Ideal Golden State Warriors trade target could be available before deadline

Brooklyn Nets v Golden State Warriors
Brooklyn Nets v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors aren't expected to make a move for a star-level player before the NBA trade deadline, but they could still add a sizeable piece that addresses their biggest deficiency right now.

The Warriors remain with the league's worst defense over the past 15 games, with the franchise still lacking a reliable and consistent big man that can help fortify the interior next to veteran Draymond Green.

Brooklyn Nets' center Nic Claxton could become available for the Golden State Warriors and other rival teams before the trade deadline

If Golden State wish to add a big man before next week's deadline, their best path may be in the form of Brooklyn Nets' shot-blocker Nic Claxton. According to NBA Insider Marc Stein earlier in the week, the 24-year-old is expected to be more available in trade discussions than previously thought

"I’ve heard more than once this week not to discount the idea that Brooklyn big man Nic Claxton could be more available over the next seven days than previously advertised."

Marc Stein

Many Warrior fans have salivated at the thought of Claxton in the Bay, particularly given the franchise's lack of a genuine shot-blocking presence over recent years. The 6'11" big man is averaging 2.1 blocks, along with 12.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

Kevon Looney's form has fallen drastically this season, and while rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis has impressed, head coach Steve Kerr remains hesitant to provide the 23-year-old with extended playing time.

Claxton would essentially be a bigger, more experienced version of Jackson-Davis, though complications arise given his contractual status. He makes just $8.75 million this season, but is expected to garner up to $80-100 million as a free agent in the offseason.

Giving up real assets for Claxton before the deadline would handcuff Golden State into ensuring they re-sign him in free agency, which could prove difficult given the host of decision the franchise will need to make. Veteran sharpshooter Klay Thompson is likely to become a free agent, Chris Player has a non-guaranteed deal for next season, while third-year pair Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody will each be extension eligible.

In the immediate short-term, adding Claxton could also upset the Warriors' starting front-court of Andrew Wiggins, Kuminga and Green which has proven an effective combination since the latter's return from suspension.