Does Dion Waiters make sense as potential trade option for Warriors? originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com
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.
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.).