Golden State Warriors could fortify defense with trade interest in injury-plagued forward

Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors
Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors' hopes of adding greater defensive presence could come in the form of the Orlando Magic's Jonathan Isaac, with the franchise linked to the injury-plagued forward in a report on Saturday.

Action Network's Matt Moore revealed the Magic's interest in Warrior point-guard Chris Paul, along with another veteran in the recently traded Kyle Lowry. Paul is currently sidelined after fracturing his hand against the Detroit Pistons on January 5, though that's not expected to deter teams interested in the 38-year-old and his expiring contract.

The Golden State Warriors reportedly have interest in Jonathan Isaac in a potential Chris Paul trade to the Orlando Magic

Arguably more notably from Moore's report was Golden State's interest in Isaac, with the 26-year-old one of the league's biggest 'what-ifs' over recent years. Standing at 6'10" with a 7'1" wingspan, Isaac has always been acknowledged as one of the NBA's best defenders when healthy, earning the nickname "Minister of Defense".

Unfortunately health has always been the question mark, having played only 76 games since the start of the 2019-20 season. Moore also reports that the Magic would have interest in third-year Warrior wing Moses Moody in any potential trade.

"The Warriors are obviously keen to shuffle the deck chairs on the Titanic that is their season. Details of talks aren't known, but Jonathan Isaac and Moses Moody are players each team has interest in for a potential deal. "

Matt Moore

Isaac has played in 31 of a possible 49 games this season, including 10 of the last 11. Despite averaging just 14.1 minutes per game, his defense remains an impactful element in helping Orlando to fifth in the league on that end of the floor.

Isaac is averaging 6.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game, shooting 46.6% from the floor but just 28.8% from three-point range. His best year came prior to the ACL injuries when he averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and a staggering 1.6 steals and 2.3 blocks in 34 games during the 2019-20 season.

The former sixth overall pick is making $17.4 million this season and has one more year at the same number, leaving a gulf between the contracts of he and Paul. Former first overall pick Markelle Fultz is one player who could foreseeably make up the salary difference.

Paul, Moody and 2022 All-Star Andrew Wiggins remain the biggest names to watch from a Golden State standpoint ahead of the NBA trade deadline on February 8.