The Golden State Warriors are set to take on the New York Knicks tonight, but that’s not even the most interesting storyline connecting the two teams. Earlier today a trade rumor came out, that the Warriors are interested in Kyle O’Quinn, one of New York’s backup centers.
Golden State is among the teams to express interest in Kyle O’Quinn, per sources. Enes Kanter has also drawn interest as the trade deadline nears. More here: https://t.co/QelgY5kkpP— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 23, 2018
It’s not hard to see why the Warriors are interested. The 27-year old is averaging 14.5 points and 12.4 rebounds per 36 minutes, which are solid numbers. He’s shooting 59.6% from the field, has a big, strong body, and plays serviceable defense.
And while the Warriors have a lot of frontcourt options, O’Quinn would be a nice upgrade. Jordan Bell is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle, JaVale McGee has completely fallen out of the rotation, Zaza Pachulia doesn’t play more than 15 minutes a night, and the coaching staff doesn’t trust Damian Jones enough to bring up up from Santa Cruz.
It’s not a dire situation per se (especially since Bell should be back well before the playoffs), but reinforcements wouldn’t be a bad thing.
It’s also easy to see why New York is shopping O’Quinn. With a record of 21-26, the Knicks are three games out of the playoffs, and falling fast. They have more than $38 million a year invested in centers Enes Kanter and Joakim Noah (yes, I’m laughing as I type this), and yet, as a rebuilding team, should probably be giving the bulk of the minutes to Willy Hernangomez (and occasionally slide Kristaps Porzingis to center).
So, is a trade feasible?
It’s possible, but it wouldn’t be easy. O’Quinn’s salary is just north of $4 million this year, so the Warriors only have two players they could trade outright for him: Pachulia, and Nick Young. It’s hard to see the Warriors shipping either player and getting better because of it.
Even if the Warriors did either of those trades, it would operate as a strict salary dump for New York. Given that O’Quinn is a strong contributor, and could be around for next year (he has a player option), some playoff team will likely offer the Knicks a little more. That means Golden State would have to attach a pick (or Jones) to the trade, which seems highly unlikely.
The Dubs could also package multiple players, but that would mean trading three out of Jones, Bell, Omri Casspi, David West, and Patrick McCaw, and that obviously isn’t going to happen.
So a trade for O’Quinn is certainly possible, but chances are Bob Myers is just poking around. Don’t rule a swap with the Knicks out, but certainly don’t count on it, either.
And don’t count on scouting O’Quinn tonight, either, as he’s out with a contused left calf.