The Golden State Warriors may be on the doorstep of the NBA playoffs, but that hasn’t stopped constant discussion on what we may see once the off-season arrives.
Most recently, the Warriors have been linked to three-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
According to NBA editor Sean DeVeney of Heavy.com, the Utah Jazz big man could be a player of interest for the Warriors heading into the off-season.
"“If Rudy Gobert becomes available this summer, I think you’d find a lot of those veterans with the Warriors might want the team to make a run at him,” an unnamed western conference exec said."
The 29-year-old Frenchman is again a top candidate for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, having already won three of the last four awards. The potential addition would undoubtedly form an intriguing frontcourt duo with the Warriors’ current defensive maestro, 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green.
What makes that more intriguing is the apparent beef between Green and Gobert. As recently as All-Star weekend less than two months ago, the three-time NBA champion made it clear that he disagrees with any comparisons between the two.
If three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert is really on the marker, what could a potential deal involving the Golden State Warriors look like?
With Gobert having four years and around $170 million left on his deal, any potential trade would have to include Warriors small forward Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins has one year left on his deal but although a straight player-for-player deal may be viable, it’s highly likely the Jazz would be after more than just the Canadian in return.
With Gobert locked in for four years, the Warriors may foreseeable part ways with their former number two overall pick James Wiseman. Golden State could also offer another lottery pick in Moses Moody, but there’s no doubt exciting youngsters Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga would be off the table.
Would the Warriors actually consider it?
If the Dubs were to suffer a surprising first round exit to the greatness of Nikola Jokic, they may seek an immediate, ready-made reinforcement at the center position. Gobert could certainly be a difference-maker in that aspect, without being the caliber of player that would cost all the Warriors young assets.
Speaking of those young assets, the Warriors have a decision to make in relation to Jordan Poole. Are they willing to pay over $20 million a season for a player who may be the sixth man? Would Poole be willing to sign an extension while in that role?
Trading Wiggins for Gobert would solve that issue. Golden State could start Poole next to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to form a dangerous offensive trio, with Green and Gobert holding the fort on the defensive end.
We know Steve Kerr and the Warriors revolutionized basketball with their small-ball approach, something they’d largely move away from if a trade took place. Still, expected development from Kuminga means he could easily plugin for Gobert for a more offensive-minded lineup.