The Warriors Need a Big Man

By ChrisH
Nov. 05, 2016

The Golden State Warriors have assembled probably the best shooting team in the NBA. They have players that can knock down shots from any anywhere on the floor. But with these improvements, they also digressed in a few areas.

First off, they don’t have a rim protector. Festus Ezeli was there at the rim to meet opposing players but he has departed. Now the likes of Zaza Pachulia and Anderson Varejo are meant to protect the paint. Those big guys just won’t cut it.

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Secondly, they don’t have anyone to help Draymond Green rebound. Yes, Durant can grab eight on a good night. But if he can only get to 5 that dramatically changes the flow of the game. The Warriors game is to run. They want to beat teams in transition by draining 3-point shots. It’s impossible to do that if you can’t rebound the ball. A team like the Spurs knows that they just need to focus a little more on rebounding and they can defeat the Warriors.

Finally, they don’t have a consistent scorer in the paint. You can win games during the regular season with jump shooting. You can even win playoff games with long-range bombs. But you can’t guarantee a championship without some sort of inside presence. The Warriors just don’t make enough shots in the paint. In the playfoffs the game slows down. It gets much harder to get open shots, much less make them.

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I have come up with a few options for the Warriors. Using the ESPN NBA trade machine, I found that there are a few teams that the Warriors can trade with so that they can find a rim protector, rebounding junk yard dog. They don’t need just any big man. They need someone like Tristan Thompson, a player that understands his role and is willing to accept it.

Tyson Chandler and Devin Booker for Klay Thompson and picks.

I think if the Suns get this call they should definitely consider it. They could use the picks to continue in to build in the draft. The Phoenix Suns franchise and their fans understand that the team is a long way from winning. And getting Klay Thompson wouldn’t be bad. He’s a proven shooting and a great defender.

Willie Cauley-Stein for Javale McGee, Damian Jones and picks.

Cauley-Stein would fit perfectly with this Warriors squad. He’s already a defensive minded player. He can protect the rim, rebound and set quality screens. The Sacramento Kings would get Javale McGee who just seems like he belongs in Sacramento. That place was made for players like him.

Nerlens Noel for Javale McGee, Damian Jones, Kevin Looney and picks.

This is probably the most risky of all the trades. Nerlens Noel hasn’t been healthy for many of his NBA seasons. Its hard to predict what you’ll get from him on a nightly basis. But player with this Warriors squad, he wouldn’t be required to do anything out of the ordinary. It’ll be like his Kentucky days. A guy like Nerlens Noel doesn’t need to score 30 a night. He should have 4 blocks and 13 rebounds. That’s something that could have him in the league for a long time.

For the Golden State Warriors to compete with top teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs, they’ll need to improve in the paint. If any of the trades happen, remember where you read it first.