There is one thing clear about the direction the Golden State Warriors are headed in as they enter the 2023-24 training camp: they want to win now. No more two timelines experiment. No more screwing around with Stephen Curry's prime. Trading Jordan Poole for Chris Paul was indicative that the Warriors intend to maximize whatever window they have left with their championship trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
With that said, Golden State has done well in re-tooling its roster with smart and high-IQ veterans who can contribute right away and minimize errors that can deter the Warriors' chances of winning a championship. Aside from Paul, they also signed Dario Saric and Corey Joseph to one-year deals. They also just recently brought in Rodney McGruder to a contract to compete for a roster spot in training camp. Golden State also conducted several workouts over the past week.
Steve Kerr is still deciding what to do with the Warriors starting lineup. Mike Dunleavy Jr. is still getting used to his new role as Warriors GM. But the former NBA veteran isn't afraid to pull off moves — such as a Poole-Paul swap — that can help improve Golden State's chances of lifting its fifth Larry O'Brien trophy over the last decade. With that said, here are two potential trade candidates for the Warriors ahead of the 2023-24 NBA training camp.
Dubs fans are not going to like this. If the Warriors were to make a move ahead of training camp, one potential trade candidate is Gary Payton II.
The Warriors did give up former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman along with five second-round picks to bring Payton back to The Bay Area. But as much as Warriors Nation loves him because of his defense, hustle, and energy, Golden State might not need his services as much as it needs more size across its roster. Payton's (contract with two years and $17.3 million remaining) also makes an asset, salary-wise, that can net a solid veteran role player.
Sure, Steve Kerr likes deploying the defensive specialist as a “little” big man because he plays way bigger than his 6-foot-3 size. Payton brings positive things to the table such as his smart rotations defensively and knack for coming up with defensive stops and swipes, even against bigger players. He also brings excitement from time to time with his high-flying dunks that get the Chase Center crowd up on its feet.
Nonetheless, it's hard to ignore the fact that Payton is still undersized for the role he plays and would not be a good matchup against teams who play two big wings on the perimeter. Teams like the Clippers and the Celtics come to mind as bad matchups for Golden State because don't have much size to deal with their plethora of lengthy players.
Golden State might also be better off giving Moses Moody more run as he has shown improvement on both sides of the floor. Moody is also a better option offensively as a more consistent threat from beyond the arc.
2. Brandin Podziemski
Another trade candidate is rookie Brandin Podziemski. Golden State selected Podziemski with the 19th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. While the 19-year-old showed a lot of promise, especially during his sophomore season at Santa Clara, he quite frankly will not be able to contribute in a major way in the Warriors' pursuit for a championship this season.
Podziemski also didn't have a great stint in the Las Vegas Summer League, which further suggests he won't be a difference-maker right away. The only way he can make a contribution is if Mike Dunleavy Jr. is able to find a veteran whom they can acquire for him.
Should the Warriors look to trade him, Podziemski will likely be included in a package deal alongside another piece given Golden State's salary situation. Still, he is an enticing young piece for a young team that has a veteran they can trade away on its roster.