Warriors' Last-Minute Trade Targets Before 2021 NBA Deadline

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Warriors' Last-Minute Trade Targets Before 2021 NBA Deadline

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    NBA executives are almost always speaking in vague terms this time of year so as not to prematurely tip their hands.

    So it seemed notable when Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers recently voiced his plans to be "aggressive" at the upcoming trade deadline.

    Saying that, though, aggressive could mean a lot of things.

    Are the Warriors aggressively pursuing upgrades at any cost? Are they chasing whatever they could get without giving up James Wiseman or the top-three-protected pick coming from the Minnesota Timberwolves? Are they only interested in players under contract beyond this season (meaning they would stick around to suit up with Klay Thompson), or would they consider rentals to give Stephen Curry temporary support?

    Those answers will shape what this franchise does or doesn't do between now and Thursday's 3 p.m. ET cutoff. For now, we can spotlight three players that make the most sense to pursue.

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    No, there are no guarantees Bradley Beal will be moved this trade season, and it seems more likely than not that he will stay put with the Washington Wizards.

    So why bother putting him on this list? Because he's the best player among all who are remotely available, and if the Warriors went to the extreme end of being "aggressive," they might be able to put the best offer on the table.

    The Dubs couldn't dream up a better Curry sidekick—or, more accurately, a Curry co-star—than Beal, who's one of only five players averaging more points than the Chef (a league-best 32.1 to Curry's 29.0). Both players can initiate offense, shoot from anywhere and find shots for their teammates. The offensive possibilities are endless and would allow coach Steve Kerr to get as creative as his imagination allows.

    This feels like the longest of long shots, but all it takes is an openness to change for the Wizards or Beal himself to change that. The Warriors, who may not want any of the other big-ticket items that might become available, should be on standby in case that phone call comes through.

George Hill, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    If a team has any win-now intentions, it likely has some level of interest in George Hill.

    Before this season even started, contenders were eyeing the veteran combo guard as a roster reinforcement.

    He would be an effortless addition to this backcourt, which could use another reliable contributor (or two) for the stretch run. He works on or off the basketball, has a sure shot from distance (career 38.4 percent) and holds his own defensively at either guard spot. His next playoff trip will be the 12th of his career.

    He could instantly perk up the guard collection behind Curry, and he doesn't have to be a rental (though he could be if that's preferred). He has a manageable $10 million salary for next season, and only $1.3 million is guaranteed.

Delon Wright, Detroit Pistons

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    In terms of what the Warriors could afford without letting go of Wiseman or the T-Wolves pick, Delon Wright is exactly the kind of player they should be after.

    He's 28, so he's more than ready to step into a role, but considering this is only his sixth NBA season, his development isn't necessarily finished. That means he would work with the Curry-Thompson-Draymond Green core right now and, in a best-case scenario, still be contributing when Golden State hands over the keys to Wiseman and the next-generation Warriors.

    Wright is malleable inside the lines. He can distribute, attack in transition and defend multiple positions. He doesn't take a ton of threes, but he has splashed most of what he has launched since the start of last season (78 makes at a 36.4 percent clip).

    He only costs $9 million this season and $8.5 million for 2021-22. The Warriors could get a lot of mileage out of trading for him, especially if they packaged him with another win-now contributor like Wayne Ellington.


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