Warriors Urged to Target One of the NBA’s Ultimate Hustle Players

Kenrich Williams OKC Thunder

Getty Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kenrich Williams defends PJ Dozier of the Denver Nuggets.

The Golden State Warriors figure to have just as strong a chance as anybody to capture the title this season. Whether they win it all or fall short in their attempt, though, they’ll have work to do this summer from a roster standpoint.

As it stands, the club has more than $171 million in salary earmarked for just eight players. And while team president Bob Myers will undoubtedly do his best to keep as many of the Dubs’ current pieces in place as possible, he’s bound to lose a player or two.

Moreover, there’s definitely room for improvement on the back end of the roster.

Given Golden State’s cap/luxury tax situation, the trade market may be Myers’ best avenue toward making additions. If he does look to deal, one analyst sees a winning target in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s current bench spark plug.

B/R: Kenrich Williams a Possible Trade Target

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley just put out his list of possible trade targets for the Warriors. As one might expect, big men Rudy Gobert and Jakob Poeltl topped the list. However, the hoops scribe also made a compelling argument for OKC forward Kenrich Williams.

Wrote Buckley:

Like most modern teams, the Warriors could always use more three-and-D depth.

That need might increase this summer too, as Otto Porter Jr. might prove too pricey to retain in free agency.

If Golden State agrees and enters the wing market, maybe a low-cost move for Kenrich Williams could be in the works.

Williams’ name came up frequently in trade chatter ahead of February’s dealing deadline. That said, the 27-year-old’s price tag may have scared off potential suitors. According to B/R’s Jake Fischer, the Thunder were seeking a first-round pick at minimum in any deal.

Although that could be a non-starter for the Dubs, Buckley believes a pair of second-round picks would be palatable to the team. Whether OKC would accept such a return may be another matter.

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‘Kenny Hustle’ Brings a Ton to the Table

The Thunder may have been a below-average defensive team during the regular season, but they performed at an elite level with Williams in the lineup. OKC conceded just 100.3 points per 100 possessions when ‘Kenny Hustle’ was on the court; a number that would have ranked second only to Andre Iguodala’s 97.0 for the Warriors.

Meanwhile, opponents’ field-goal percentages dropped 7.2% within six feet of the hoop when Williams was the closest defender, in addition to 1.7% on three-pointers and 1.2% overall.

Offensively, he’s got some chops in the mid-range, having connected on 48% of his attempts from between three and 16 feet from the hoop. He has been average from deep over the course of his career but has also shown an ability to get hot, like when he nailed five triples against the Pelicans in December.

Williams also has some chops as a passer, having averaged just under four assists per 36 minutes over the last two seasons.


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