Despite having a firm grasp on the NBA’s best record, the Golden State Warriors won’t necessarily sit still and let the Feb. 8 trade deadline pass them by.
That doesn’t mean they’re itching to make a substantial move. They have, however, shown interest in poaching Kyle O’Quinn from the New York Knicks, according to ESPN.com’s Ian Begley:
Starting center Enes Kanter and backup center Kyle O’Quinn also have received interest from opposing executives, sources said, with members of the Golden State Warriors among those executives to express interest in 27-year-old big man O’Quinn.
“O’Quinn has certainly outperformed his contract,” said David Jacober, a strategic planning consultant for NBA teams. “His diversity on offense makes him attractive to a number of teams, such as Houston and Golden State.”
O’Quinn would be a great fit for the Warriors. His defensive rebounding percentage would lead the team, and he’s shown that he can make nice rotations around the rim. Having someone like him in the fold once the postseason tips off and the style of play becomes more taxing than not would be a big deal. He even has three-point range at the other end, mostly in the half-court; the Knicks just opt not to explore it.
Finding a workable deal between the two sides isn’t mindless work. The Warriors don’t have a ton of expendable money. Even if they wanted to combine a bunch of their minimum contracts, it would take three names to get the job done. They don’t have that many dispensable role players—not in terms of cultural stability anyway—and the Knicks don’t have that many open roster spots.
Dangling Nick Young’s expiring deal and their first-round pick is the Warriors’ best bet. The Knicks don’t need Young, but he, unlike Zaza Pachulia, doesn’t possess veto power on potential deals. Plus, New York has centers to spare with Enes Kanter, Joakim Noah and Willy Hernangomez, not to mention Kristaps Porzingis, in the fold. The front office should jump at the chance to acquire another first-round pick, even if it is destined to be 30th overall.