Grade the Trade: Warriors find perfect fit with champion big in mountainous proposal

The Golden State Warriors could benefit from finding a big who can shoot and defend. This trade would bring a former champ who fits that description perfectly
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages
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Should the Warriors make this trade?

The Warriors had something of a "good problem to have" last season in that they had too many good players to fit into a rotation. Every healthy game someone was being left out, whether that be Kevon Looney, Moses Moody or even down-roster players like Dario Saric and Lester Quinones. Kerr was forced to try and "find the hot hand" every game. Tightening the rotation should be a goal of the team this summer, turning multiple good pieces into one better one.

Brook Lopez is an excellent fit with the Warriors' roster. On defense he is one of the league's premier drop defenders, completely walling off the paint with his 7'1" frame and preternatural instincts. Few players are better at defending the pick-and-roll and both deterring the ball-handler and preventing the lob pass behind him. He finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting two seasons ago and was every bit as good this past year.

On offense, Lopez shoots 4+ 3-pointers per game and makes them at a decent clip, shooting 36.6 percent from deep last season on 5.1 attempts per game. That shooting forces defenses to defend him, opening up the paint. That has allowed the Bucks' offense to thrive with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo having enough room to operate as a non-shooting power forward.

Losing Gary Payton II and Kevon Looney is painful, as both have been integral veterans on this team for years. Moses Moody is a young player on the cusp of breaking out and it would be tough to move him at a lower value before that happens. At the same time, the Warriors need to turn depth into excellence, and they need to prioritize fit around their aging but still powerful core. The Warriors need a center who can defend and shoot, and Lopez fits the bill.

The Warriors would have a big rotation of Lopez, Trayce Jackson-Davis and Draymond Green, giving them optionality and elite defense. They would also retain all of their first-round picks in this deal, giving them the flexibility to seek out another trade for a second offensive creator to pair with Stephen Curry. The spacing Lopez provides means they could seek out a star who isn't an elite shooter, someone like Jimmy Butler or DeMar DeRozan, if they liked the fit otherwise with the team.

The Warriors still have other questions to answer, but Lopez would check one major box and be an ideal veteran to plug into the lineup. If this deal is on the table, the Warriors just might need to take it.

Grade: A-

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