Report: Warriors trying to trade up in NBA Draft

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Fresh off of an historically great season where the Warriors won the NBA championship, they aren’t a team that exactly has a lot of pressing needs.

It made sense, then, to attempt to avoid paying a guaranteed salary next season to someone who wouldn’t be all that likely to contribute after being selected with the 30th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, by dangling that pick in trade to help shed David Lee’s contract from the books.

But a newer report has Golden State potentially looking to trade up now, which must mean the team has its eyes on a particular prospect.

Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com:

Interesting development heading toward Thursday night: I’m hearing the Warriors are exploring the possibility of trading UP. Target unknown.

I would have thought GSWs would try to trade out of the 1st to save money or use a 1st-rounder to get someone to take David Lee.

The Warriors need to dump Lee; he’ll cost the team nearly $50 million in salary and luxury tax if he remains on the roster next season. And since his salary alone is right around $15.5 million, it would appear as though Golden State would need to add something favorable to a deal (like, you know, a late first round pick) in order to get another team to take Lee off of its hands.

It’s also unclear what the Warriors would be willing to offer in trade to move up the draft board. Is there a team that would potentially favor Lee over a draft pick, say, in the late teens? The likelihood seems slim, but then again, Golden State surprised us all by winning a title this year, so I suppose anything is possible.