The Golden State Warriors aren’t expected to make any spectacular moves in the upcoming NBA trade deadline, but an insider believes they could bring in a talented big man to boost the back end of the rotation.
The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported that the Warriors are expected to hold back with big strides, instead looking for potential upgrades towards the back of the roster. He noted the Warriors lack depth up front with both Wiseman and JaMychal Green struggling with injuries, which could make Utah Jazz center Kelly Olynyk an attractive target.
As Slater noted, the $37 million man would be a “useful rotational upgrade” for the Warriors and a likely contender for playoff minutes off the bench — and at a price that would be attractive to a team already deep in the game the luxury tax is stuck.
“Olynyk is making $12.8 million this season in Utah and has a $3 million partial guarantee on his $12.2 million salary next season,” Slater wrote. “Theoretically, the brief financial commitment is a draw for the Warriors. They are facing a well-documented tax crisis and are uninterested in adding on promised salaries beyond this season, eliminating many of the league’s other trading options.”
That would make Olynyk and his expiring contract a lease, helping the Warriors on another title run the team hopes likely stays in free agency next summer.
“They would really be talking about three months of a backup center that wouldn’t start or finish games behind Looney and Draymond Green and then disappear in the offseason,” Slater wrote. “Would it be worth pawning the draft picks it would cost, plus presumably Wiseman and his salary to match? One could argue about that. ”
Slater isn’t the only one speculating that the warriors could target Olynyk. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley suggested in December that Golden State could send both Wiseman and rookie guard Ryan Rollins to the Jazz for Olynyk.
The Warriors have been high on Rollins and have already invested heavily in the Toledo guard. In June, they sent the No. 51 overall pick along with $2 million to move up to the 44th draft pick, where they could take on Rollins.
Buckey speculated that it would be a worthwhile prize for the Warriors since Olynyk would fit well on their offense.
Golden State’s performance over the coming weeks could also help guide trading deadline strategy. The Warriors started Thursday in sixth place in the Western Conference, but only 3.5 games away from third place.