Four teams that are Warriors' ideal trade partners before NBA deadline


Four teams that are Warriors' ideal trade partners before NBA deadline

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 NBA trade deadline is looming, and the Warriors have long been rumored to be "sellers," looking to send away assets in order to shed money and potentially receive compensation in the form of future draft picks.

For quite some time, many have speculated that Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III and Willie Cauley-Stein could be the most susceptible to be traded, as all of them could be rotation pieces for contending teams that are looking to upgrades their benches.

Most importantly for the Warriors, they are all under one-year contracts (Cauley-Stein does have a player option for next season). So instead of potentially losing them for nothing, the front office could decide to get something back first before the Feb. 6 deadline.

It is not yet known which teams are currently negotiating with the Warriors, but here is a shortlist of teams that possibly could use the services of one or all of the Warriors assets. 

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have a stacked roster, but as Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Thursday, they still are looking to upgrade their center rotation as well as stock up on wings to back up Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

It is unclear what the Clippers could offer in return -- considering they gave away a boatload of picks for George -- but it is easy to speculate that the Warriors might have pieces the Clippers want.

Dallas Mavericks

The unfortunate loss of Dwight Powell to an Achilles injury has left a major hole in the Mavericks frontcourt. He was an essential part of the team, bringing energy and hustle, and was a great pick-and-roll partner with Luka Doncic.

In order to fill that void, the Mavs may turn to a player like Cauley-Stein, who could fill in off the bench, and bring some of his pick-and-roll abilities. Cauley-Stein also could be a nice insurance policy for if Kristaps Porzingis has to miss any future games.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers reportedly checked in on Robinson a few weeks ago, so the fit is obviously there. They are in need of wing players who can provide spacing for Ben Simmons and others to be effective.

Robinson potentially could be the perfect player for the role, as he is a great catch and shoot scorer, making over 39 percent of his shots from deep this season. He also is low maintenance, does not demand the ball, and plays solid defense from the wing position.

The fit could not be better for Philadelphia.

[RELATED: Steph admits he wanted Knicks to draft him instead of Warriors]

Portland Trail Blazers

No team has disappointed more this season than the Blazers, and they could use roster upgrades throughout their lineup. In order to boost their second unit, Burks could be a valuable upgrade.

Last season, Rodney Hood was a wing scorer that vaulted their team when Damian Lillard and stars sat, and the Blazers have sorely missed his production. Burks has similar skills to Hood, and could be the injection of offense and spark that the Blazers need to push them towards the playoffs.

Warriors' early reviews on Andrew Wiggins filled with deserved praise

Warriors' early reviews on Andrew Wiggins filled with deserved praise

SAN FRANCISCO -- It has been four games now, long enough for Andrew Wiggins to play down to his reputation.

Yet the wait continues.

Wiggins has played well above average and miles beyond advertised during his first two weeks with the Warriors, acceptable-to-good on defense and downright efficient on offense. In short, he looks very capable of helping any franchise with a stable environment.

Though the Warriors have lost all four games, including a 135-105 spanking at the hands of the Houston Rockets on Thursday night at Chase Center, Wiggins has performed well enough to be spared the blame.

“People have said he’s overrated, for a couple years,” coach Steve Kerr said after the loss. “He’s become underrated. If you look at what he does, if you look at his size, if you look at the way he defends, the guy is a damn good NBA player. It seems people have forgotten that.”

Wiggins led the Warriors in scoring for the second consecutive game, with 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. He’s averaging 22.7 points over four games, shooting 57.9 percent overall and 52.6 percent from deep.

There has been barely any sign of the typical adjustment period for a player in his initial games with a new franchise.

“One thing that’s been apparent right away is he picks up everything up very quickly,” Kerr said. “He’s had no problem memorizing and recognizing the plays. When we call plays out of a timeout, he’s in the right spot every time. He understands exactly what he’s supposed to do out there and what we’re trying to do.”

Yet it’s his defense that is drawing copious praise from his new teammates. He’s being assigned to dangerous scorers -- LeBron James, Devin Booker and, on Thursday, James Harden -- and is acquitting himself well.

Wiggins is passing the Draymond Green test, which at its baseline requires focus, earnest effort and proper use of physical tools. Draymond believes Wiggins has All-Defensive team potential, a belief nobody in the locker room seems eager to debate.

“He’s been huge for us, obviously defensively, but also offensively,” Damion Lee said.

“He defends his position well,” Kerr added. “He uses his length. The good thing for us is we can sort of plug him in and put him on any of the perimeter players that we want. That’s a really valuable dynamic to have in the player, especially because we’ve got the same dynamic with Klay [Thompson].

“To have that kind of duplicity with those two guys going into next year will be good for us because we can mix and match and neither guy will ever be overpowered physically.”

Thompson is 6-foot-6, with a 6-9 wingspan. Wiggins is 6-7, with 7-foot wingspan, roughly the same as former Warriors star Andre Iguodala. Eight steals and seven blocks in four games are numbers with a very Iguodala-like feel.

[RELATED: Watch Westbrook get ejected after arguing with Dubs' bench]

It hasn’t taken long for Wiggins not only be embraced but also become popular with his teammates. He has, thus far, been the consummate professional who also happens to be productive on the court. He’s going about his business as good as anyone could have hoped.

“I feel like we say, “Just go do you,” honestly, just because, we know who he is,” Eric Paschall said. “We know what he’s capable of. We’ve played him before. He gave us 40 [points] earlier this year. We know what he can do, so none of this is a surprise for us.”

The wait for the much-maligned Wiggins, the one many considered insufficient in trade for D’Angelo Russell, continues. If he never surfaces, the doubters will have to go silent.

Watch Russell Westbrook get ejected for elbowing Warriors' Damion Lee

Watch Russell Westbrook get ejected for elbowing Warriors' Damion Lee

The Warriors and Rockets saved the fireworks for the end.

It wasn't a very competitive game between Golden State and Houston at Chase Center on Thursday night. The superior Rockets coasted to a 135-105 victory and led by double digits for the vast majority of the contest. The Warriors had trouble containing Houston's star backcourt of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, who combined for 50 points in the victory. Westbrook scored 21, but he might have added more to his total if he hadn't been ejected in the fourth quarter.

It all started when Westbrook elbowed Golden State's Damion Lee while going for a rebound. The Rockets' guard then appeared to taunt Lee and stare him down before getting into multiple verbal exchanges with Juan Toscano-Anderson, Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Marquese Chriss, the latter three of whom were located on the Warriors' bench. Westbrook had already been assessed a technical earlier in the game, and his resulting technical from the fourth-quarter incident fulfilled an automatic ejection.

The two technicals increased Westbrook's season total to 13, which now leads the league. Draymond Green, who was not on the court at the time of the lightly-physical altercation, ranks second in the NBA with 12.

[RELATED: Upside of Klay's absence? Warriors now can evaluate Poole]

After the game, Westbrook denied intentionally elbowing Lee and insisted he was unfairly treated by the officials.

Westbrook and the Rockets got the last laugh Thursday. But you can be damn sure the Warriors will remember that one next season when they're back to full strength.