3 Trade Targets for Warriors to Pursue at 2022 Deadline

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2022

3 Trade Targets for Warriors to Pursue at 2022 Deadline

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    At what point does a bump in the road become a bigger concern?

    That's a tricky question the Golden State Warriors must tackle between now and the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline.

    Their season-long numbers are great (34-13 entering Tuesday night), but a closer inspection reveals they have basically been a .500 team for the past month (7-7 since Dec. 28).

    Perhaps this is nothing more than the rough patch every team typically encounters over the 82-game marathon, but can the Warriors be sure of that? If not, they might be more active during trade season than anyone expected.

    While an internet-breaking blockbuster seems unlikely—if, for no other reason, than the fact that major salaries are impossible to align without sacrificing a major piece—the following three players look like logical targets for the front office.

Mike Muscala, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    The Warriors don't have the size to measure up to the league's biggest and best centers.

    A bulk of their frontcourt minutes goes to the 6'9" Kevon Looney and, when healthy, the 6'6" Draymond Green. And even if those players can play bigger than their dimensions, that doesn't make it any easier to deal with legitimate 7-footers.

    Unless Golden State is certain James Wiseman can fill that void—a leap in logic based on how raw he looked as a rookie last season—then it might want to address the center spot.

    Breaking the bank is senseless when Green almost certainly will close most games at the 5, but bargain shopping for a big could be the right move to make.

    How about a low-cost upgrade like Mike Muscala? He might be unspectacular, but he's also a veteran center who packs 240 pounds on his 6'10" frame and offers some offensive stretch with his shooting ability (career-high 43.3 percent this season).

    The 30-year-old looks like he's just waiting for a win-now shopper to free him from the future-focused Thunder.

Dennis Schroder, Boston Celtics

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    The Warriors could use more shot creation to support Stephen Curry.

    Dennis Schroder, who was reportedly on their radar this offseason, might be the best-case solution.

    For one, the 28-year-old is actually affordable. Free agency never became what he hoped it would be, and he wound up settling on a budget-friendly, $5.9 million deal with the Boston Celtics.

    Second, he could be obtainable. Boston won't have his Bird rights, so it probably can't cover the cost of his next free-agency venture. Trading him now for something (even a second-round pick) might be preferable to letting him walk.

    Third, and most importantly, he's a good player. Not a great one, but still someone who can manufacture offense for himself and his teammates. This is on course to be the German's sixth consecutive season of averaging at least 15 points and four assists.

    For reference, his numbers aren't dissimilar to Jordan Poole's (16.7 points and 3.3 assists), only Schroder shoots better percentages and commits fewer turnovers.

Kenrich Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Kenrich Williams might not be a household name, but he could have a significant fanbase inside the Warriors' front office.

    His game is built around versatility, almost to the point where he seems like he was schooled at Golden State University.

    The TCU alumnus can contribute at both ends of the court. He fits in either forward spot and can even find minutes elsewhere in a pinch. He competes hard enough to earn the nickname "Kenny Hustle." And, since the start of last season, he apparently bags 41.7 percent of his long-range looks.

    At 27, though, Williams might be too old to fit the Thunder's long-term plans, so he could be up for grabs.

    Expect many win-now suitors to come calling, with the Warriors perhaps at the front of that line.