Does Dion Waiters make sense as potential trade option for Warriors?

Does Dion Waiters make sense as potential trade option for Warriors?

The Warriors have some work to do this offseason.

After suffering a devastating loss to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals, the Dubs enter the offseason with both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson hitting free agency after suffering catastrophic injuries in the championship round. After tearing his ACL in Game 6, it seems likely that Thompson will re-sign with the Warriors. It always seemed like a long shot that he would leave the team that drafted him, but after suffering the knee injury it appears to be a near lock that he'll re-up with Golden State. Regardless, he'll still be out until at least February while he rehabs.

As for Durant, the torn Achilles he suffered in Game 5 is unlikely to cost him the max contract he has rightfully earned. The Warriors reportedly will offer Durant the five-year max, but his future is still very much up in the air. 

Thompson and Durant both will be out for the majority if not all of next season, so the Warriors will have to find a way to pick up some wing players to fill the void this offseason.

So, who could be an option? Well, I hope you're into the island life because it's possible that (Dion) Waiters island could be moving from South Beach to the Bay Area.

In a recent article, ESPN's Kevin Pelton floated the idea of the Warriors making a deal with the Miami Heat to acquire the Syracuse product, noting the Heat reportedly are looking to get off the remaining three years of the four-year, $52 million deal Waiters inked with Miami last offseason.

But would Waiters be a good fit for the Warriors?

Yes and no.

Without Thompson out until at least February and with Durant out for the season -- if not gone altogether -- the Warriors will need scoring next to Steph Curry.

That's something Waiters is all too happy to try and provide.

The No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft can get ultra hot at times. Remember Jan. 23, 2017? No?

In case you forgot, Waiters gave the Warriors a front-row ticket to just how hot he could get that night. He scored 33 points on 13-for-20 shooting while going 6-of-8 from 3-point range, including the game-winning triple with 0.6 seconds remaining. On the other hand, that game also saw the Heat blow a 10-point lead late that included a Waiters air-ball from 15 feet.

With Waiters, the Warriors would get a guard who is unafraid to take and make big shots. He'd give Golden State some scoring pop next to Curry, which they desperately will need next season.

Unfortunately, Waiters isn't an efficient scorer and can go ice cold from time-to-time. For his career, Waiters has averaged 13.2 points on just 41 percent shooting from the field.

Waiters is a gunner in the truest sense. While a Curry-Waiters backcourt could give opposing defenses issues, Waiters also would make Steve Kerr rip his hair out at times.

But it's all part of the experience.

[RELATED: Warriors' psychological edge is completely gone]

It's also a little difficult to see a trade getting worked out numbers-wise.

If the Warriors re-sign Thompson for the expected five years, $190 million and lose Durant, they would still committed to spending somewhere around $118 million for Thompson, Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Jacob Evans, Alfonzo McKinnie and Damian Jones.

If Shaun Livingston doesn't retire and the Warriors bring him back, you can tack on another $7.5 million for the 2019-20 season (if the Dubs cut Livingston, they'll still be on the books for $2M). The salary cap is set to be $109 million, so the Warriors would already be in the luxury tax before adding Waiters' $12.5 million.

Ultimately, it's hard to see a deal being worked out between the two sides.

It's far more likely the Warriors look to the free agent market and look for veteran wings who don't get the offers they are expecting this summer (i.e. Wes Matthews, Wayne Ellington, etc.).

Kevin Durant can return for NBA playoffs if healthy, Adam Silver says

Kevin Durant can return for NBA playoffs if healthy, Adam Silver says

The NBA is prepared to come back on July 31.

Is Kevin Durant?

Durant hasn't played in a game since rupturing his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals last year. That was his last game with the Warriors before signing with the Brooklyn Nets last summer, and his only competitive on-court action has come in scrimmages with his new teammates. Brooklyn general manager Bobby Marks called the status of Durant's return "a $110 million question" last month, but Marks left the door open for his return.

So did NBA commissioner Adam Silver in an interview with Turner Sports "Inside the NBA" on Thursday, telling panelist Charles Barkley he didn't think it was unfair that players who sustained what were thought to be season-ending injuries to come back when the season restarts.

"We're gonna allow it," Silver said. "And I'd only say, Charles, that this has been the back-and-forth with our teams. There's so much here that's not fair, and we're choosing among multiple bad alternatives given the (coronavirus) pandemic we're dealing with. ... I think, ultimately, to the extent a team has a healthy roster and those players are able to come back, they are eligible to play."

Kevin Durant said last October on ESPN's "First Take" that he didn't expect to play during the 2019-20 season. Durant wasn't set to travel with the Nets when they were scheduled to visit the Warriors at Chase Center on March 12, but the rest of the Nets never played there, either. The NBA suspended its season on March 11 due to the pandemic.

The Nets, as well as the 21 other teams who will make the trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, will play eight regular-season games to determine seeding before the playoffs begin. Brooklyn, currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, would have to play in a play-in series with a slip to eighth or ninth in the conference.

Durant wouldn't be at the peak of his powers after not playing in any games, let alone those with seeding and (eventually) playoff elimination on the line. Inserting a two-time Finals MVP into the lineup would represent a slight improvement, however, as would getting point guard Kyrie Irving, who hasn't played since Feb. 1, back on the court.

[RELATED: Kerr issues message to Warriors fans about his lineups]

Rich Kleiman, Durant's agent, couldn't envision the superstar returning when he was asked about the possibility in March. Nearly three months have passed since then, and close to four will have passed when the Nets would begin training camp in Orlando under the NBA's plan.

If Durant's able to come back, he has the NBA's blessing to do so.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Steve Kerr issues message to questioning Warriors fans about lineups

Steve Kerr issues message to questioning Warriors fans about lineups

Over Steve Kerr's first five seasons as head coach, the Warriors reached the NBA Finals every year and won three titles.

Despite the unprecedented success, certain corners of the fan base have been vocal (on Twitter mostly) in criticizing some of the eight-time NBA champion's rotations and/or five-man combinations.

Kerr was a guest Wednesday on "The TK Show" podcast with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, and addressed that topic during a conversation about "The Last Dance" documentary on the Chicago Bulls.

"Phil (Jackson) was the guy who was never afraid to play anyone in any situation," Kerr said. "So when Warriors fans are up in arms about the lineup that I throw out there, they should really blame Phil because that's where I learned it. (laughter)."

Now that's some funny stuff right there.

The franchise adopted the "Strength in Numbers" mantra the moment Kerr arrived in May 2014, and the Warriors' depth definitely played a part in the team's incredible success from 2015 to 2019.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Without diving too deep into it, Dub Nation certainly questioned some of Kerr's decisions in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. But we will leave it at that.

As for Kerr's philosophy, this is what he said back in early May:

[RELATED: Why Kerr calls '14 Dubs memory one of best feelings of life]

The 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year absolutely is right about this. That dynamic is very powerful and helps build a strong culture.

No coach is perfect. In the end, Warriors fans should trust Kerr's judgment and decision making.

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