After a stretch that saw the Golden State Warriors win back-to-back games — and five tries out of seven — while Klay Thompson reverted to his old Splash Bro self, the roof suddenly collapsed on the team on Monday. Sure, it came at the wrong end of a back-to-back, and the Dubs rested most of their core players, but the listless effort that led to their 128-83 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans was still bad on the next level.
Before the start of the 2022-23 season, Golden State’s depth was heralded as one of its greatest strengths. If we’ve learned anything in 18 games, though, it’s that the bench has woefully little firepower to seriously consider defending their title.
Though there are a handful of intriguing free agents who are yet to be signed, the Warriors may choose to go to the trade market should team president Bob Myers and his Brain Trust decide the roster needs another capable body.
To that end, one analyst has just suggested a multiple NBA Finals competitor — who happens to be on the block — as a possible bench option.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley has just attempted to solve the Warriors’ banking woes by shutting down three potential trade targets. However, one of them is already waiting for his ticket out of town. Namely, veteran forward Jae Crowder, who requested a trade from the Phoenix Suns in September.
“The Warriors need reliability in their reserve force. Jae Crowder, a veteran with 10+ NBA seasons and 107 playoff games, could offer just that,” Buckley said.
Given the Suns’ desire to stay in or around the cover photo, the prevailing thought is that they’re looking for win-now talent in any deal for Crowder. That could be an issue for a possible deal with the Dubs, but Buckley sees a scenario where the two sides could potentially make things happen.
“The Warriors don’t have that [an attractive win-now piece to trade], but their two timelines might enable them to serve as a bridge in a three-team swap. If they find a rebuilder that has what the Suns want, they could send that rebuilder a long-term asset or two and exit the deal with Crowder.”
When Myers made the decision to sign JaMychal Green as the veteran’s minimum in the offseason, there was hope he would help stabilize the second unit while former No. 7 pick Jonathan Kuminga made his way into the vacated spot prepared by Otto Porter Jr. But none of the players have had a positive impact so far.
Green averages 5.8 and 4.5 rebounds per outing, but he only shoots 19.2% from deep and the dubs were beaten at 8.9 points per 100 possessions when he was on the ground. Kuminga, meanwhile, is logging a line of 5.6-2.1 and shooting just 37.5% from the floor with a net rating of minus 23.1.
Hypothetically, Crowder would be able to enter the Warriors’ forecourt and pick up right where Porter left off. In his last two years with Phoenix, the 32-year-old averaged 9.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals per contest and shot 36.9% from deep.