone calls. We’re not going to initiate any,” Warriors director of player personnel Larry Harris told KNBR recently (h/t East Bay Times). “But we’ll take phone calls if teams are interested, if they need us maybe in a three-way deal or they see something that can help us. We’re certainly not generating calls. And not because we’re being arrogant or anything.”
There was some speculation that Golden State might be active in the trade market after the team waived Anderson Varejao earlier in February. He was replaced on the roster by Briante Weber, who signed a 10-day contract with the squad.
Though, it appears the Warriors are willing to give youngsters more of an opportunity to see the court rather than add another veteran to the mix. Weber, Kevon Looney, Ian Clark, Damian Jones and Patrick McCaw have all shown a little bit of something in garbage time this season. Each one of them seem to have a future with the team.
“As we look at our roster moving forward, I think where we’re going to grow is within our own team,” Harris continued.
That seems to make sense. Golden State should be able to earn the top seed out west while finding a way to rest their core players. If so, it gives these youngsters valuable on-court time during the regular season.
Also important to note, Golden State doesn’t necessarily have the capital to acquire someone of worth on the trade market. The team doesn’t have a first-round pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft and is pretty much capped out. Short of sending future picks and a rotational player in a deal, there doesn’t seem to be an avenue for the Warriors to be active between now and the deadline.