In the NBA, the Golden State Warriors have a first-world problem.
Fresh off winning their fourth title in eight years, the warriors publicly talked about running it back with contenders, while also threading the needle and developing their young core to set themselves up for the future.
This may sound great in theory, but staying the course long-term will be tough to maintain and figure out. Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob acknowledged that earlier this summer.
“Those numbers are not even remotely possible,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami about paying over $400 million per season on The Athletic The TK Show on July 7. “They’re just not. I’m already in trouble with the rest of the league. We are in trouble for being where we are.”
As the Athletic reported on July 27, Stephen Curry would not be happy if his longtime teammates Klay Thompson or Draymond Green were split up.
Curry sees the Big Three as a package deal. While much of the talk of the season was about the Warriors’ plan to win and develop simultaneously, it isn’t lost on the veteran core how that plan disappeared in the postseason.
Something’s got to give. If the team is not willing to pay the exorbitant amount of dollars to maintain their contending status and develop young players at the same time, the ball is going to drop one way or another.
10-Player Trade Lands Warriors Donovan Mitchell
Taking into account that the Warriors will probably not want to infuriate Curry by trading one of his longtime buddies, here is a possible trade that could keep the Dubs in contention while trimming their luxury tax.
Golden State Warriors get:
- Donovan Mitchell
- Rudy Gay
- Jarrod Vanderbilt
- Tre Jones
got Utah Jazz:
- James Wiseman
- Doug McDermott
- Jacob Poeltl
- Devin Vasell
- Moses Moody
- 2026, 2028 Warriors 1St round picks
San Antonio Spurs get:
- Andrew Wiggins
- 2025 jazz 1St Round pick swap
- 2027 warriors 2nd Round Pick
The Dubs manage to save roughly $4.3 million in this deal, which would save them about $30 million in luxury taxes for the year. Golden State would be paying about $7 for every dollar they spend as outlined here by Forbes.
Instead of going after Kevin Durant and exhausting their entire pipeline of assets, Mitchell is not a bad consolation prize and gives the Warriors another star they can invest in with the Big Three getting older. The three years left in Mitchell’s contract give the Dubs a long leash on keeping one of the best explosive guards in today’s league.
Tre Jones is considered to be one of the better backup point guards in the league, and with the warriors looking for more ball handlers, this would be a perfect fit. Rudy Gay may be a bit older than he once was, but he can still provide help defensively as a wing. Jarrod Vanderbilt’s defensive presence is already stout and with the help from Green, it will only get more elite.
This also keeps the Big Three core intact, while also allowing the Dubs to give up-and-coming Jordan Poole an extension. Combined with how the Warriors let all their role players walk and Lacob’s comments about cutting back costs, there is just no way the team can manage to give both Wiggins and Poole extensions.
Why Would the Jazz and Spurs Do This Deal?
The Jazz are essentially getting six viable young assets in this trade, one more than the package Utah got in the Rudy Gobert trade.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype recently reported that the Jazz is looking to get even more for Mitchell than they did for Gobert.
According to multiple NBA executives who’ve spoken to the Jazz about trading for Donovan Mitchell, Utah is seeking as many draft picks as possible and isn’t prioritizing win-now players. Utah is looking to land a bigger haul for Mitchell than the Rudy Gobert trade that netted four first-round picks and 2022 first-rounder Walker Kessler from Minnesota, league sources told HoopsHype.
The jazz demand of five to six first-round picks will never be met, and the assets they would be getting here are close to that request. Wiseman’s value could not be lower than it is now, and he should be able to produce a lot, especially on a lottery-bound team. Devin Vassell and Moses Moody are two young players who already have solid 3-and-D games, and should only improve as they get more NBA experience.
The Spurs would essentially be giving up Poeltl, who is in a contract year, and Vassell, a promising young guard. In return, they have the opportunity to build around Keldon Johnson and Andrew Wiggins. With Wiggins seeking a big payday, the Spurs can afford to offer him the maximum extension, especially with close to $26.8 million in cap space.
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