The Golden State Warriors are slowly moving down of the Western Conference ladder, and their recent struggles could force them to make drastic moves before the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
The Warriors have been looking to add another point guard in their roster all-season long with sources saying that Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and Kirk Hinrich of the Chicago Bulls remain as their top targets.
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However, as noted by Grantland, the Warriors have no more draft picks to boot before the deadline after trading it away during the deal that sent Jordan Crawford to the Bay Area.
And in order to acquire one big-name player in the coming weeks, sources said that the Warriors will have to deal either Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson.
"If they really want to add an impact piece this season, they'll either have to orchestrate another three-team trade or part with one of the Harrison Barnes-Klay Thompson duo," Grantland noted.
Among the two young assets, Thompson holds a higher value mainly because of his production this season. The 24-year-old guard is averaging 18.3 points to go along with 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game this season.
On the other hand, Barnes is averaging 10.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game this season, but the sophomore forward has yet to reach the expectations of the Warriors.
But despite the fact that Barnes has not yet panned out for the Warriors, the team is still reportedly reluctant to deal the former North Carolina standout. Instead, the Warriors are looking to use their two sizable trade exceptions to entice teams to deal a key play to them in the coming days.
"Though Barnes especially has struggled, sources around the league say Golden State doesn't appear ready quite yet to go this route. The Dubs also have two sizable trade exceptions they could use to take on another player, but they've got about only $2.5 million in wiggle room below the tax," Grantland noted.
It should also be noted that acquiring Lowry at this point seems murky as reports indicated that the Raptors are now leaning towards keeping him for the remainder of the season.
Lowry will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the Raptors are willing to take a gamble as they are expecting a playoff stint this season.
"It appears the Raptors are less likely than more likely to trade Lowry by the deadline. If a team overwhelmed them with an offer, they'd most assuredly listen, but the likelihood is growing that Lowry will finish the season in Toronto," NBA analyst David Aldridge reported.