In the NBA these days, young talent is hard to find. But in the 2012 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors found a potential core piece still waiting to hear his name called at the seventh pick in the draft. Harrison Barnes was selected seventh overall and emerged as one of the key parts of the Warriors 2012-13 puzzle.
But in with both Warriors management and fanbase smelling major success in their near future, Barnes’ name has been out in the trade market for weeks. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, and after a mediocre regular season in which he averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, Barnes blossomed in the postseason, averaging 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Barnes’ stellar postseason performance makes him even more enticing and desirable. And Golden State management believes that they are one dominant bigman away from being title contenders.
Here are five players that Barnes would be worth trading for:
The Grizzlies developed Marc Gasol from a throw in trade piece into a dominant NBA center. Gasol, the reigning Defensive player of the Year, has become one of the best overall centers in the league. His superior back-to-the-basket ability makes him a nightmare to stop for opposing teams.
If the Warriors trade either David Lee or Andrew Bogut as well as Harrison Barnes and draft picks for Gasol, then theywould have a lethal inside-outside combo which would keep opponents up at night.
Even after a dreadful and incredibly forgettable regular season for Love in which he only played 18 games total, he is still one of the best power forwards in the NBA. Still being only 24 years old, Love has yet to peak. In 2010-11, Love averaged more than 20 points and 15 rebounds, and in 2011-12, he averaged more than 26 points and 13 rebounds. Not surprisingly, he was an All-Star in both seasons.
Love would have to replace Lee and Barnes on the perimeter and provide both an outside shooting ability on offense and a dominant rebounding presence on the defensive end.
Aldridge has averaged more than 21 points in each of the past three seasons. He is a two-time All-Star, and like Gasol, a dominant post presence. On top of that, like Love, Aldridge is a deadly mid-range shooter.
As the shot chart by Grandland.com Kirk Goldsberry illustrates Aldridge is the best elbow shooter in the NBA. Aldridge’s ability to score in the low post and also from both elbow’s makes him an even more possible productive fit in the Warriors if they were forced to part with Harrison Barnes.
Cousins is one of the biggest questions marks in the NBA. He is incredibly young and talented much like Barnes but has major emotionally question marks. Cousins would be forced to mature in the Bay Area if taught by coach Mark Jackson or else his time would be short.
The fact that Cousins is only 22 years old and he has averaged almost a double-double in the past two seasons, tallying more than 17 points per game in both, is incredibly enticing.
This is the most realistic possibility. Howard is a defensive monster and one of the best athletes in the NBA. His massive arms and body makes him a monster down low and the dominant defensive presence the Warriors currently lack.
The addition of Howard would make the Warriors one of the best teams in the Western Conference and a possible title contender in the future. He offers the Dubs both a short-term and long term valuable haul.