Warriors Sell their Future for a Title

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Updated: October 10, 2021
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Although they are only preseason exhibitions, it’s widely known that the stars of this league take any opportunity to go at Curry and Dray for the dynasty years when they were untouchable due to the presence of Durant. 3 and 0 against the Blazers, Nuggets, and Lakers, all games that both sides looked to take quite seriously considering everyone is still working themselves back into form, the Warriors’ shooting looks downright terrifying to face. Even the most optimistic Golden State fans could not have predicted how good this squad looks even without the inclusion of Klay Thompson. Otto Porter Jr., Bjelica, and JTA look like the ideal rotation pieces around Curry and Draymond.

And with the emergence of J-Poole 2.0, and how devasting he might be as a 6th man once Klay is placed back into starting lineup, they may regret not cashing in the chips of their young prospects and picks for the final piece of the puzzle. It’s quite clear already that with the high IQ vets on the roster, Wisemen, Kuminga, and Moody most likely won’t crack Kerr’s rotation and their minutes will be few and far between. For most Warrior fans, and it is a tendency for fans in general, that the linear progression of home-grown talent is just more satisfying than acquired free agents or trading for good rotation pieces. The potential is almost sweeter than the talent itself and when they pop, and we were right, there is something illogically pleasurable in the experience.

This Warrior’s situation though is unique to any other situation in the league. These gifts from the basketball gods are undeserved and happened inorganically to the way teams are supposed to rise and fall. Because of the gap years from the Durant departure and Thompson injuries, along with the odd DLO acquisition in the sign and trade from KD to Brooklyn, Wisemen and Kuminga really never should have found themselves on a roster with such high-end talents like Curry and Klay. So as much the fanbase would like to keep these new toys and hope they are All-NBA stars once the Splash Brothers pass on, this greed of having the milk and the cream is forgetting how rare it is to have a truly transcendent player like Curry and a team that can take a title. Even it is just one more championship in the window of Steph’s prime, it is worth the gamble of cashing in the chips of players who currently provide potential and not much else.

So much has been made about the Simmons trades, however, one of the detouring factors in such an exchange is that it would require giving away Wiggins or Draymond. Since Ben has yet to be a productive closing weapon in the playoffs, to give away Golden States’ only true 3 in Wiggins or their defensive anchor in Draymond along with adding assets is a difficult trigger to pull considering the move might end up being a lateral change and not worth mortgaging the future.
The trades below, on the other hand, are transactions that allow Draymond and Wiggins to stay on the roster, essentially moving potential for win-now talent without giving away any of the core pieces already present. Most of these exchanges would only be available if their teams looked like a disappointment coming up to the trade deadline. However, considering the upside of Wisemen and Kuminga, if the Warriors called with both of them on the table, it would be a proposition that would have to at the very least be entertained.

Indiana

A team that already is drowning in mediocrity is coming into the season hobbled. With LeVert and TJ Warren will be out for at least the first month of the season and Justin Holiday is day to day with an ankle, it’s not hard to imagine they come out of the gates playing sub-500 basketball. With how fragile Brogdon has been, if he goes down on top of these preexisting injuries, the Pacers may be forced into the rebuild they should’ve already done a year ago. They have been trying to move off Miles Turner for 2 years now and yet no one seems to be willing to part with even a heavily protected 1st to get him. The big piece they have though is All-Star power forward Domantas Sabonis. Now, it’s widely understood if he played in the West, he probably wouldn’t have these All-Star appearances, but he might be on the most favorable contract of any 20-point scorer in the league regardless of the conference. As good as he is, the idea that Indiana is anything but a first-round appetizer for the true contenders in the East with him as their best player is almost laughable.

Ideally, Indiana takes the deal and immediately has a promising young core and ends the season with a proper tank job that lands them a top 5 pick in the upcoming draft. They move all of their guards for assets and draft a point guard to pair with Moody, Kuminga, and Wisemen.

Golden State

Looking at it, the first reaction from most of the fans already attached to Golden States’ rookies, is that two years down the road there’s a good chance Kuminga and Wisemen are both better players than Sabonis. They both definitely have higher ceilings. The point though of this exercise and the exchange if it were to occur is, that yes, they could be, but aren’t yet, and they aren’t close. Sabonis is a bonified monster with a high motor. In the non-curry minutes, Sabonis can soak up portions of quarters as an offense unto himself. For a franchise that might be the worst rebounding team in basketball, Sabonis is walking double-double averaging 12 boards a game. He’s an above-average 3 point shooter, and if simply slotted in the starting spot where Looney currently is, Curry, Poole, Wiggins, Sabonis, and Dray are downright lethal. Not only would he be the clear cut best rebounding big on the roster, but he’s also an above playmaker, and with Draymond showing signs of a decent jumper from the short corner, the vertical spacing Sabonis could provide by constantly rolling to the rim may lead to Curry averaging 30+ with ease.

Upon Klay’s return, and Poole is slotted into the 6th man role, there would be 2nd unit minutes with Poole, Otto Porter, Bjelica, and Sabonis that would torcher other team’s benches. With him added to the rotation, it would solidify the Warriors bigs, staring Sabonis, but bringing Looney in early to allow Sabonis to stay fresh and be inserted into the non-Curry minutes. Sabonis may be the worst All-Star in either conference, but as the 3rd or 4th option, he is a monster who has never played in the space that the splash brothers would provide.

Check out Part 2 for the other 3 possible trades.

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