The Golden State Warriors have clearly experienced some growing pains since Klay Thompson’s return to the lineup earlier this month. And the combination of Draymond Green’s injury and Stephen Curry’s extended shooting slump have done little to help stabilize the club for the stretch run.
Once those issues get sorted, though, the prevailing belief is that the Warriors have what it takes to get back to the NBA Finals. That said, what’s good can always be great and there’s also a thought that GM Bob Myers could make Golden State the title favorite with one big, win-now move.
Even if it would cost the club one or more of its prized, young assets, that may just be the way to go at the trade deadline, too.
To that end, Blacher Report’s Andy Bailey pitched one of the league’s best frontcourt players and a veritable jack of all trades as a surprise target. Namely, Atlanta Hawks star John Collins.
The Warriors Could Make a Competitive Offer
There’s no doubting that the Warriors have a treasure trove of young talent in Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and Moses Moody. For his part, Kuminga has looked like a future All-Star at times this season. And as a former No. 2 overall pick, Wiseman is considered by some to be a potential franchise player.
As for Moody, the No. 14 overall pick in the 2021 draft hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time this season, but he’s lighting up the G League on the regular and has had some big moments when Steve Kerr has let him loose.
Still, Bailey can see the Warriors being willing to part with at least two of those players in an attempt to get Collins:
Wiseman, Kuminga and Kevon Looney combine for enough salary to make the deal work. Although Kuminga has shown some upside this season and Looney is a big part of the team’s defensive identity, Collins would be a monumental offensive upgrade.
That offensive boost is definitely something to consider. For the year, Collins is averaging a healthy 16.8 points on just 11.8 shot attempts per game. His shooting splits are eye-popping at 54-41-80. Better yet, Collins is still just 24 years old, so the Warriors wouldn’t totally be putting the kibosh on their youth movement.
On the downside of this potential deal, the center spot is maybe the one area where the Warriors could use some help — or, at the least, some size — and dealing both Looney and Wiseman would have an impact there, even if Kerr went on to play Collins as a small-ball five (along with Green).
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Collins Wants Out of the ATL?
There have been rumblings about Collins being at odds with the Hawks dating back to before he signed an extension with the club. As recently as this month, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that he has grown increasingly frustrated with his role on the team.
For his part, though, Collins has denied the report.
“It’s frustrating when I’m mentioned in those kinds of reports. It always makes my fans, teammates and the organization not know where I might stand,” he later told The Athletic. “I can’t be responsible for how someone feels when they’re processing what they’re reading. What I’m upset about is, sometimes, I can’t control my own narrative.
“In terms of the Hawks and Atlanta, I don’t need to talk about it because I’ve talked about it enough. This is where I want to be.”