Monta Ellis and the Golden State Warriors are 7-7. With a cast featuring Ellis, Stephen Curry and David Lee, the Warriors should be challenging for a playoff spot at season's end.
But, this team has some problems they can fix through trades.The Warriors have a couple expiring contracts that some teams would love to have. If the Warriors are willing to pull the trigger and trade for an Andre Iguodala type of player, there's no reason they can't make some noise in the playoffs this year.
Two of the main needs on this team are small forward and backup center. Starting center Andris Biedrins is a good player, but he has a problem with injuries and can't be relied on to finish this season healthy. It wouldn't hurt the Warriors to try to bring in a defensive presence to man the backup center spot.
Dorell Wright has done a very good job as the starting small forward for Golden State, but that doesn't mean they can't improve that position and make Wright a very good backup forward.
Here are five players the Warriors should trade for who would help them reach the playoffs.
Reggie Evans is a defensive stopper and a guy who gets under opponents' skin. He also is averaging nearly 12 rebounds in 27 minutes per game.
He would be a good player to bring off the bench down the stretch to try to stop guys like Kobe Bryant, Brandon Roy, Blake Griffin and maybe even Kevin Durant.
It's also possible that he'd draw opponents into a fair share of technical fouls, too.
Trading Vladimir Radmanovic to the Raptors for Evans would make sense for the Warriors.
With DeMarcus Cousins, Samuel Dalembert and Carl Landry, the Sacramento Kings are deep in their frontcourt. That leaves Jason Thompson as the odd man out.
He could be a valuable third man in the rotation with Biedrins and David Lee.
Thompson and Darnell Jackson for Brandan Wright's expiring contract might make sense for the Kings and Warriors.
The Birdman hasn't been playing much for the Nuggets this year. That's probably not what they expected when they gave him a long-term contract.
But, in the right situation, Chris Andersen can be a defensive presence.
He can give the Warriors about 20 good minutes per game off the bench. He would be a very nice complement to Biedrins.
Tayshaun Prince is a lanky wing player who could fit right into the Warriors offense.
Golden State would likely have to take back one of Detroit's many bad contracts. So, in one situation, the Warriors could trade Dan Gradzuric, Vladimir Radmanovic and Brandan Wright to Detroit for Prince and Charlie Villanueva.
All three of those Warriors have expiring contracts, so that would help Detroit's cap situation. Meanwhile, Prince could provide over 10 points a game and play some defense for a team that desperately needs it.
This is the trade the Warriors need to make the most: Dan Gadzuric and Vladimir Radmanovic to the Philadelphia 76ers for Andre Iguodala and Marreese Speights.
This trade solves both of the Warriors needs with Iguodala (SF) and Speights (backup center). It's no secret that the Sixers would like to shed Iguodala's contract, and Speights has been buried on the Sixers bench all year.
Speights and Iguodala would both fare better in the Warriors' offensive scheme.
Plus, Philly would love to have the expiring contracts the Warriors could send their way.