The 2022-23 NBA season is fast approaching, and as we approach the middle of the season, the 2023 NBA trade deadline begins to approach. Many teams are going to be looking to improve their title winning efforts this season, and one such team that could end up being part of that group of contenders looking to be active in the trade market is the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors are looking to repeat as champions after winning the 2022 NBA Finals, but their quest got off to a pretty rocky start. They’ve started to figure things out after a very slow start, and their 20-18 record is OK, but that’s only good for ninth place in the crowded Western Conference right now, and they’re going to have to figure out how to keep going. to advance. forward with Stephen Curry on the sidelines.
Even when Curry returns, this team will need to make improvements to their current roster, and the NBA Trade Deadline is a perfect way for them to make those upgrades. As the deadline approaches, let’s take a look at two of the best trades the Warriors need to make if they really want to fight for a title this season.
2. Warriors trade for Jakob Poeltl using James Wiseman-centric package
The biggest hole on the Warriors’ roster right now is easily their big-name rotation. They made it past the playoffs last season with Kevon Looney as their primary center, and while he’s a solid player, he’s in a better position to come off the bench for them. But once again, he was forced into a starting role for Golden State this season.
That’s because 2020 second overall pick James Wiseman hasn’t really done well for the Warriors this season. Wiseman missed the entire 2021-22 season with a knee injury, but he has spent most of the current campaign bouncing between the NBA and G League, and even while playing for Golden State, it was not very effective. .
Wiseman obviously has tons of potential, but it’s starting to become clear that the Warriors are going to have to improve their rotation of big men if they want to win a title this season. That could see them pursue Jakob Poeltl of the San Antonio Spurs, which would be exactly what the Warriors are looking to add to their rotation.
Poeltl has been his usual regular presence at both ends of the pitch for the Spurs rebuild this season (12.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, 64.6 FG%) and although he is not the flashiest player around, he usually finds a way to make an impact. Poeltl would be a big help on the glass for Golden State, while giving them a paint presence on both sides of the court that they don’t really have right now.
Creating a trade package for Poeltl based on Wiseman and maybe a draft pick or two could be enough to convince Spurs to leave him. San Antonio will likely be looking to move Poeltl at or before the deadline, so there could be some competition for his services, but a young prospect like Wiseman could be enough to help the Warriors persuade Spurs to sign that deal.
1. Warriors use their 2023 top pick to acquire Kyle Kuzma
On the other hand, the Warriors likely need another solid secondary source of scoring behind Curry when he returns to the field after his shoulder injury. They have solid players in Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole who can all get buckets, but none of them have been able to ease Curry’s burden to open the season.
Poole and Thompson have stepped up with Curry on the sidelines, but will that continue when he returns? In order to protect himself, it would make a lot of sense to add another offensive-minded wing in Kyle Kuzma, who will almost certainly be in the trade market as the Washington Wizards continue to struggle.
Kuzma is having a very strong season for the Wizards (21.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 46.5 FG%) and would be another option that could open up the Warriors offense. He’s also a solid defender on the wing, which is badly needed by Golden State after losing Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. in the offseason.
Kuzma might cost a little more considering how good he looks for the Wizards this season, but the Warriors’ 2023 first-round pick could be a good starting point for the Warriors to make that decision. They could also launch another pick or a young player, but Kuzma would certainly fill some big needs for Golden State, and it’s a deal that would definitely help them this season and potentially beyond as well.