Grade the Trade: Warriors reportedly add three-point shooter for late pick

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors
Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors have made their first trade for a player since draft day last year, reportedly dealing for Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Lindy Waters III on Thursday.

According to the Athletic's Anthony Slater, the Warriors plan to guarantee Waters $2.2 million team option, confirming the 26-year-old as a part of the main roster for next season. Golden State will send Oklahoma City the 52nd overall pick, taking them out of Thursday's second-round of the draft.

The Golden State Warriors have traded for someone likely more valuable than they would have drafted with the 52nd pick

While the Warriors may have hoped to replicate their late draft success with Trayce Jackson-Davis last year, clearly they believe Waters is going to be a more calculated risk than any prospect they could have taken with the 52nd pick. It's easy to see why.

Waters has proven himself a capable three-point shooter at the NBA level, even if his opportunity dwindled significantly as the Thunder fortified their rotation and took a major leap to the top of the Western Conference this season.

The 6'6" wing averaged 8.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and shot 36.3% on 5.8 three-point attempts in his rookie year, but his playing time has diminished over the past two seasons. Waters averaged only 7.4 minutes in 38 games this seasons, yet still shot a career-high 43.5% from beyond the arc.

The fact is that the Warriors need more shooting, something that becomes even more important if Klay Thompson leaves in free agency. Only Thompson and two-time MVP Stephen Curry averaged more than 1.3 three-point makes per game this season -- Waters has averaged more than that twice in his three seasons despite being a deep rotation piece.

Waters ranked fourth on the Thunder in total plus-minus in the 2022-23 season, finishing as a +136 despite the team finishing with a losing record. That suggests he's capable of being a winning, productive NBA player that Golden State could utilize next season.


This was a good trade for the Warriors, though not one that's likely to have significant impact. Waters is more likely to reach for a rotation spot than any prospect available at 52, particularly given his three-point shooting ability at a size that's certainly intriguing on the wing. Most importantly, you get a player with over 100 games of NBA experience while not impacting the flexibility to go out and do anything else this offseason.

Grade: B