Grade the Trade: Warriors send disgruntled forward to Portland in latest mock deal

Jonathan Kuminga and Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
Jonathan Kuminga and Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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Grade the Trade: Do the Warriors say yes?

The Golden State Warriors don't have to trade Jonathan Kuminga. They can keep him in the fold, be intentional about communicating with him and making him feel valued, and try to actually follow through on a larger role for him whilst also trying to maximize whatever time Stephen Curry has left as a Top 10 player. In fact, that's likely what they will do as well.

Is it what they should do? Not necessarily, but it's also not a binary option. They could keep Kuminga and hope he develops quickly into a player who can help Curry and whichever veterans are left to compete over the next few seasons. They could trade Kuminga for another talented prospect as in this deal. They could also use Kuminga as part of a trade bid for a veteran star to try and win this season.

Pascal Siakam is off the table. Zach LaVine shouldn't be on it. Does Dejounte Murray move the needle? What about Jarrett Allen? Do the Warriors think that another Top-15 guy will come available soon enough?

That's what makes this trade so intriguing on the surface. The Warriors could get a player in Shaedon Sharpe who is a nuclear athlete and boasts real on-ball shot creation chops. He could fill some of the Jordan Poole role from the past few seasons while also bringing defensive upside that Poole never had. At 6'6" he has excellent size for a shooting guard.

Yet a backcourt rotation of Curry, Brandin Podziemski and Shaedon Sharpe is begging for a forward with size to step in; the Warriors would need the very player they had sent out. The problem for Kuminga is partly Kerr, but it's largely veterans with excellent track records and terrible play this season. If the Warriors solve that problem, they'll be much better off than if they made this trade.

It's not bad value; Sharpe looks like a future star. For this roster and the young players already in place, it feels like the wrong lever to pull to find a home for Kuminga, be that Golden State or somewhere else.

Grade: B-

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