Why Warriors can trade 2021 first-round pick owed to Thunder


When the Warriors traded for Kelly Oubre back in November, they agreed to send the Oklahoma City Thunder two draft picks.

One of those selections is the Denver Nuggets' 2021 second-rounder, which would be No. 53 overall if the season ended today.

The other is Golden State's 2021 first-rounder, but it is protected. If it lands in the top 20, the Warriors keep it and instead will send OKC the Minnesota Timberwolves's 2021 second-rounder. If it ends up in the No. 21 to No. 30 range, it goes to the Thunder.

So because there is a scenario in which the Warriors have to send it to OKC, they can't trade that first-rounder, right?


"Golden State could offer up reverse protection on the pick, meaning it would convey to a different team if it lands 1-20," ESPN's Kevin Pelton writes. "And the Warriors could add their own top-four protection, in case they miss the playoffs and move up in the lottery."

In other words -- the Warriors could strike a deal before the March 25 deadline in which their trade partner gets that 2021 first-rounder if it falls inside the top 20, and gets two future second-round picks (including that 2021 Minnesota second-rounder) if it falls outside the top 20 (because remember -- OKC owns the No. 21 to No. 30 range no matter what).

RELATED: Shelburne explains why Warriors ultimately should trade Oubre

So this reverse protection variable does open the door for the front office to find a deal. It doesn't mean anything actually will happen, but it gives Bob Myers and his team some flexibility.

It's also important to keep in mind that CBA rules prevent the Warriors from being able to include their 2022 first-round pick in any potential trades at this time.

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