Trade Grab Bag 1. Trade the #2 Pick for Marcus Smart, Satoransky, Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina and picks?

Good dreams or nightmares, you make the call.

Now that the fun little Orlando Asterisk Tournament is over, we can move on to the important stuff, namely what the heck the Warriors will do with their draft picks. We’ll give our quick pros and cons, and link to a Twitter poll where you can see how Dub Nation feels about the trade.

If you have ideas for other trades to be considered in this series, put them in the comments.

Today we focus on a few trades for the #2 pick.

1. #4 & Tomas Satoransky

Chicago has the #4 and is rumored to want to trade up. So… maybe they could hand GSW a useful player to swap #4 for #2?

Satoransky is a decent borderline starting-quality guard. Mostly low usage, decent passer, decent shooter… the word decent keeps coming to mind. And he’s 6-7, so he can flex between backing up Stephen Curry at point guard and playing alongside Klay Thompson as big guard/small wing.

Pros: GSW gets a decent player for a move to #4, which is almost as good as #2 in this not-Win-Now draft for them. CHI gets a clear shot at LaMelo Ball, who would take Satoransky’s job anyway. Seems realistic that CHI might do this trade.

Cons: Sato might fill a lot of roles, but is he really a difference maker in a playoff run? Can he be in the closing lineup? Can GSW get a difference maker with a different trade?

1A. #4 & Lauri Markkanen

At 7-0, he’s the stretch big of scout dreams. The hope was he would become supercharged Ryan Anderson. But his development seems a bit stagnant in the despair pool of the Chicago Bulls org, and he’s in danger of becoming normal Ryan Anderson.

Pros. He’s young with potential, but with 3 years of experience, he could still contribute right away. On GSW, he could play stretch 5 and unclog the paint for Stephen Curry drives and cuts from everyone else, and also bomb away on open catch-and-shoots. This would be a huge steal for a pick swap of #2 for #4. CHI might be wanting to give up on him and go in a smaller athletic direction with Anthony Edwards or Ball.

Cons. Lauri’s defense and speed are suspect and having him and Steph guarding a pick-and-roll might be torturous. CHI probably wouldn’t do this for all the reasons Lauri is attractive to GSW. New coach Billy Donovan probably wants to see what he can get out of Lauri first at the end of his rookie deal.

2. #8, #27, 2021 DAL 1st, Frank Ntilikina

Ntilikina has potential, but he has not been a good basketball player. Counterpoint: the Knicks have not been a good basketball organization.

Frank came into the league touted as a good, long defender with decent BBIQ but rough offense. That’s pretty much what he is now. He would be the backup point guard and bulldog defender. If his offense matures, he could play a Shaun Livingston role.

On the other hand, that #8 pick isn’t too bad in this shambles of a draft and it’s going to be a decent player. Here are some #8 picks in published mock drafts: Killian Hayes, Onyeka Okongwu, James Wiseman, Tyrell Terry, Cole Anthony, Tyrese Haliburton, Isaac Okoro. Those are as attractive to me (more actually) as Ball and Edwards.

#27 is also not too shabby in mock drafts. Josh Green, Jaden McDaniels, Isaiah Stewart, Desmond Bane, Tyler Bey, Xavier Tillman. For the late first round, there are some relatively high ceilings there.

And 2021 is a Legendary level draft, so any picks there are good picks. The DAL pick is likely a very late pick, but you never know.

Pros. GSW fills the backup PG role and gains two interesting picks that can be used or traded. NYK gets LaMelo Ball to electrify a fan base desperate to celebrate anyone who brings not a championship, not the playoffs, but basic decency to the Knicks.

Cons. GSW needs to Win Now. Draft picks and a development project are nice, but GSW is two pieces away from contender status this season and Steph isn’t getting any younger.

2A. #8, #27, 2021 DAL 1st, Mitchell Robinson

Variation of the last trade. Robinson has a better reputation so this one is less likely to happen. My thumbnail of Robinson from before:

An energy big who finishes strong, he’s already one of the top shot-blockers in the league (#2 last year, #6 this year), and he’s also elite at steals for a big. He terrorizes the offensive boards as well. He fouls a lot and his defensive rebounding is average (must be all the shot block attempts), but it’s easy to imagine him starting for GSW right now.

Pros. All of the above, but Robinson could fill a more serious need and potentially be in the closing lineup.

Cons. This depends on the theory that the Knicks are stupid. Which can never be counted out, but there are limits.

2C. #8, Mitchell Robinson

And here is the most realistic version of the trade.

3. Marcus Smart and #14

We’ve discussed Marcus Smart in great detail before, during our Trade Exception Tournament, where he made the Finals. There is a fuller scouting report, with stats there, but here is the thumbnail:

A bulldog on defense. Involved in weird plays but a reputation as a winner. Plays above his size, somewhat like a smaller Draymond. 

His on-off stats don’t live up to the billing. His defensive effect is about average (with him on the court, the team gets lots more turnovers) and his offensive effect is below average (shooting and efficiency decline). The net effect is just about neutral.

Last season, Smart put it all together and was a medium-usage, efficient scorer (in sharp contrast to past years) while maintaining his track record as an absolutely top assist man (and turnover man). This season, his numbers are down all over the board except for his turnovers improving a lot. What to make of this change?

He consistently rates as a terrible finisher and jump shooter, except for the glorious 2018-19 season we’ve mentioned. On the flip side, he consistently ranks at the top of steal rates and is above average at blocks for a guard. He is even an above-average pest on the offensive boards. 

Zach Lowe thinks with this trade GSW would be selling low on the #2 pick, by the way.

Pros. GSW gets a hustling winner and a leader for the second unit. BOS gets a potential All-Star to put next to their two Jays Brown and Tatum and have a young core that rocks the East for the next five years.

Cons. Smart is a decent but not scary shooter. He would have to play up as big guard next to Steph, while Klay would guard wings, and one wonders how long he can continue his strong defense with larger men beating on him. Is Smart the missing piece, or will teams play off him and give him the Draymond treatment?


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