The Golden State Warriors are not expected to make any splashy moves at the upcoming NBA trade deadline, but one insider believes they could bring in a talented big man to upgrade the back end of the rotation.
The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported that the Warriors are expected to hold back on any big moves, instead looking into potential upgrades at the back of the roster. Henoted that the Warriors are lacking some depth in the frontcourt with both Wiseman and JaMychal Green dealing with injuries, which could make Utah Jazz center Kelly Olynyk an attractive target.
Kelly Olynyk Would Be ‘Useful Rotation Upgrade’ for Warriors
As Slater noted, the $37 million big man would be a “useful rotation upgrade” for the Warriors and a likely candidate for playoff minutes off the bench — and at a price that would be attractive for a team already deep in the luxury tax.
“Olynyk makes $12.8 million this season in Utah and has a $3 million partial guarantee on his $12.2 million salary next season,” Slater wrote. “In theory, the short financial commitment is an appeal for the Warriors. They are facing a well-documented tax crunch and are uninterested in adding committed salary beyond this season, which eliminates many of the league’s other trade options.”
That would make Olynyk and his expiring contract a rental, helping the Warriors in what the team hopes will be another title run and likely leaving in free agency next summer.
“You’d really be talking about three months of a backup center who wouldn’t start or close games behind Looney and Draymond Green and then disappear in the offseason,” Slater wrote. “Would that be worth mortgaging the draft picks it would cost, plus, presumably, Wiseman and his matching salary? It could be argued. ”
Other Insiders Predict James Wiseman for Kelly Olynyk Trade
Slater is not alone in speculating that the Warriors could target Olynyk. Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley suggested in December that Golden State could send both Wiseman and rookie guard Ryan Rollins to the Jazz for Olynyk.
The Warriors have been high on Rollins and invested a lot in the Toledo guard already. In June, they sent the No. 51 overall pick along with $2 million to move up to the No. 44 spot in the draft where they could take Rollins.
Buckey speculated that it would be a worthwhile price for the Warriors, as Olynyk would be a great fit in their offense.
[Olynyk’s] steady shooting, slick passing and sky-high basketball IQ would make him a seamless fit in this offense. He has played above his head so far, but even when regression comes for the 31-year-old, he’d have plenty to give Golden State in a reserve role. The second unit has badly needed ball movement — which is why Draymond Green has been such an impactful addition to it — and you could argue that’s the strongest part of Olynyk’s arsenal.
Golden State’s performance over the coming weeks could also help determine the trade deadline strategy. The Warriors were in sixth place in the Western Conference to start the day on Thursday, but just 3.5 games out of third place.