The Golden State Warriors could look a lot different come next season, particularly on the wings.
Golden State has one top-shelf trade chip in Jordan Poole, which the franchise can use this offseason to fill roster gaps and maximize the Steph Curry championship window. Dealing Poole doesn’t make sense if general manger Bob Myers still believes he has the centerpieces of a contender after Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are gone. But it’s the only move if Myers has lost faith in that vision — one that cracked significantly when the team bailed on former No. 2 pick James Wiseman, trading him and three second-rounders for Gary Payton II.
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report pitched a proposal on Thursday, March 30, that flips Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Patrick Baldwin Jr. and a future first-rounder to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for wings Mikal Bridges and Dorian Finney-Smith.
Trade Helps Dubs’ Defense, Adds Potential All-Star in Bridges
Buckley acknowledged that Warriors fans might initially buck at what is essentially selling the entirety of team’s last few drafts for Bridges and Finney-Smith. He also notes the one-sided nature of the proposal, but that’s kind of the whole point.
This would ditch the idea of operating on two different timelines and be a total commitment to giving Curry his best shot at adding to his jewelry collection.
Mikal Bridges, who’s put up All-Star numbers in Brooklyn, would basically be a souped-up version of Andrew Wiggins. Dorian Finney-Smith would thrive as a switchable defender who can make open shots. These three working in concert on defense would be equipped to shut down just about any offense opponents would throw at the Warriors. Add Draymond Green to the equation, and that’s a cheat-code defense — regardless of who fills the fifth spot on the floor.
The Nets, meanwhile, will need a total reset at some point, and this could get their rebuild rolling. Poole is a proven commodity, Kuminga has dropped several hints at having a sky-high ceiling, and the other three are wild cards.
Bridges, Finney-Smith Fit Warriors as Shooters, Defenders
Both Bridges and Finney-Smith were classic 3-and-D guys who arrived in Brooklyn mid-season as part of deals that sent Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns and Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks.
Bridges has excelled in a primary scoring role for the Nets, averaging 26.8 points per game across 21 appearances. He put up 17.2 points per night for the Suns in 56 appearances before his usage rate sky rocketed from 19.2% in Phoenix to 29% in Brooklyn, per Basketball Reference. Bridges has remained a plus-defender and knocks in 38.1% of his 3-pointers on four career attempts per game. He is 6-feet, 6-inches tall and is playing on four-year, $90 million contract that now looks like a steal regardless of his role.
Finney-Smith earned his four-year, $55.6 million deal with the Mavericks on the strength of his defense, often matching up with opponents’ toughest wing assignment due to his length at six-feet, 7-inches tall. He is nowhere close to the offensive player that Bridges is, but he fits in with the Warriors roster as a quality 3-point threat, shooting a career 35.5% from behind the line on 4.1 attempts per game.
The skill sets of Bridges and Finney-Smith would help negate the loss of Green should the Warriors be forced to move on this offseason for financial reasons.