3 early Warriors trade targets in 2024 NBA offseason

3 early Warriors trade targets in 2024 NBA offseason


The Warriors need to make a major splash this offseason.

The Golden State Warriors were eliminated from the 2024 play-in tournament after suffering a blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings. Wacky things can happen in the play-in tournament, but this is still a shocking fall from grace for a team that won the NBA Finals less than two years ago.

It’s also demoralizing for a former dynasty that appears to be on its last legs. Steph Curry is still Steph Curry, but Klay Thompson is a shell of his former self and Draymond Green is also past his prime.

The Warriors could blow it all up and start a rebuild, but it would be much more interesting if they decided to push all their chips to the middle of the table and make one more Finals run with their superstar point guard leading away.

Let’s take a closer look at three players the Warriors could target on the trade market to bolster their roster this offseason.

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This couldn’t happen, right? There’s no way. If the Phoenix Suns flame out this postseason and their championship run ends unceremoniously, it’s possible the Slim Reaper could get wandering eyes and start looking for a way out of his current situation. If Durant wants out from Phoenix, he just might remember the success he had playing with Curry in the Bay Area.

Curry and Durant led the Warriors to two championships in three seasons, only missing out on a three-peat because the latter was injured during the 2019 playoffs. Their respective styles fit alongside each other perfectly, and this has been proven in the past.

Yes, Curry and Durant are each a few years older than the last time they teamed up. They remain among the league’s truly elite offensive players, though, and would arguably be the league’s top tandem on that side of the floor if they played together again.

Chances are Durant would figure things out quickly with his former team, quickly leading the Warriors back to contention. The difficult part would be figuring out a deal the Suns will accept. Jonathan Kuminga broke out as a hard-charging isolation scorer and explosive finisher this season, but there’s still debate about his ceiling. If the Suns believe Kuminga is on a surefire All-Star trajectory, he could be one candidate to headline a deal along with other players and numerous draft picks.

To date, the Warriors have seemingly tried to have it both ways, delicately balancing contending for a championship in the present with building the next generation of their team. Dealing future picks for Durant would shake this up and represent a clear signal Golden State is all in to win one more ring before Curry hangs up his sneakers.

If they can put together a package that is acceptable for Phoenix, a rejuvenated Warriors squad with Curry and Durant leading the way could be the favorite to come out of the West next year.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

Every team could use a player like Alexander-Walker, and the Warriors are no exception. NAW, as he is also known, is an elite defender with the capability to knock down open shots consistently.

Curry might just be the greatest shooter to have ever lived, but he is well below average as a defender in this late stage of his career despite giving strong effort day in and day out. Curry just doesn’t have the size and strength to consistently slow down opposing players. When he was younger and healthy, Thompson was a perfect fit not only for his shooting, but because of his elite defensive ability.

NAW is not Klay Thompson, just to be clear. Very few players in the league will ever come close to matching Thompson’s ability as a two-way player. But Alexander-Walker is the exact type of low-usage offensive player who can fill any role necessary, and he is also an elite defender at multiple positions on the perimeter.

His addition would bring much-needed versatility to Golden State’s roster and take pressure off of Curry at that end of the court.

When DeAndre Ayton was draft first overall in 2018, the expectations surrounding him were extraordinarily high. Ayton was projected by many analysts to be the next superstar center in the NBA.

His career has not gone according to plan, but Ayton has intermittently shown flashes of brilliance. He’s an excellent rebounder who can consistently score between 15 and 20 points per night. He also can occasionally explode for 30 or more points.

More importantly, Ayton’s style of play meshes extremely well with Curry. The former Suns big man makes his money in the paint. Ayton is not a shooter, and it’s unlikely he ever will be. However, he’s elite at rolling to the rim and using his body to seal off defenders.

Golden State has never had an interior scoring presence like Ayton during the Curry era. Between the two players, the Warriors would have a dominant inside-out game that bends the defense in opposite directions. Curry drawing attention 35 feet away from the rim and firing a pass to Ayton on the low block is just picturesque basketball.

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