Warriors Trade Targets with 2022 NBA Trade Deadline a Month Away

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2022

Warriors Trade Targets with 2022 NBA Trade Deadline a Month Away

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    Nate Billings/Associated Press

    The Golden State Warriors are—in theory, at least—one of the biggest wild cards of NBA trade season.

    They have the trade chips and salaries to broker a blockbuster, and their prominent place in the championship race could move them to swing a win-now deal.

    All of that said, they are winning plenty as it is, and they are still awaiting the 2021-22 debuts of both Klay Thompson and James Wiseman. With their roster already flashing super-powered potential and with reinforcements on the way, they might think they already have the pieces needed to contend for the crown.

    Still, even the best rosters can be improved, and Golden State could pluck a helpful addition or two out of the bargain bin.

Alex Len, Sacramento Kings

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    While the Warriors could take a (much) bigger swing at the center spot, they don't seem to want to rock the boat. The Athletic's Tim Kawakami unequivocally reported that they are "not trading [Wiseman]," so any trade-machine deals for Myles Turner types are unlikely.

    Still, the center spot might need some attention, as the Wiseman-less Dubs don't have the big bodies to throw at the likes of Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic. A minor move for Alex Len might work, if only to soak up 15 minutes or so of physical interior play.

    Casual fans might best remember Len for being overdrafted (No. 5 in 2013), but he has settled into a sturdy niche role built around solid screens, active glass work and point-blank finishing. His game doesn't have enough layers to log 36 minutes, but it's still worth noting his career per-36-minutes stat line includes 14.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

    It shouldn't take much to pry him away from the Sacramento Kings, who are overloaded at the center spot.

Kenrich Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Golden State's switch-everything scheme helped emphasize the importance of versatile, three-and-D wings, so the Warriors would be wise to explore one of the better options on the market.

    Kenrich Williams, 27, is probably a touch too old for the rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder, but his well-rounded production and polish should allow for a seamless transition to Golden State.

    Williams shines brightest in the sport's subtleties. He fits wherever needed—he's played all five positions—and understands that playing hard is a skill. His motor helps him defend multiple positions and attack the glass, he can make open shots when they're there (42.3 percent from deep since the start of last season) and he'll make the extra pass when they're not.

    If Oklahoma City sets a reasonable asking price, Golden State could get good mileage out of a move for Williams.

Cody Zeller, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Cameron Browne/Getty Images

    If the Warriors go searching for center depth, they'll want to find someone they can trust.

    Why not Cody Zeller?

    There might not be a single bit of flash in his game, but that's fine. It should keep his trade cost down, and the Dubs only need a low-maintenance big who can hold his own defensively, set screens and stay active on the boards.

    That is, more or less, Zeller in a nutshell. The Portland Trail Blazers seem like they could pull the plug on this season at any moment, and even if they don't go the nuclear route, some type of change seems imminent for this underperforming club. If they slap a clearance sticker on Zeller's back, the Warriors might run to the register to complete the transaction.