Wild hypothetical Aaron Gordon-Dubs trade floated by Hollinger


With the NBA trade deadline one week away, the hypothetical deals are starting to pop up more frequently.

The latest comes from The Athletic's John Hollinger, and it involves the Warriors and three other teams -- the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers.

We obviously will focus on how it impacts Golden State.

Warriors get: Aaron Gordon, George Hill

Warriors give up: Kelly Oubre, Kevon Looney, Kent Bazemore, Brad Wanamaker, a future first-round pick (either 2022, 2026 or 2027), and remove the protection on the 2021 first-round pick owed to the Oklahoma City Thunder

OK. There is a lot to digest here.

Let's start with Gordon, a Bay Area native, who doesn't turn 26 until September and is scheduled to make $16.4 million next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

The No. 4 overall pick from the 2014 draft is averaging 13.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 0.9 blocks, while shooting a career-high 36.5 percent from deep on 4.3 attempts. But he's shooting just 42.5 percent overall, and only has appeared in 20 games after sustaining a bad ankle sprain Jan. 31.

Gordon definitely is a solid player, but how would he fit within a frontcourt that includes Draymond Green and James Wiseman? It's possible that the Warriors could figure it out and find a way for everybody to excel and be happy within their role, but it's fair to have some reservations about those pieces meshing together.


As for the other player the Warriors would be acquiring -- "hallelujah, a backup point guard, and one that’s signed for next year!" Hollinger writes. Hill -- who will turn 35 years old in May and hasn't played since Jan. 24 because of a right thumb injury -- is averaging 11.8 points and 3.1 assists this season on 51 percent from the field and 38.6 percent on 3s.

Those are very solid numbers and it's safe to assume he would produce efficiently in a Dubs uniform. But his $10 million contract for next season becomes fully guaranteed shortly after free agency begins, and you have to wonder if that just is too big of a price tag for ownership to sign off on when you consider the luxury tax penalties.

Furthermore, eliminating the protection on this year's first-rounder is quite risky because what if disaster strikes and the Warriors end up with the No. 12 overall pick? Shipping that off to OKC would sting a lot.

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Then there's the aforementioned future pick, which in this hypothetical almost assuredly would be the Warriors' 2022 first-rounder going to Portland. If we assume Golden State is a true title contender next season, losing out on a pick in the mid to late 20s isn't a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. But hey -- it's still a real asset.

And lastly, there is the Oubre variable. Hollinger believes the Warriors "need to cash in their Oubre stock before he hits free agency," and that Gordon "fits much better with next year’s likely roster."

That is subjective, and Golden State management might view Oubre not only as a better fit than Gordon, but as necessary Klay Thompson insurance if it takes the five-time NBA All-Star longer than expected to recover from his Achilles injury.

Ultimately, it will be fascinating to see if the Warriors strike over the next seven days or stand pat.

Stay tuned.

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