The Golden State Warriors feel like they have at least one big player transaction yet to make in preparation for the return of shooting guard Klay Thompson, who will bring with him the promise of the team’s first postseason success in three years.
Zach Buckley, NBA writer with Bleacher Report, thinks the deal to make involves three players with the Toronto Raptors. In an article published Friday, October 15, Buckley laid out the particulars of a trade proposal that would move several big names between the two teams.
The Warriors would bid farewell to sophomore big man James Wiseman and wing starter Andrew Wiggins, along with a first-round and second-round pick in the 2022 NBA draft. In return, they would receive small forward OG Anunoby, guard Goran Dragic and shot-blocking big man Chris Broucher.
“Golden State could use another impact player and better depth to support the stars. This swap would check both boxes,” Buckley wrote. “Anunoby might be on his way to becoming the next three-and-D wing who leaps to two-way stardom. Boucher would beef up Golden State’s shot-blocking and frontcourt floor-spacing. Dragic could help ensure the scoreboard doesn’t stop moving when Curry needs a breather.”
Warriors Should be Focused on Present Over Future, Analyst Says
It has been two full seasons since the Warriors played in a playoff game, a drought that followed five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.
Buckley laid out a fork in the road that the Dubs will have to traverse eventually when they ultimately decide if it’s best to play for now or plan for later, suggesting that making that choice sooner is better than waiting.
“It sounds intriguing for the Warriors to keep improving both their present and their future, but at some point they need to lean harder one way or the other,” he wrote. “Since the present includes Stephen Curry playing at an MVP level, this shouldn’t be a difficult choice to make.”
Various stakeholders have stated a range of return dates for Thompson from his Achilles’ tear, from team president Bob Myers to Thompson himself. However, sometime around Christmas has been the most frequently suggested window.
But Shams Charania, NBA insider for The Athletic, took to Twitter on Thursday, October 14 to report that Thompson could return as a full participant to practice inside of a month, which might well speed up the Christmas timeline.
The proposed additions of Anunoby, Dragic and Boucher could help serve as a stop gap to keep the Dubs’ record afloat while they wait for Thompson to return.
Anunoby Ascending into Potential NBA Star
The Raptors drafted Anunoby in 2017 and he began contributing immediately.
Over the course of his NBA tenure, the forward and defensive specialist has appeared in 253 games, starting 179 of those. During a career-year in 2020-21, Anunoby averaged 15.5 points per game, grabbed 5.5 rebounds and dished out 2.2 assists per night, according to Basketball Reference.
He also shot efficiently from the field, posting a 48% overall field goal percentage and a 39.8% mark from behind the 3-point line. Combined with his defense, Anunoby’s shooting makes his skill set the perfect fit to support the Warriors’ championship trio as the centerpiece to a “win now” trade.