Grade the Trade: Warriors retain key asset while landing Curry co-star in mock deal

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz
Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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Giving up two first-round picks and two pick swaps is a fair price to pay for a player who's been to the All-Star Game, but Markkanen's relatively young age ensures the Warriors have a pathway to remain relevant beyond Stephen Curry.

That's why retaining Kuminga is so important in such a deal, with he and Markkanen giving Golden State a pair of significant young assets. The hope would be that the combination establishes a foundation that allows those future picks to be outside the lottery, rather than giving up the sort of top 10 selections Utah will be chasing.

The deal may also solve the Warriors' frontcourt conundrum, with Markannen's shooting potentially opening up more leeway in Kuminga playing as a small-forward -- a development Steve Kerr spoke about last week.

Markkanen's not known for his defense by any means, but at seven-foot tall he would at least retain some size in a frontcourt with Kuminga and Draymond Green. While the 2023 All-Star would assuredly improve the Golden State offense, it's the defense that would most fill the ill-effects of losing both Wiggins and Jackson-Davis. All of a sudden the Warriors would be without their primary perimeter defender and best rim protector, two areas they'd need to try and address either in free agency or via another trade.

Another factor that can't be ignored is the financial aspect, with Golden State saving nearly $16 million in salary alone within this trade. However, giving up this amount of assets ensures that they would have to pay Markkanen a max extension, meaning they'd be committing to more money from a long-term perspective.


Giving up Wiggins, Moody, Jackson-Davis and a host of picks for Markkanen may seem like a steep price to pay, but it's the sort of deal the franchise needs to make to prioritize the remainder of Curry's prime. The fact you also retain Kuminga means this doesn't appear like the reckless deal it may otherwise be given the picks involved.

A Curry-Thompson-Kuminga-Markkanen-Green starting five gives the Warriors a strong group to try and contend for the playoffs, with Kuminga's development still likely to be key in how far they could advance in the postseason.

Grade: B+