Mike Dunleavy, Warriors willing to trade youth for right player – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

SAN FRANCISCO – Although the Warriors have long resisted the idea of ​​making Jonathan Kuminga available for trade, that position lost some steam Thursday afternoon.

Kuminga and members of Golden State’s youth squad — Trayce Jackson-Davis, Moses Moody and Brandin Podzemski — may not be available on the market — but general manager Mike Dunleavy has made it clear that no one is untouchable.

In order to move any or all of them towards the correct return.

“This has to be something that we feel will unequivocally change the trajectory of our franchise,” Dunleavy said.

For example, add a player who has been named the NBA Most Valuable Player nine times. Or maybe a player who has been named the NBA Most Valuable Player six times. Or maybe a player who has been named the Defensive Team MVP four times.

Paul George is all of these things in one. The Warriors, according to league sources, are monitoring George’s status with the Los Angeles Clippers. He could decline his $48.8 million player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent.

According to Los Angeles Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, the team is preparing for this possibility.

“We’ve had ongoing conversations with Paul and Aaron Mintz, his agent,” Frank told reporters Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles. “We love Paul. We desperately want to keep him.”

“But we also very much understand and respect the fact that this is a business. And players have a limited amount of time to be able to not only make the most money but also be able to pursue what they want.

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George, who turned 34 last month, would be the most attractive free agent on the market. LeBron James isn’t leaving the Los Angeles Lakers — not with his son, Bronny, coming to the team. Tyrese Maxey of Philadelphia is a restricted free agent. James Harden is simply less attractive than George.

“Hopefully it’s Paul’s decision to be here. He’s been great. He’s been an All-Star three times out of five years. He’s one of the best players in the league. He’s a great guy, he’s got a great family. Hopefully he’ll be here,” Frank said.

“But we also respect the fact that if he chooses to withdraw, that’s his choice. He’s earned it. And we’ll see how it goes.”

So will the Warriors. After finishing sixth in the Western Conference in 2023, they dropped to 10th last season. They’re hunting for a big splash.

That means adding an established star with the talent to complement and enhance veteran leaders Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, both of whom are in their mid-30s.

George, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound wing, is one of the few available players who fits the profile.

The Warriors don’t have the cap space to pursue George as a free agent, so their only way to acquire him would be through a sign-and-trade deal. That can’t happen until the new year begins on July 1.

There are other obstacles to such a deal, all of which can be overcome if all parties are willing.

It’s safe to assume that the Warriors would be willing to sacrifice some of their future to put themselves in a position to compete for a championship.

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Losing any of the four youngsters would be painful. But Kuminga would be the hardest to part with, especially after he improved significantly last season.

“We love these guys, we think they’re going to be really good, so there’s got to be something that makes us a lot better than that,” Dunleavy said.

Paul George has enough skill to immediately make the Warriors much better than “good.” Of all the players who could be available, he may be the only one who can say that about him.

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