Aside from an exciting Christmas Day win over the Houston Rockets, nothing has been going right for the Golden State Warriors this season. They started the season without Klay Thompson after the star guard tore his ACL in last year’s NBA Finals, then lost franchise cornerstone Stephen Curry to a broken left hand just four games into the season. Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell have both dealt with various injuries throughout the season, forcing Golden State to rely heavily upon a slew of mostly two-way players to compete on a nightly basis.
This season was never going to be a year in which the Warriors would contend for a championship, even before the injuries began to mount. This is why the team signed players who could either be traded for other future assets, or signed to short-term deals that wouldn’t impact them when their star players returned. Now with the trade deadline approaching, the Warriors are making some of those tradable players available in the hopes of getting future picks in return.
Alec Burks is at the top of the list of players the Warriors are making available, according to a report by NBC Sports’ Monte Poole. Burks is averaging a career-high 15.5 points and 4.4 rebounds this season, which is second to only Russell on the team. He’s the type of player that a number of contending teams would want to have on their team, his size makes him an attractive asset on both ends of the floor, he can shoot 3s at a serviceable rate and most importantly he’s on an expiring contract where he’s making $2.3 million this season, which makes him an absolute bargain for many teams around the league.
While the Warriors do value Burks, their willingness to move him is due to the fact they want to make room for two-way players Damion Lee and Ky Bowman on the 15-man roster. Since both players are on two-way contracts, they can only spend 45 days with the Warriors, and as both are nearing that limit, in order for them to remain with the team instead of going back down to the G League, the Warriors have to create room and convert them to standard contracts. Bowman and Lee are both seen as contributors past this season for the Warriors, while Burks could be a valuable piece on a contending team this year.
Other players the Warriors could look to move in order to get draft picks in return are Glenn Robinson III, Marquese Chriss and Willie Cauley-Stein. However, Burks’ contribution to the Warriors so far this season makes him the most valuable trade piece Golden State has. The trade deadline is Feb. 6th, so there’s plenty of time for the Warriors to decide what they want to do with Burks, as well as any other players they might move.
Courtesy: CBS Sports