The Golden State Warriors trade rumors have slowly ramped up over the past few weeks, as the trade deadline approaches. With superstar point guard Stephen Curry and co-star Klay Thompson being sidelined for so long, the team has relied primarily on Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell. The Warriors are currently sitting in the last place of the Western Conference. They have a horrific record of 9-30. With a team on pace to have a high lottery pick, and looking for another deep playoff run the following year, trade rumors have been circulating.
The Golden State Warriors’ Biggest Trade Piece
The Warriors are most willing to trade their young star guard, D’Angelo Russell. Russell was an All-Star last year and has improved his points per game average from 21.1 to 23.2. During the offseason, Russell came to the Warriors during a sign-and-trade deal, which also involved superstar forward Kevin Durant leaving for the Brooklyn Nets. Russell is still developing his game as he is only 23 years old. He has an extreme amount of upside and holds a lot of trade value.
Potential Trade Destination
One team that has been popping as a potential trade destination is the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers also have a promising 23-year-old star on their hands in Ben Simmons. Simmons was an All-Star last year and had a great all-around year. Simmons averaged 16.9 points, 7.7 assists, and 8.8 rebounds. He also contributed well on the defensive end, with 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocks. Simmons has been having a down year however, dropping his points, assists, and blocks averages. Many people around the league have noted that the 76ers cannot go deep in the playoffs with Simmons around Joel Embiid. Trading Simmons for more shooting would allow the 76ers to open up the floor and allow Embiid to be more of a monster in the paint.
If the Warriors do want to deal Russell to the 76ers, the 76ers would have to throw in extra players to make the money work. If the 76ers do that, they would most likely want the Warriors’ 2020 first-round pick as well. It’s a bit of a long-shot but is entirely possible, especially considering the fact that the Warriors’ started slowly with Curry and Russell this season showing that the duo was not going to work out. Either that or the Warriors can wait until the offseason when Simmons’ yearly salary jumps up to $29.2 million.
Philadelphia 76ers’ Viewpoint
Although Simmons is a fan favorite in Philadelphia and was an All-Star last year, he is still a great trade asset. If the 76ers do complete a trade with the Warriors, it could prove to be a great trade come playoff time. The 76ers need more shooting, and Russell has a great outside shot. Simmons’ lack of shooting causes the team to collapse in the playoffs, as the lack of space becomes evident during that time. Russell is also a great ballhandler. Although Russell’s assist-to-turnover ratio is worse than Simmons’ (2.0 compared to 2.4), Russell has proved that he can run the point guard position well. The 76ers won’t be losing much playmaking ability in gaining Russell but will gain a ton of shooting ability.
Golden State Warriors’ Viewpoint
It’s obvious to the NBA universe that the Warriors aren’t making the playoffs this season. At this point, the Warriors are coasting. They are playing the young guys on their roster more, resting their star players more, waiting until next year to make another deep playoff run. However, the Warriors’ roster could use some shaking up.
If this trade ends up going through, the Warriors’ playstyle could shift. With having two extremely good ballhandlers on the team, it will be a learning curve for the entire organization. On top of this, Simmons paired with Green would also be a problem. The Warriors would have less shooting and therefore less spacing on the floor. But all hope is not lost. Simmons is almost universally regarded as a better player than Russell and has the skill to back it up. Simmons would be able to be another drive-and-kick threat for the Warriors, who haven’t really had that option outside of Curry. He is also a good defensive player, allowing the Warriors to vastly improve their backcourt defense.
And as the Warriors have proved for the last half of the past decade, they can adapt to changes. Although it’s a bit easier to adapt to Durant joining the roster, the Warriors have proven that their unselfishness is a great asset for team chemistry. Do not rule out the Golden State Warriors trade rumors with Russell and Simmons. The Warriors are preparing for a deep playoff run next season and could use fresh players.
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