Grade the Trade: Warriors add defensive phenom in controversial challenge-trade pitch

Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
3 of 3

Would the Warriors make this trade?

The Golden State Warriors could absolutely use a player like Evan Mobley. At just 22-years-old he is already one of the five or ten best defenders in the entire world, able to defend any area of the court and switch seamlessly between defensive approaches. He finished as a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year last season and, were he not to suffer a midseason knee injury, would likely be in contention once again.

Mobley also seems like an ideal fit in a Steve Kerr offense, able to sprout up from the elbows or 3-point line. He is a solid passer, he is an absolutely elite rim blocker, and his work ethic is contagious. He is the exact kind of player the Warriors should love to add.

What's the issue, then? Well, trading for a defensive difference-maker makes a lot of sense, but moving on from Jonathan Kuminga takes away the second most consistent offensive weapon, the player most likely to rack up points while running the court and proving his value. Trading Mobley may boost the defense, but it's likely to depress the offense.

Mobley is a generational talent, but his redundancy with the rest of the roster has led us to consider whether a trade may work. This is an intriguing one, and a player like Mobley may be harder to find than one like Kuminga, Even so, he has begun to build something in Golden State, and the Warriors are very interested in keeping Kuminga and seeing what they can build together. They likely turn this deal down.

Grade: B-