Trade No. 3: Klay Thompson to the Big Easy
The final domino is the most difficult to contemplate moving. Klay Thompson has been a part of this Warriors dynasty from the beginning, starting in the most lethal backcourt in NBA history and securing his place in NBA history and the Hall of Fame. He is undeniably no longer the player that he was five years ago, or even two years ago, but the thought of breaking up this core is a bitterly painful one.
If the Warriors truly wanted to lean into the youth movement, however, sending the veteran Thompson to a team where he could make a playoff run this season and pick his team in free agency makes some sense. Even as his defense has eroded Klay is still a shooter teams will guard very closely, and whether or not he regains his accuracy that gravity will survive for at least the rest of this season.
The New Orleans Pelicans are a team that could use his shooting, as they rank 25th in 3-point attempt rate despite giving rookie gunner Jordan Hawkins all of the opportunities that he could handle. Klay would come in and immediately change that, launching shots and benefiting from the internal gravity of Zion Williamson inside.
Here's what a three-team trade could look like that lands Klay in New Orleans:
The Pelicans get smaller with this move, likely starting Larry Nance Jr. at the 5 and playing Zion Williamson more minutes as a smallball center. They also get significantly more lethal with Klay Thompson sprinting on the perimeter, and Caleb Martin and Cory Joseph provide solid veteran depth.
The Miami Heat get a more reliable option in the backcourt than Herro, and CJ McCollum's deal ends a year sooner than Herro's. The Warriors bring in Herro as a player who emulates much of what Jordan Poole brought to their title run in 2022, a bruising center who gives them real heft inside, and a prospect in Dyson Daniels who can grow into the starting point guard in the backcourt of the future with Brandin Podiemski.
None of these three trades are particularly likely to happen, and they aren't necessarily all slam dunk moves, either. What they represent are the kinds of deals likely to be available were the Warriors to go this route. It's tempting to do so, but it's also no guarantee that Golden State will get maximum value for all of their guys.
Final roster: Guard - Stephen Curry, Brandin Podiemski, Dyson Daniels, Tyler Herro; Wing - Aaron Wiggins, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, Dariq Whitehead; Bigs - Draymond Green, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jonas Valanciunas, Ben Simmons, Ousmane Dieng, Davis Bertans, Dario Saric