Warriors' Complete Guide to 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

Warriors' Complete Guide to 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    The Golden State Warriors are interesting.

    Go figure, right? In related news, the sky is usually blue, grass is mostly green and Stephen Curry is a basketball sorcerer.

    But the Warriors are interesting for a specific reason right now. They have a chance to be among the hoops world's biggest movers and shakers between now and the March 25 trade deadline.

    They hold two of the best trade chips in the entire market, and there's a not unreasonable argument they should put those assets in play to get Curry some badly needed relief. But if they don't want to mortgage so much of their future, they could search out smaller deals to upgrade around the margins.

    Either way, this front office figures to be busy. This is where the Warriors stand within a fortnight of the trade cutoff.


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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    You might think any team that has Chef Curry in charge of the kitchen would be well-fed on offense. The problem is there are far too many nights in which the two-time MVP is the only reliable part of this attack.

    Even with MVP-caliber production from Curry (29.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.8 threes per outing), this offense ranks just 22nd on the season. And when he takes a seat, this basically devolves into something less than NBA-quality at that end. Golden State's offensive rating without Curry is just 98.1. For context, the Oklahoma City Thunder's league-worst offense is at 104.2.

    You name the offensive need, and the Dubs could probably use it. Everything from a sturdy second point guard and high-volume three-point threat to a backup floor general behind Curry and playmakers not named Curry or Draymond Green stand as possible areas to strengthen.

    Defensively, the Warriors are mostly fine (sixth in efficiency), but it might not hurt to add another center. James Wiseman is as raw as expected for a 19-year-old freshman who played three collegiate contests, and Kevon Looney doesn't have the cleanest injury history.


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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    "Golden State is the team to watch right now," a general manager told TrueHoop's Tom Haberstroh (via HoopsRumors). "No one knows what they're going to do with that pick."

    The referenced pick, of course, is the first-rounder they collected in last season's D'Angelo Russell-Andrew Wiggins swap with the Minnesota Timberwolves. It only has top-three protection this year and is unprotected in 2022. Even if the Wolves finish dead last this season—they're 30th in winning percentage and net rating—the pick would have a roughly 60 percent chance of conveying.

    The 2021 draft class is top-heavy, but it has five potential cornerstone prospects at the top. In other words, the Warriors wouldn't (and shouldn't) let this pick go without a substantial return.

    To that end, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle (h/t CBS Sports) reported the Warriors "almost definitely" won't trade the pick or Wiseman without getting back a "generational" player. This trade market may not have anyone who even qualifies.

    Beyond their top assets, the Warriors also have Kelly Oubre Jr. (playing on an expiring $14.4 million salary) and a host of lesser prospects to potentially attract suitors. It isn't impossible to imagine the right team seeking out Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole or Alen Smailagic in a trade.

Potential Targets

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    It's impossible to know whom the Warriors would consider a generational talent, but in this market, that label likely starts and stops with Bradley Beal. He's a 27-year-old three-time All-Star who's pacing the entire league in scoring this season at 32.9 points per game.

    But that's assuming he's even on the market, and there are no reports suggesting he is. In fact, an early Feb. report from The Athletic's Shams Charania and Fred Katz said Beal "wants to remain in Washington" and the Wizards "[have] no plans to move him."

    Moving beyond Beal, the Warriors reportedly have interest in Victor Oladipo, per The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor. Oladipo could upgrade the perimeter defense and add another ball-handler to the mix, but he's also approaching unrestricted free agency and still doesn't look right since suffering a torn quadriceps tendon in Jan. 2019. One would assume the Warriors might require a serious discount to do a deal.

    If the Dubs chase low-cost specialists, that might put knockdown shooters like JJ Redick or Wayne Ellington in play. Vets like George Hill, Garrett Temple or Ish Smith could bulk up the backcourt. Up front, P.J. Tucker might make sense at the right price, and if the Warriors are believers in Aaron Gordon, he might be a big enough prize to justify a mini-splurge.


    Statistics used courtesy of Basketball-Reference and NBA.com. Salary information obtained via Basketball Insiders.