The Golden State Warriors have been a model of consistency and excellence over the last 6-7 years. With their core of 5x All-Star Klay Thompson, former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green, and 2x MVP Steph Curry they have been able to remain in championship-contention whenever all three of them have played throughout the season.
However, the Warriors won’t have that same consistency this upcoming year. Unfortunately for them, their sharpshooter and starting guard Thompson will miss the entire 2020 – 2021 season due to him tearing his right Achilles. The team, since receiving the news, has made some additions that will likely help them to supplant the lost production but, their championship chances may by now be dashed.
Yet before the injury took place, the Warriors attempted to make another move that would have flipped the NBA upside down. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Warriors were one of several teams who called the Houston Rockets about a potential trade for their former MVP James Harden.
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What The Teams Discussed
The Warriors may have had, and still do, one of the better packages to offer for a superstar of Harden’s caliber. That’s one of the primary reasons the two teams spoke about the possibility. Discussing further, Charania detailed what was said in the conversation.
“I heard that one a little bit before the injury to Klay,” Charania said. “I don’t even believe an offer was made. I think it was just an inquiry like, ‘We have a major potential offer here if you guys want to discuss.’
“Houston was open to hearing out different offers and proposals … but it never even progressed to that point.”
Before the draft, the Warriors potential offer would have included former #1 overall pick, Andrew Wiggins, the #2 selection in the 2020 draft, the #48 selection, next year’s Minnesota Timberwolves potential top-5 pick, and another player’s contract to make the salaries more so match up, namely Kevon Looney.
Looking across the NBA’s landscape this offer makes more sense for future team-building than that of what a team like the Brooklyn Nets may have been able to offer. With both draft picks, Houston has the chance to obtain a potential superstar. And yet, they still do.
If the teams were to discuss the trade again now, Looney may be removed from it and #2 overall selection James Wiseman would be added. Plus, the potential top-5 selection (Minnesota) in next year’s draft. With the need to sell their fans and ticket buyers on a bright new future the Rockets would very well be positioned to do so having given up their aging superstar.
Other Potential Warriors Trades
Even if the Warriors are unable to trade for Harden they still have one of, if not the, best package to offer a team for any superstar that wants a change of scenery. Earlier this offseason, Golden State did attempt to trade for another All-NBA caliber player but to no avail.
However, with the news of Russell Westbrook being traded to the Washington Wizards for franchise centerpiece John Wall, the opportunity to acquire the Wizards star guard Bradley Beal may be back on the table.
If the Wizards are not able to move the needle in terms of team success this upcoming season by adding the former MVP in Westbrook they will likely feel pressured into trading Beal before his opinion changes on being a Wizard for life. Previously, ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst discussed a trade that could land Beal to the Warriors with Kevin Pelton and Tim Bontemps, on “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective”.
Bontemps: “There are not a lot of teams that can trade for Beal because you have to have a lot to trade to get a guy like this … Bradley Beal is a top-15 player in the league. You have to give up value to get a player like that.”
Windhorst: “So a team that could enter the sweepstakes should (he) become available would be the Golden State Warriors.”