As Klay Thompson prepares to sit out another full season, the Golden State Warriors don’t have any more time to waste in their mission to return to title contention.
They will move forward even in spite of t and while team President Bob Myers has already made a few moves to make up for Thompson’s absence, there is another thing he could do to maximize his team’s potential this season.
In a recent article on Bleacher Report, Dan Favale detailed a trade that could see the Dubs land young guard Zach LaVine.
Chicago Bulls Receive: Alen Smailagic, Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota’s 2021 first-round pick (top-three protection), Golden State’s 2023 first-round pick (top-seven protection)
Golden State Warriors Receive: Zach LaVine, Thaddeus Young
LaVine is a young, explosive guard with scoring and playmaking abilities that can add potency to the Warriors’ offense. He averaged 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game on 45% shooting.
Acquiring Kelly Oubre Jr. from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for a protected 2021 first-round pick proves the team’s willingness to spend out the wazoo and infers a continued commitment to winning.
Mortgaging more of the future to go after Zach LaVine and Thaddeus Young follows that line of thinking.
LaVine doesn’t begin to replace Thompson’s defensive utility, but he’s a dangerous spot-up shooter who can knock down looks off the bounce.
In return for giving up LaVine, the Bulls would receive Andrew Wiggins and a haul of picks, a prize that could appeal to a team in the rebuild process.
Whether the Bulls can talk themselves into this depends on how they feel about Andrew Wiggins. He is alarmingly important to the Warriors right now, but that doesn’t make his contract any easier to stomach. He’s owed $94.7 million over the next three years, an exorbitant price to pay even if Chicago is open to a longer rebuild.
Acquiring the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2021 pick should help grease the wheels of contemplation. The Wolves are trying to win now, but the Western Conference remains brutal.
Nobody is certain about the relationship between LaVine and the Bulls, but if they feel a fresh start is necessary (or the young star expresses a desire to leave), a trade for Wiggins might be their best bet in keeping afloat and building up their future assets.
Of course, the Warriors would use Wiggins as an advance for their push for a title, though his long-term future would be in doubt once Klay returns from his injury in the 2021-22 season.
It will be interesting to see what lies in store for the Warriors, both in the short-term and long term, and whether or not LaVine will be a part of either.