With their recent loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors are in possession of a 19-19 record and are in the 10th seed in the Western Conference. For a team that got Stephen Curry back this season, this isn't a good place to be in. The Golden State Warriors were supposed to be competing for the playoffs, rather than slowly sliding to the bottom of the standings.
One way to rectify the Warriors' current situation is with a trade. An ideal player for the Golden State Warriors would be able to contribute immediately, while also offering some upside for the future. Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls fits those criteria and could be an elite addition to the Golden State Warriors roster. Here is a potential trade package between the two teams.
Golden State Warriors Receive: Lauri Markkanen
Chicago Bulls Receive: Kevon Looney, Eric Paschall, two future first-round picks
The Bulls Get A Solid Deal For An Expiring Contract
Lauri Markkanen will be a free agent at the end of the season and may command a hefty extension. Markkanen and the Chicago Bulls weren't able to agree on a contract extension prior to the start of the season. The Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen pairing hasn't been able to lift the Chicago Bulls out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference: the Bulls are currently the 11th seed, with a 16-19 record. Perhaps the Chicago Bulls could take a new direction, and try to trade Markkanen away for some solid assets. This deal could potentially happen if the Golden State Warriors feel confident in Markkanen staying past this season on the roster. On the Bulls' end, they can avoid paying Markkanen a big contract, while getting future assets and an intriguing prospect.
Eric Paschall is a solid PF who simply hasn't gotten many minutes this year with the addition of other young players such as Kelly Oubre Jr. and James Wiseman. Perhaps a place where he can get more touches would be beneficial for his development. During the 2019-20 season, he managed to make become an All-Rookie selection, averaging 14.0 PPG and 4.6 RPG. Paschall has potential as a scorer, possessing a solid mid-range jumper and an inside bully ball game. In the right development system, he could become a great player.
Kevon Looney would be there for salary matching purposes, but would also be a good veteran for the roster. The huge appeal here is the two future first-round picks. While they are a big price to pay, Markkanen is a young player who has had a solid season, making the sacrifice worth it. This seems like a solid deal for the Chicago Bulls, as they can use those picks to try and surround Zach LaVine with good players on cost-controlled contracts through the draft.
The Warriors Get A Big Man Who Fits Their System
Lauri Markkanen could possibly fill a lot of holes for the Golden State Warriors. Markkanen is an adept scorer, averaging 19.4 PPG. He would also a solid floor spacer, shooting 43.5% from 3PT range on 7.2 attempts a game. Lauri Markkanen would be a consistent floor spacer and scorer for the Golden State Warriors, and would easily fit in a system based around Stephen Curry. Curry's offensive gravity already gets his teammates easy buckets, but with another scorer in the mix, the Golden State Warriors' offense may just get even better. While the Golden State Warriors have recently drafted James Wiseman, he has been coming off the bench and thriving. They could even coexist in the future, as Draymond Green keeps getting older. Lauri Markkanen could be the starting center for now, but in the future slide down to power forward in order to allow Wiseman to start.
Lauri Markkanen could even give the Golden State Warriors the option to go big against teams like the Nuggets, who have an extremely talented big man in Nikola Jokic. He is a versatile player, who can provide many of the things that the Golden State Warriors currently need. Adding Markkanen would essentially give the Golden State Warriors a solid young core for the future, and a contending roster in the now. This deal could be a great move for the Golden State Warriors and would help their offense get to where it needs to be.