Even though the Golden State Warriors aren’t participating in the NBA’s restart in the Orlando, Florida, bubble, there’s still plenty to keep an eye on.
Armed with a top five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, a $17.2 million trade exception, and the mid-level exception, general manager Bob Myers will have to fill out the roster around presumptive starters Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins.
One option Myers has is to target Indiana Pacers’ wing T.J. Warren, who recently erupted for 53 points against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 26 year old was dealt to the Pacers from the Phoenix Suns last offseason in exchange for cash considerations.
TJ Warren is about to drop 50 against the Sixers. He's always been a pure bucket-getter. Still can't believe the Suns gave him up to the Pacers last summer for freaking CASH CONSIDERATIONS. That's unforgivable.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) August 2, 2020
As Fandied’s Tony Pesta points out, Warren is an intriguing option. At 6’8, 215 pounds, he gives head coach Steve Kerr another big wing that the Dubs desperately need in their rotation. Warren averaged 19.5 points per game this season for Indy, and with Victor Oladipo expected to be fully healthy for the start of next season, the Pacers could look to move one of their perimeter players.
Warren is due $11.7 million, and $12.6 million over the next two years (before bonuses), and is set to become a free agent in 2022. With Indiana in danger of being a luxury tax team next season, getting some young pieces for Warren makes sense.
Warren’s fit with the Warriors is undeniable. He hit 39.1% of his 3-point attempts, and his true shooting percentage of 60.8% was second-best on the Pacers. Warren was better than league average in nearly every advanced stat shooting category, per basketball reference. He’s also a lethal shooter on corner 3’s, connecting on 43.3% of his attempts during the 2019-20 season, something that is extremely valuable on a team that features players like Curry, and Thompson.
Defensively, Warren is more than capable. He has the length, and foot speed to not be a liability in the pick-and-roll. His 107.1 defensive rating leaves something to be desired, as Indiana gave up 1.1 points less per 100 possessions with Warren on the bench. But, Warren ranked fourth on the Pacers in defensive win shares, per NBA.com.
The question is what kind of package would be enough to get Indiana to bite? The No. 1 pick would be an overpay, but if Golden State falls to the fifth slot, a potential pick-swap with the Pacers, and Warren could be enough to get a deal done.
What do you think of Warren’s fit with the Dubs? What could Myers offer to acquire him from the Pacers?
On to some links:
Should a fully healthy Golden State squad be considered a contender next season? The crew over at NBC Bay Area did a roundtable discussion about the topic.
What would be the best-case scenario for the Warriors this offseason? The SF Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau answers that, plus plenty more in his recent mailbag.
The lack of respect Curry still gets is mind boggling to me. ESPN’s Bomani Jones is the latest media member to have a ridiculous take on Curry’s accomplishments. (h/t NBC Bay Area’s Drew Shiller)
The Dubs will only have the mid-level exception to work with in free agency. Fansided’s Matthew Bieghle looks at one potential target for each Atlantic Division team.