From the looks of things, the Golden State Warriors appear to be headed to claim a second-straight NBA title (the team’s third in the last four years) this June. More than halfway through the season, the Warriors currently top the league standings with a 38-10 record.
The foursome of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green seem to be almost unbeatable whenever they want to, and the team boasts off one of the deepest benches (if not the deepest) with Andre Iguodala, Jordan Bell, David West, Shaun Livingston, and Patrick McCaw all starring the second unit.
Still, there are rumors that the Warriors are looking to make a move with only two weeks to go before the NBA trade deadline. Reports are out that the defending champions intend to upgrade their center rotation, which presently consists of Zaza Pachulia and Bell alternating as starters with JaVale McGee and Damian Jones as backups.
SB Nation’s Golden State of Mind reported that the Warriors are “interested in trading for (New York Knicks center) Kyle O’Quinn.” The report cited ESPN reporter Ian Begley as the source of the rumor, saying that Golden State’s interest “is not hard to see” because of the former Norfolk State standout’s recent impressive performances.
— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) January 23, 2018
O’Quinn, 27, is playing perhaps the best season of his six-year career. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound big man currently averages 6.9 points (career-high), 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 blocks in only 17.0 minutes per game for the Knicks this season. He has an affordable contract of $4 million per year and is in the third season of his four-year, $16 million deal signed with New York in the summer of 2015.
The report said that with Bell having ankle issues and Pachulia playing in limited minutes, getting O’Quinn would provide a huge boost for the Warriors’ frontline as they prepare for another extended postseason campaign. McGee has recently “fallen out” of head coach Steve Kerr’s rotation while Jones has only had two minutes of playing time this season, and so adding another big man would be crucial for Kerr and his crew.
Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale suggested a trade scenario that would send O’Quinn to the Warriors in exchange for Nick Young and Golden State’s 2018 first-round draft pick.
Favale said that Young “hasn’t been great for the Warriors” as the 11-year veteran is said to be “averaging fewer points per catch-and-shoot possession” than his two other fellow substitute teammates, West and Livingston.
The 32-year-old Young is evidently on the downside of his career, but he is still deadly from beyond the arc, shooting 38.8 percent of his threes this season. His averages are decent, 6.7 points, 1.2 boards, and 0.4 assists, considering that he only plays 14.5 minutes a night.
Young could still be a valuable addition to the Knicks despite his age. The former Laker is expected to become Tim Hardaway Jr.’s primary backup at shooting guard should New York push through with a Courtney Lee trade. Young can also play the small forward spot and would be a nice substitute to Lance Thomas.