Warriors Trade Pitch Would Move Jonathan Kuminga for Perfect Co-Star

The Golden State Warriors have one of the biggest offseasons in franchise history coming up, needing to make a move to pair Stephen Curry with a co-star. Looking at the Warriors’ potential wish list, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic highlighted Lauri Markkanen, among others. In this proposed deal, the Warriors would land Markkanen, but move Jonathan Kuminga and other assets.

Warriors would get: Markkanen

Jazz would get: Kuminga, Moses Moody, 2026 first-round pick, 2028 first-round pick

Kawakami wrote that he’d be the perfect match for Draymond Green and with him just turning 27 years old soon, he fits the timeline for a young player.

“Markkanen’s skill set (career 37.5 percent from deep) is just about the perfect big-man match for Draymond, and Markkanen is definitely young enough to help carry the Warriors into the next era, too.” Kawakami wrote on May 21. “But if the Jazz make him available on the trade market, just about every team in the league would be calling. Unless Utah’s Danny Ainge falls in love with the idea of grabbing the Warriors’ future draft picks, this doesn’t seem like a ready-made trade conversation.”

Should the Golden State Warriors Trade Jonathan Kuminga?

The one issue with trading for Markkanen would be that the Utah Jazz would likely want Kuminga in return. While Markkanen has proven to be the better player at this point in his career, the 21-year-old Kuminga has plenty of potential to be a high-level player.

The Warriors trading Kuminga would be for one reason: adding a win-now piece that fits with Curry. In any deal that involves him, the best ones would be landing a player who’d be young and can play at an All-Star level.

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Markkanen would give them just that.

However, Kuminga’s 16.1 points and 4.8 rebounds were a major step in the right direction. The Republic of Congo native also has the tools to be a high-level defender.

How Lauri Markkanen Would Help the Warriors

Landing Markkanen would be adding a player with similar growth to Kuminga. Both players have started to find themselves over the past two seasons. However, Markkanen proved during the past two seasons that he’d be the ideal star to pair with most players around the league.

He averaged 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and is an athletic defender. Factor in his 39.9% three-point shooting on eight attempts per game and he’d fit right into the Golden State Warriors offense.

Josh Cornelissen of Blue Man Hoop wrote that it’s hard to think of a player who’d fit better than Markkanen.

“In terms of pure offensive basketball fit, it’s hard to think of a player who would fit better with the Golden State Warriors than Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen,” Cornelissen wrote on April 13. “The seven-footer was frequently compared to Dirk Nowitzki coming out of Arizona, and while he is not a future Hall of Famer the idea of adding a Dirk-type to the Splash Brothers is a mind-bending one.”

Whether the Utah Jazz would be interested remains to be seen. With the Warriors window closing due to Curry’s age, Danny Ainge could be interested in the Warriors’ future draft picks.

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