Golden State Warriors

NBA Power Rankings from The Athletic include proposed trade for Golden State Warriors

The Athletic released its weekly NBA Power Rankings compiled by veteran NBA reporter Zach Harper, and this week, his list includes potential trade targets for every team, in honor of the looming trade deadline.

As Harper always says, his power rankings and musings on each franchise are for fun, so lets dive into the trade he proposed for Golden State, as well as the team’s standing in the league hierarchy, per Harper.

First of all, Harper named the Warriors as the 14th-best team this week, up one spot from the last list. Golden State was 2-2 from Monday to Monday, with wins against the Spurs and the Magic, and losses against the Nets and those same Spurs. (The ranking doesn’t reflect the Warriors’ showstopping 129-98 win against the Cavaliers on Monday night.)

It’s not surprising the Warriors are nearly right in the middle of the NBA on these power rankings, however. They’ve been the epitome of mediocre this season, not yet winning — or losing — three games in a row. The club is starting to find an identity but still needs superstar Stephen Curry to light it up to have a chance at victory.

So it’s great that the team is treading water and staying in the playoff hunt, but every team has needs, and Harper says the Warriors could use help in the backcourt, namely a veteran backup. His trade target for Golden State is guard Garrett Temple of the Bulls.

Here’s part of what Harper wrote about his just-for-fun trade proposal.

… he doesn’t give them exactly what Shaun Livingston used to, but Temple provides a good chunk of it. Plus, he can knock down outside shots. He’d pair great next to Steph Curry, and he’ll be quick to move the ball back to the star when he relocates. For Kent Bazemore, Mychal Mulder and a second-round pick, the Warriors could probably pry him away from Chicago.

The Athletic/Zach Harper

Okay so first of all, are Bazemore and Mulder worth moving? Mulder is shooting 43 percent from 3-point range and Bazemore leads the team in that same category, hitting at a 45 percent clip. Plus, Bazemore is a solid defender.

I could see moving Mulder if the returns were good, especially with young guard Jordan Poole honing his skills in the G-League. But I like Bazemore’s fit in Golden State. He goes way back with Curry, which helps a team that seems unsure of how to play alongside the superstar at times.

And speaking of the G-League, it’s possible that veteran guard Jeremy Lin could fill the need Harper refers to. He’s played well thus far, hitting seven 3-pointers the other day. Check out his recent highlights here, courtesy of ESPN.

Temple, a veteran of 10 years and 10 different teams, could be an answer, however. At 6-foot-6, he’s averaging 8.5 points per game in 2021 in nearly 27 minutes played per contest. He’s shooting 35 percent from distance and 41 percent overall.

But essentially, I like Bazemore on the team. What do you think? Is Harper’s proposal a good trade for Golden State? Or should they do something else? Perhaps they should call Lin up to the big club at the next opportunity? On the road to the playoffs, anything is possible. With the trade deadline looming ever closer on March 25, we’ll see what moves the Warriors make before long.

(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

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