3 Trade Targets for Warriors to Consider Before Rumor Mill Picks Up

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVNovember 22, 2022

3 Trade Targets for Warriors to Consider Before Rumor Mill Picks Up

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    San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, left, and Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole, right, battle for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Sunday, March. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
    AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

    Last season, the Golden State Warriors struck a masterful balance between pushing for—and eventually capturing—an NBA title and developing some young players for the future.

    This time around, though, they're learning why so few teams attempt—and even fewer succeed with—a two-timeline approach with their roster.

    The veterans are good enough to chase the crown again, but the prospects aren't ready to support such grandiose win-now plans. To put it in statistical terms, Golden State's starters have the league's second-highest net rating (plus-5.3), per NBA.com, while the reserves sit dead last in the same category (minus-7.0).

    If the Warriors want to maximize this season—considering how rare it is to have a superstar of Stephen Curry's ilk, they absolutely should—they'll likely to need to ship out a long-term asset or two in exchange for a present upgrade.

    The following three win-now targets should be firmly on the front office's radar.

Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 12: Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns. looks on during the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 12, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Warriors need reliability on their reserve unit. Jae Crowder, a veteran of 10-plus NBA seasons and 107 playoff games, could provide exactly that.

    The problem is he's currently trapped in the desert, as both he and the Suns await his trade out of town. On the surface, it shouldn't be too difficult to unload a player of his caliber, but Phoenix wants a win-now piece (or pieces) in return, and there aren't many teams seeking a 32-year-old swingman that also have expendable win-now players on the roster.

    The Warriors don't have them, either, but their two timelines could position them to serve as the bridge in a three-team swap. If they sniff out a rebuilder who has what the Suns want, they could send a long-term asset or two to that rebuilder and leave the deal with Crowder.

    He isn't quite as reliable of a shooter as the Warriors would like, but he has had two seasons of 38-plus percent three-point shooting on a high volume, so maybe this coaching staff and system could coax that out of him. His perimeter defense would be an asset, and his experience could allow him to assimilate on the fly.

Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 9: Jakob Poeltl #25 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket against the Memphis Grizzlies on November 9, 2022 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photos by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Photos by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

    In a single season, the Warriors have nose-dived from second to 24th in defensive efficiency, per NBA.com.

    Adding an interior anchor like Jakob Poeltl would help stop the bleeding.

    The 27-year-old is the consistent presence that James Wiseman has shown no indication of becoming. Wiseman is flashier, but Poeltl is much more solid. He can protect the paint and not get cooked on perimeter switches, he sets great screens, he keeps the ball moving and is a reliable scorer around the rim.

    A Poeltl-for-Wiseman-and-something swap makes all kinds of sense for both sides. The Warriors get consistency and defensive protection for their championship push, while the rebuilding Spurs gain a long-term project with a sky-high ceiling.

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

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    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 07: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball while being guarded by Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers in the first quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on November 07, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Myles Turner could scratch similar itches as Poeltl could, only with a slightly different spin on things.

    Turner is a more dynamic shot-blocker. He has already collected two blocks titles, and his 3.0 rejections per game would lead the league now if he played enough games to qualify.

    The 26-year-old is also the better spacer. He's a career 35-percent shooter from three, and he has splashed 40 percent of his long-range looks so far. He could thrive as both a pick-and-pop screener and a spot-up shooter who opens up attack lanes for the Dubs' drivers.

    With the Pacers engineering their own rebuild, Turner is a prime trade candidate, and Wiseman figures to be someone who should interest Indiana.

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