The Warriors Aren’t Done Yet: 4 Moves Golden State Can Make to Upgrade the NBA’s Best Team

The Golden State Warriors have proven themselves to be the class of the NBA thus far in 2021-22. Stephen Curry and the Dubs lead the league in a host of offensive categories and have been dominant defensively as well, with a league-leading 98.9 rating on that end of the floor.

But there’s always room for improvement, especially as Golden State’s core of Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson inch closer to the tail ends of their respective careers.

General manager Bob Myers has also collected a number of attractive assets that, if the Warriors so choose, could bring back another All-Star caliber player to put alongside the team’s current group.

Here are the four best moves, ranked by the impact they’d have in the 2021-22 title hunt, that have the potential to vault Golden State to another level.

The Warriors are the team to finally take the Ben Simmons plunge

Golden State receives: Ben Simmons

Philadelphia receives: Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins, lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick

Yes, Ben Simmons is still in trade rumors. And yes, on the surface, the Warriors seem like one of the least likely teams to welcome him in.

But with the drama that’s surrounded the 76ers star for the past four months, everyone seems to be forgetting what Simmons is good at and how good he actually is at those things.

Simmons is a three-time All-Star and was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First-Team each of the last two seasons. He has career averages of 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists as well.

Golden State would need the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year to do what he does best, and they wouldn’t need him to do what he does worst. Simmons wouldn’t need to score or shoot more than he’s comfortable with. Would he create spacing issues? Maybe.

But surrounded by any combination of Curry, Jordan Poole, Thompson when he returns, and Nemanja Bjelica (who’s shooting a team-high 43.8% from deep), those issues would be at least somewhat masked. Plus, if anyone can keep Simmons’ off-court drama in check, it would be Draymond.

And is Philly general manager Daryl Morey really doing any better than a first-round pick, an 18-point-per-game scorer, and a possible superstar?

The Warriors convince Boston to part with one of its stars

Golden State receives: Jaylen Brown, Al Horford

Boston receives: James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins

There have already been rumblings about a possible breakup of Celtics wings Brown and Jayson Tatum. Both seem more comfortable with the ball in their hands, and with Marcus Smart in the same backcourt, it’s becoming painfully obvious there just aren’t enough shots to go around.

This breaks up the duo while giving Boston two prized assets to build around, and though Wiggins is no Brown, he would provide the Celts an immediate starter to help avoid a complete teardown.

On the Golden State side, putting Brown alongside Curry, Green, and Poole is enthralling. Even when Thompson returns, Brown doesn’t need to leave the starting lineup because of his athleticism, versatility, and shooting ability. The Cal product has shot 39.7% from deep the past two seasons.

Steve Kerr’s favorite lineup this year has been Curry, Poole, Wiggins, Green, and Kevon Looney. That group has played 173 minutes together — the Warriors’ next most-used lineup has played 22.

With this trade, that group becomes Curry, Poole, Brown, Green, and Looney. When Thompson returns, it can be Curry, Thompson, Brown, Green, and Looney, with Poole serving as an ideal scoring guard off the bench.

Golden State gets bigger but even more terrifying on offense

Warriors receive: Domantas Sabonis, 2024 lottery-protected first-round pick

Indiana Pacers receive: James Wiseman, Moses Moody, Kevon Looney

If Golden State’s goal is to win now, a more established inside presence who also happens to be one of the best playmaking bigs in the league would certainly help.

The Sabonis-Myles Turner fit in Indiana still hasn’t come together. It’s time to finally break it up. The Pacers are off to a 6-10 start and appear to be a play-in team at best this year. Bringing in Wiseman and Moody would give Indiana a pair of possible future All-Stars with high-upside to place around Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and Chris Duarte.

The Pacers would also have the option to let Wiseman develop behind Turner or trade the sixth-year center and completely blow it up.

The Warriors, meanwhile, get one of the most underrated bigs in the NBA. Sabonis would fit perfectly at the five spot with what Golden State does and wouldn’t hamper any of the passing, cutting, and movement Steve Kerr employs. He would be a natural fit alongside Curry, Thompson, and Green and give the Warriors more size for a playoff run.

The potential for that group to keep the ball humming and get opposing defenses off balance is alluring.

Myers opts to keep the status quo

This is the most boring choice to fantasize about, but it seems the most logical and most plausible.

The Warriors are running over, around, and through the league right now. And that’s without Thompson. Even if the five-time All-Star needs to knock some rust off when he comes back, Poole has been holding down the fort just fine, averaging 17.1 points in nearly 30 minutes per night.

The familiarity between Golden State’s Big Three (and Looney, who’s been with Steph for half the two-time MVP’s career) can’t be underestimated.

Not to mention this allows Myers to keep his young assets, whether that’s for another trade that pops up further down the line or just to wait and see if any of them can fulfill their superstar potential.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

All stats courtesy of NBA.com.

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