Warriors Players Who Should Be Shopped at 2021 NBA Trade DeadlineFebruary 18, 2021
Warriors Players Who Should Be Shopped at 2021 NBA Trade Deadline
The Golden State Warriors have the ammunition to dream as big as their imagination allows on the NBA trade market.
But with championship contention off the table due to Klay Thompson's Achilles tear and the club hovering near .500, an all-in push might be more of a gamble than this front office wants to take.
That makes the Warriors one of the most fascinating teams to track between now and the March 25 trade deadline. If they opt for an active swap season, it would make sense to poke around about the following three players.
This one might hit Warriors fans right in the #Feelz, but the business side of basketball can be downright frigid.
That's the opposite of how you'd describe Kent Bazemore, by the way, as he was apparently allowed to bring a blowtorch with him for his second tour of duty with the Dubs. While he can be a rock-solid finisher and shooter, this has been ridiculous. His 51.5 field-goal percentage and 45.9 three-point percentage both shatter his previous career-highs by at least six points.
For anyone hoping this is Bazemore's NBA rebirth, we'd like to point out he's a 31-year-old who shot 37.5 percent from the field and 34.4 from distance across 68 games just last season. This isn't an identity change; it's a hot streak.
It's also an opportunity to move the veteran swingman for the maximum return. He had trade value before this, as win-now suitors swirled around him this offseason. If his recent heater would allow the Warriors to fetch a first-round pick in return, it would follow the optimal investment blueprint of buying low and selling at peak price.
Kelly Oubre Jr.
For fans who sat through the worst of Kelly Oubre Jr.'s ice-cold start, this surely feels like a no-brainer. It's more complicated than it seems, though.
Oubre is better than he has shown, and he's still trying to repair a stat sheet sagging from his early struggles. Wipe out his first 10 games as a Warrior, and he suddenly springs up to 16.0 points per game on 43.7/38.1/76.6 shooting, numbers that probably fall in line with the franchise's initial expectations.
He's worth having around. His ability to defend any spot on the perimeter helps keep Stephen Curry's legs fresh, and Oubre should be able to feast in this offense as a spot-up shooter and off-ball cutter. The Warriors also acquired his Bird rights, so if they want to keep him beyond this season (and are willing to spend to do it) they should have the means to keep him around.
But that's hardly a given with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins all set to earn more than $24 million next season. If the Warriors are less than convinced (or even hesitant) about Oubre being a keeper, then the time to gauge his market is now. He wouldn't be a hard sell as an athletic 25-year-old who defends and makes open shots, especially if he runs more hot than cold between now and the deadline.
Before this forces me to say RIP me to my mentions, let's all take note that there's a big difference between shopping a player and actually trading him.
Let me state that again: This is not a blanket recommendation to move James Wiseman. His future already looks fascinating.
But that fascination is surely shared around the league, and it might be regarded as more valuable by teams with less win-now intentions and more patience than the Warriors. He has flashed some high-level potential but also proved he's rough around the ages. That should be expected, since he's still a teenager, but that's one of the reasons there was so much speculation on whether the Warriors might move the No. 2 pick they eventually spent on Wiseman.
Golden State needs to know what the market would bear for the young big man, especially if the plan is to go championship chasing with a (hopefully) healthy Thompson next season. If Golden State wants to add another impact piece to that collection, Wiseman might be the necessary trade chip to bring one back.
All stats courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball Reference unless otherwise noted.