Damian Lillard has been linked to the Warriors via trade, a return to his native Bay Area storyline. Even though Lillard himself has not said he wants out of Portland.
There also have been rumors about the Warriors and every other potentially available — and some not available — star player because as they get healthy this is a win-now Warriors team with a shrinking window. Most rumors have the Warriors offering up some combination of James Wiseman, the No. 7 pick in the upcoming draft, and Andrew Wiggins.
Are the Warriors reaching out about a trade these stars? Yes, they are. Golden State executive vice president of basketball operations Kirk Lacob was honest about it when appearing on the Dub Talk Podcast at NBC Sports Bay Area.
“Absolutely. No question. Why wouldn’t we? Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing our job,” Lacob bluntly said…
“Those reports are not always true though. Look at the wording of the reports. Sometimes it is ‘expect the Warriors to call’ or ‘I think the Warriors will call’ and then it becomes ‘the Warriors called.’ But yes, the reality is we almost always [call]. We call about things the general public does not know about, like rumors we are hearing, and sometimes it is true and sometimes it is not…
“We always do our due diligence. You have to. What else are you doing? What’s your job? It’s our job to try,” Lacob said with a grin.
He’s right. In the case of the Trail Blazers, 29 teams should call and check on the availability of Lillard even if that’s not happening. Warriors included. If that becomes a discussion about CJ McCollum or another player, that’s part of the process.
NBA trades rarely come together quickly. Instead, they tend to grow from a series of more casual conversations — often at different levels of the front office structure — that find some common ground. Then as a deadline approaches, or things heat up in free agency, the conversations intensify. But it’s a process.
Part of Lacob’s job is to find out who is and isn’t available, and for those who might be the franchise needs to know what the ballpark price tag would be (part of that is also knowing the relative trade value of their players to other teams around the league). So yes, the Warriors make the call. It’s all part of the process, even if it doesn’t lead anywhere 99% of the time.