Blockbuster Trade Pitch Brings Warriors No. 4 Overall Pick & More

Kevin Porter Jr. Rockets-Knicks

Getty Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. reacts during a game against the New York Knicks.

For the first time since the team’s dynastic era began nearly a decade ago, a Golden State Warriors squad that was more or less operating at full strength was unable to advance to the NBA Finals this postseason. Not only that — Stephen Curry and his crew were completely outclassed in their conference seminfal bout with the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.

Given the shocking way in which their playoff run ended, it should come as no surprise that pundits and fans alike are already dreaming up ways to shore up the Warriors’ roster by way of blockbuster trade, and even The Athletic is getting in on the action.

For a feature identifying potential deals for the Houston Rockets’ pick at No. 4 overall in the upcoming draft, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko pinpointed the Dubs as a possible trading partner.

In doing so, the hoops scribe floated a trade that would see Golden State jettisoning the players who were arguably their biggest playoff disappointments — Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga.

Warriors-Rockets Trade Proposal Swaps Youth for Youth & Brings Draft Assets to the Bay

VideoVideo related to blockbuster trade pitch brings warriors no. 4 overall pick & more2023-05-25T20:20:12-04:00

Although Iko confessed that this was the trade he felt “the least confident” in among the ones that were floated, there’s a clear method to the madness. Here’s the deal that was proposed between the Dubs and the Rockets:

  • Golden State Warriors receive G Kevin Porter Jr., G/F Jae’Sean Tate, F KJ Martin, the No. 4 pick in 2023 and Houston’s first-round picks in 2025 and 2027
  • Houston Rockets receive G Jordan Poole and F Jonathan Kuminga

It was Iko’s belief that new Rockets coach Ime Udoka could make a Poole-Jalen Green backcourt pop. He further opined that Poole’s status as one of the game’s best young guards and Kuminga’s untapped potential make the two logical targets for Houston.

For his part, The Athletic’s Warriors insider, Anthony Slater, sees potential on the Dubs’ side of the equation, too, albeit with one pretty significant strike against the idea:

“It’s an intriguing offer, especially if the Warriors’ scouting department loves somebody at the fourth spot — or if Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller escape the top three. The problem is it creates the same sort of problem the Warriors are trying to solve, flipping youth for youth.”

The latter concept may not be the only thing that would make one of the teams balk at this deal, either.

The Rockets May Be Giving Up Too Much in the Deal

Poole was a key cog in the Warriors’ 2022 title run and even though he took a hit from an efficiency standpoint during the 2022-23 regular season, he still averaged a career-high 20.4 points per game and helped Golden State get back to the playoffs. What he did after that point, though, was incredibly discouraging.

In 13 appearances for the Warriors this postseason, Poole averaged just 10.3 points while shooting 34.1% from the floor and 25.4% from three-point range. What’s more, he reacted poorly to his struggles and reduced minutes, both on the court and behind the scenes.

It’s difficult to envision the Rockets giving up so much to acquire that kind of player (and one with such a bloated contract, no less) and Kuminga, who was in and out of the rotation at various junctures — including during the playoffs — even as the Warriors had been counting on their youngsters to play key roles this season.

Houston has done well to build a stable of intriguing young talent — of which Porter (19.2 PPG, 5.7 APG and 5.3 RPG in ’22-23) and Martin (12.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG) are big pieces. And that No. 4 pick in particular could yield a real difference-maker, too.

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Rahmon Abayomi Animashaun
Rahmon Abayomi Animashaun
10 days ago

Why will the Rockets do this?, it absolutely makes no sense

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