Swirling trade rumors usually mean that the Golden State Warriors will find themselves on the short hand of acquiring a marquee potential franchise-changing player.
This year, the Warriors, for lack of a better term, don't need any other players except their own. Yes, they lack a dynamic wing slasher or an isolation give-him-the-ball guy in late situations a la Kobe Bryant, but how many other teams have those types of players? It wouldn't be realistic to think that the Dubs could swing a trade for a player of that caliber without sacrificing a significant piece of their promising, young core.
In short, the moves the Warriors need or should make revolve only around the players that they can control. There isn't any external circumstances or players that they absolutely need to bring in for future success. The future is now and the main concerns are the ankles and fragile bodies of Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry.
That being said, injuries are part of the game—a very large part in the Warriors' case—and Mark Jackson will need insurance if one of his players goes down. As for identifying weaknesses, the team isn't getting to the free-throw line enough, ranking 20th in free-throw attempts in the NBA, according to Hoopdata.
Finding a player to do that on the trade market is harder than it seems. Harrison Barnes has also been playing better the past week and he certainly has the potential to develop into a matchup nightmare for opponents.
He showed his wide array of offensive capabilities against the Phoenix Suns when he repeatedly slashed to the basket on and off the ball while finishing with authority. Throw in the developing post game and solid three-point stroke, and there's a budding star in the rookie from North Carolina.
What the Warriors could use is a backup center behind a very fragile Bogut and in front of offensively inept centers in Festus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins. How under-the-radar can it be? From someone like Chris "Birdman" Anderson, who the Miami Heat just signed, to someone like Greg Oden, who the Boston Celtics are reportedly looking at.
The jokes are in place with an injury-prone backup center like Oden to come in and help out another one in Bogut, but if the Warriors can cobble together long stretches of health, a center able to play 15-to-20 minutes a night can be a difference-maker on a team whose backups avoid the ball on offense like the plague.
Another option is the Denver Nuggets' backup center Timofey Mozgov who is barely playing 10 minutes per game. George Karl even stated himself that he would like to see Mozgov get more playing time, but the combination of JaVale McGee and Kosta Koufos has stunted his development.
The other low-publicity, low-risk move the Warriors can make is trading for a backup veteran point guard. Once again, the injury concerns to Curry and Bogut are very real, despite what the management may be telling the media. Having another guard to help with Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson may prove fruitful in the long run. With Curry always especially susceptible to getting hurt, one debilitating injury to Klay or Jack may prove costly.
With Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger's season-ending injuries, the Boston Celtics may be in the process of a fire sale. If so, there are plenty of trade chips they may move to build towards the future, with Jason Terry being one of them.
These aren't immediately gratifying season-changing moves, but if the Warriors move towards insuring themselves against the predictability of injuries, they can assuage some of the losses that come with what seems to be an injury-prone and unlucky franchise.
If everyone can stay healthy along with their additions, the Western Conference is in big trouble.
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