The Golden State Warriors could address their lack of size by swapping two young stars for a proven big man this summer, an NBA insider is suggesting in a new trade proposal.
The undersized Warriors chose not to add size at this year’s trade deadline, a move that drew some criticism. The only true center this season was veteran Kevon Looney, as second-year center James Wiseman missed the season while rehabbing a knee injury. While the Warriors have found success in running small-ball lineups with Draymond Green at center, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley believes they could try boosting their frontcourt by swinging a blockbuster trade for one of the league’s top defensive big men.
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Warriors Break Up Youth Movement
In Buckley’s trade proposal, the Warriors would send Wiseman and rookie Moses Moody to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for center Myles Turner. He noted that Turner would be a good fit for the Warriors offense, as he is a lifetime 34.9 percent three-point shooter and could add the team’s needed size without having to sacrifice coach Steve Kerr’s preferred floor spacing.
“The 6’11”, 250-pounder has twice led the league in blocks—he would have added a third blocks title this season if he played enough games to qualify—and connected on 34.9 percent of his career long-range looks,” Buckley noted. He could give this defense more oomph around the basket and add another layer to this offense as a pick-and-pop threat.”
Buckley speculated that the trade would work for the Pacers as well, as the move could help add pieces to build around 22-year-old Tyrese Haliburton.
There have been a number of other insiders who suggested the Warriors could make a run at Turner. ESPN analyst Jamal Collier predicted earlier this year that the Warriors would try to land Turner at this season’s trade deadline, saying they may want to bring an end to the Wiseman project and land a proven center instead.
“This seems like the right fit for both sides,” Collier wrote. “Golden State has a few young players who could help Indiana start a rebuild. Meanwhile, the Warriors could get a more proven player than James Wiseman as they aim to compete for a championship this season. Plus Turner, who turns 26 this month, can still be a part of the Warriors’ future.”
Warriors Wary to Leverage Future
The trade proposal could run into a major hitch in the form of Golden State’s reluctance to part with any of their promising young stars. There have been a number of trade suggestions that include Golden State sending Wiseman, Moody, or fellow rookie Jonathan Kuminga, but the Warriors have not moved forward on any of them.
Owner Joe Lacob has made it clear that he wants the team to maintain a mix of star veterans — Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — while developing the younger players who can develop into foundational pieces for the future. This would replicate the model that the San Antonio Spurs used for an extended dynasty that started with David Robinson and Tim Duncan and ran through the end of Kawhi Leonard’s tenure with the team nearly two decades later.
General manager Bob Myers also said explicitly at the conclusion of last season that the team had no plans to trade Wiseman.
“I think he can help us. I expect him to be on the team next year. We don’t want to trade James Wiseman,” Myers said, via USA Today’s The Rookie Wire. “I think he is a tremendous talent. He was put in a position where the guy has, hopefully, taken all of his lumps early in his career.”