Five Warriors players who will benefit from NBA trade deadline moves

Five Warriors players who will benefit from NBA trade deadline moves

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

The trade deadline drama did not disappoint, and the Warriors were front and center in the madness.

It was long expected that the team could be active as sellers with pieces that were on one-year deals, but general manager Bob Myers and Co. decided to completely deconstruct the roster, starting with D'Angelo Russell.

Most assumed they would wait until the offseason to attempt to move the 23-year-old point guard, but the Warriors surprisingly moved quickly and traded him to Minnesota before the deadline. To get under the repeater tax line, Myers also included the salaries of Jacob Evans III and Omari Spellman in the deal.

Key veterans Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III were shipped off to Philadelphia to help shore up a Sixers' bench that needed wing help.

Instead of dissecting the return and analyzing the actual trades themselves, let's look at the rest of THIS season, and see which Warriors will benefit most from the trades.

Andrew Wiggins

Well this one is obvious. Wiggins will be surrounded by the presence of a superb coaching staff led by Steve Kerr, and superstars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in the building.

While only Green is available to play for the next few weeks, Wiggins will get a chance to learn from the very best. If there is anyone in the league that can instill a defensive mindset in other players, it is the "motivational skills" of Draymond.

When Curry eventually returns in March, Wiggins will get a chance to see the impact of Curry's gravity on his own game. It will be up to Wiggins to be open and willing to adapt to the Warriors style and culture, not vice versa. If he can do so, the Warriors will feel like they majorly upgraded their team. If not, and he maintains the same inefficient offense and lackadaisical defensive issues that plagued him in Minnesota, then the Warriors will be forced into a tough spot with a bloated contract weighing them down.

Eric Paschall

With Robinson and Burks leaving, there will be plenty of playing time to be had at the wing position, and the Warriors have been trying to see what Paschall can do in that role. Paschall played his best earlier in the season, especially when Russell was out of the lineup.

When Paschall gets to his spot, and is fed the ball in the right rhythm, he can be destructive on the offensive end. With Russell, it appeared as if Paschall could not find the right chemistry in the offense, defering to waiting for isolation basketball and having to create on his own.

Wiggins will not help in that regard, but the ball should at the very least move a little more around in half court sets with others running point, and the team will also try to jump out into transition more frequently. Kerr and the coaches do not want Paschall to become a purely isolation, offensive focal point since he will not be in that role when Curry and Klay return, but without Russell, he will get more of a taste of the freedom and fluidity of a Kerr-style offense.

Damion Lee

Speaking of guys that will benefit from a free flowing offense, Lee might be the biggest beneficiary. Throughout the season, Lee has shown that he is not just a spot up 3-point shooter, but that he's an excellent slasher and loves to run on the fast break. He has proven that he is adept at finishing at the rim with his left hand and moving in traffic.

These attributes did not match with Russell, who played a more deliberate style of offense. In theory, Lee was a good floor spacer that could just sit in the corner and wait for Russell to feed him the ball, but this season Lee has shown he is at his best when he is moving and cutting and doing all the things that Kerr loves to see from his players.

Lee was already starting and playing 30 minutes per game, but with Russell, Burks and Robinson gone, he will have much more opportunity to shoot and be a scorer. You can expect Lee to fire away and attack more often, which should help his confidence grow.

Ky Bowman/Marquese Chriss

By trading away six of the rostered players (including Willie Cauley-Stein) the Warriors now have plenty of roster spots to fill. So any players that may be signed to fill those spots will obviously be major winners in these trades.

As of now it looks like Juan Toscano-Anderson and Zach Norvell could be two of those players. But more importantly, guaranteed roster spots have finally opened up for two-way players Bowman and Chriss.

Bowman will come up from the G League and have plenty of opportunity to show he belongs in the NBA. He most likely will start against the Lakers on Saturday, and might be the primary point guard on the team until Curry returns. The coaching staff wants Bowman to be more of a facilitator, but with the team lacking so much scoring, they might have to unleash Bowman on offense until Curry returns.

[RELATED: Grading Warriors' trade with T-Wolves]

Meanwhile, Chriss went from a gauranteed contract, to waived, to re-signed on a two-way deal, and now reportedly back to the roster on a guaranteed spot soon. His minutes have stayed consistent as of late as the starting center, but with the trade of Spellman, the team will have very few big man options and will count on Chriss even more.

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Steph Curry's greatest strength isn't shooting

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Steph Curry's greatest strength isn't shooting

If you ask most fans, they would say Steph Curry's greatest strength is his shooting ability.

After all, the Warriors' point guard owns the single-season NBA record for 3-pointers made. He's a few years away from owning the all-time record for most made triples.

But for future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, Curry's greatest strength comes when he actually doesn't have the basketball in his hands.

During an Instagram Live chat, Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union-Wade were asked to comment on current NBA players. When they got to Curry, Union started.

"So everybody talks about, obviously Steph can shoot," Union said. "I mean, Steph is ... Steph Curry is one of those people, everything you imagine Steph Curry is, he actually is in real life."

Wade continued that thought and then offered his analysis of Curry.

"He is the nicest person in the world," Wade said. "But one of Steph's greatest strengths that a lot of people ... some people, but a lot of people don't because they talk about all the threes and ball-handling is Steph never stops moving off the ball. You guys see when Steph gives the ball up, that's when he's his most dangerous. And that's crazy to think, right? Because when he has the ball, he's unguardable.

"But when he does not have the ball, forget about it. He's like Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen, those guys when it comes to conditioning and shape that he's in and the way he's able to run. That's when he gets scary, when he gives the ball up."

Here's some evidence in case you need a reminder of Curry's ability to move without the basketball:

After Wade's final game against the Warriors in the Bay Area on Feb. 10, 2019, he swapped jerseys with Curry.

[RELATED: Steph, NBA facing harsh reality]

But in his last game ever against the Warriors, on Feb. 27, 2019, Wade broke Curry's heart with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

What Steph Curry asked first as Warriors prepped to play without fans

What Steph Curry asked first as Warriors prepped to play without fans

On the morning of Wednesday, March 11, the world learned that the Warriors would play the Brooklyn Nets the following night at Chase Center without any fans in the building.

The decision was made in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

So who broke the news about the situation to Golden State's players? How did they react?

David Lombardi of The Athletic has the details:

“I had to go with our general manager Bob Myers and meet with our team in the locker room after practice that day and say, ‘Hey, guys, we’re playing tomorrow night and we’re gonna be playing in an arena that has no fans in it,'” (Warriors team president) Rick Welts said, recalling that moment via videochat during a virtual sports technology conference Friday. “And the looks on our players’ faces were like, ‘What? How in the world is that gonna work?’ It was really quiet for quite a while.

“Then I think Steph Curry said, ‘Can we bring our own playlist? Can we play our own music?'”

As you all are aware, there was no music because there was no game between Golden State and Brooklyn.

Later on Wednesday, the NBA suspended the season indefinitely after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.

A little over two weeks later and nobody has any clue when the next NBA game will be played.

[RELATED: What Steph, trainer talk most about during virus shutdown]

“How can sports be the place where people feel safe gathering in large numbers again?” Welts said. “I do think this is a little different than what we’ve seen in the past because I do think there’s gonna be a moment in time when the medical world tells us it’s OK to resume normal life. I think there’s a second psychological part of it, though.

“When are people going to truly feel comfortable and safe doing that? Am I really going to be comfortable putting myself in that environment with 18,000 other people at Chase Center to go watch a game? I’m not so sure those two things will happen at the same time.”

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