Golden State is trying its best to make a deal
Warriors forward Vladimir Radmanovic said he'd love to stay with the Warriors past Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
As a 10-year veteran, he said he thinks he can bring something valuable to the franchise. But he said he's under no illusions about his situation, given he's in the last year of his contract, worth $6.9 million.
"I'll be frankly honest with you," Radmanovic said, breaking into a smile. "My expiring deal is still the best thing for this team. I'm a realistic guy."
Realistic? Yes. Accurate? Maybe not.
According to multiple sources, Warriors general manager Larry Riley and his staff are scouring the trade market trying to get something for the Warriors' pending free agents. Golden State has more than $17 million worth of expiring contracts in Radmanovic, center Dan Gadzuric and forward Brandan Wright. Ideally, the Warriors would be able to parlay those into a player or two whose contract extends beyond this year.
According to team sources, the Warriors have been working on a deal to send Gadzuric and Wright to New Jersey in exchange for forward Troy Murphy's $12 million expiring contract and a 2012 second-round pick. The two sides have a ways to go, according to one of the sources, before a deal is reached. Murphy, a former Warrior, is expected to be bought out if he is acquired, making him a free agent.
Riley could be using the Murphy option as a fallback plan. But it seems that may be about the best the Warriors can get with their expiring contracts. Certainly, two days of trade fever remain, meaning a team or two still can panic and start dumping salary just in case.
Team sources confirmed the Warriors have been resolved to get something for their pending free agents -- even if that means getting draft picks in return. Per the trade rumor mill, Riley has been on the hunt for a first-rounder. But little-used reserves on expiring contracts are unlikely to do the trick, leaving a second-rounder as the best option.
In the past when Warriors had expiring contracts, then-owner Chris Cohan's preference was to let them expire and not add players with future salary, saving the money instead. That's not the case since Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the team.
"The real shame," one team source said, "is we have expirings and an owner who wants to use them, finally. But they have little value this year because of the lockout."
With the collective bargaining agreement expiring, the salary cap structure for next season is unknown. So teams don't have much interest in cutting salary. In the past, teams would have fire sales to get below the salary cap, giving them the flexibility to sign free agents in the offseason. With no target number, and no idea how much free agents will cost under next agreement, such cost-cutting measures aren't as relevant.
So the Warriors may not have the benefit of teams trying to dump future salary.
If something changes, the Warriors will be ready to treasure another team's trash. But until then, emerging from the fray with a second-round pick may be the most the Warriors can pull off. If so, Radmanovic may be staying after all.
-- MARCUS THOMPSON II