In what continues to be an underwhelming season, the Golden State Warriors could be faced with major decisions to be made during the upcoming offseason. The defending champions’ roster has clear flaws they need to address, and it may take a major trade in order to do it.
The Warriors are facing significant salary cap pressure with the highest estimated payroll for next season. That means they’ll have little capacity to be able to sign a significant difference-maker come free agency.
Set to begin a new four-year $140 million contract, could the Golden State Warriors look to move Jordan Poole for greater frontcourt depth during the offseason?
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Stinar believes the Warriors should target Washington Wizards’ big man Kristaps Porzingis during the offseason. The Latvian has had a renaissance of sorts in 2022-23, averaging 22.8 points per game on 48.8% from the field and 37.5% from three-point range. However, it’s on the other end where Stinar thinks Golden State could really do with Porzingis’ presence.
"“Outside of Kevon Looney (9.2 RPG), no one else on the Warriors averages more than 7.3 rebounds per game. In each of the last four seasons, Porzingis has averaged more than 8.0 rebounds per game. The Warriors also rank 27th in the NBA for blocks (3.8 BPG), while Porzingis has averaged 1.8 blocks over 397 regular season games. There is no question that the former fourth-overall pick would be an incredible addition.”"
Stinar has proposed that the Warriors use Jordan Poole as the major asset in exchange for the 7’3″ big man. The fourth-year guard will make $27.5 million next season, while Porzingis has a player option for $36 million.
Golden State would need to add another reasonable salary to match, but it’s certainly a realistic possibility should Porzingis opt into his contract. How Steve Kerr and the Warriors would use him offensively would be fascinating, particularly given they’ve never prioritized big men on that end of the floor. However, Porzingis’ three-point shooting capacity would certainly be an intriguing point-of-difference in contrast to Draymond Green and Kevon Looney.
The Warriors currently have no one above 6’9″ on their roster, though there’s a belief rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr. may have grown to 6’11”. Regardless, after dealing James Wiseman at the trade deadline, Golden State desperately need a genuine seven-footer heading into next season.
The end of the current season will determine if the Warriors are willing to pull the trigger on moves such as this. It would be an undoubted risk given Poole’s enormous talent, but it’s one that could come into consideration if things continue to go awry.