Six potential Warriors star trade targets after NBA playoff flops

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Six stars Warriors could target in trades after playoff flops originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Despite a legendary season from Steph Curry, the Warriors were unable to kick down the playoff door this season, getting bounced from the play-in tournament by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Now, the Warriors head into a critical offseason where they must find a way to improve the team around Curry, Draymond Green and a hopefully healthy Klay Thompson as the core trio heads into the back half of their prime.

Given the Warriors' salary-cap situation, their only realistic way of drastically improving the team is to make a trade for a disgruntled star or try and take advantage of a team looking to shake things up after failing to reach its goals.

By now you know the Warriors' trade assets. The Minnesota Timberwolves' 2021 top-three protected first-round pick tops the list, followed by James Wiseman and the Warriors' own 2021 lottery pick. Andrew Wiggins, given his contract and uptick in play, would have to be on the table, and the Warriors could use pending free agent Kelly Oubre as part of a sign-and-trade.

Given the assets, let's take a look at the current state of the NBA, which teams are facing tough questions, and who the Warriors might be able to target for a big trade this offseason.

Bradley Beal

We will start with the next big fish who is expected to, at some point, ask out of his current situation. While Beal reportedly wants to stay and win with the Wizards, it was clear in Washington's first-round loss to the Philadelphia 76ers that they have a ways to go.

Beal reportedly plans to pitch free agents on coming to the Wizards this offseason. But if Washington is unable to get Beal and Russell Westbrook help, it isn't hard to envision the 27-year-old asking for a trade and the Warriors would have one of the more attractive packages.

At this point, Beal remains committed to the Wizards, but things can change fast in the NBA.

CJ McCollum

The Portland Trail Blazers already shook things up by mutually parting ways with head coach Terry Stotts. Now, they have to decide what the best course of action is moving forward to put Damian Lillard in a position to win.

McCollum, 29, is coming off a season in which he averaged 23.1 points per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from the 3-point line. His contract, which has three years and $100 million left on it, likely will be a sticking point with most teams in a deal.

But the Warriors aren't looking to cut money, just reallocate it to give Curry the best chance to win another title. If the Blazers do deem a trade necessary, a McCollum for Wiggins swap would work cap-wise, or the two teams could make the deal bigger by including Wiseman/Oubre for the likes for Robert Covington.

The Blazers have to decide on a coach first, but McCollum would give the Warriors a secondary ball-handler and scorer who could run the offense with Thompson when Curry sits. The Wiggins for McCollum swap would, however, hurt the Warriors defense on the wing, which is perhaps where adding Covington into the deal could come into play.

Brandon Ingram

This one, like Beal, is just a situation that warrants monitoring.

The New Orleans Pelicans just gave Ingram a massive extension last summer, and the 23-year-old has formed a nice young duo alongside Zion Williamson. However, there are questions about the pair's long-term fit together. The Pelicans want to build around Williamson with Ingram as the No. 2. That arrangement has worked so far, but there is always a chance Ingram desires a change of scenery, especially after the Pelicans missed the playoffs this past season.

Given Ingram's age, 23, the Warriors would have to surrender Wiseman and a pick or both to along with Wiggins to pry him from the Pelicans. Ingram is a talented scorer and has shown flashes on the defensive end. He has an incredibly high upside and would give the Warriors a young player to build around in the post-Curry era who also can help a title push now.

There is no smoke here yet, but it's a situation to keep an eye on moving forward, especially if the Pelicans stumble out of the gate next season.

Jonas Valančiūnas

The young Grizzlies have been impressive under head coach Taylor Jenkins, and the core of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks is one to build around. But it's clear the Grizzlies still are a few years away from true contention, and Jonas Valančiūnas, 29, doesn't fit their current timeline.

Valančiūnas averaged 17.1 points and 12.5 rebounds this past season. He's a good low-post scorer who can stretch the floor and plays good interior defense. If Oubre doesn't want to come off the bench, there is a potential for a sign-and-trade swap for Valančiūnas which would give the Warriors a good, veteran big who has played in a number of playoff games and gets the Grizzlies another young wing to fit their timeline.

It doesn't solve the Warriors' biggest issues, but it could be an option.

Indiana Pacers players

Here's a situation a lot of teams in the NBA will be monitoring. The Pacers reportedly fired head coach Nate Bjorkgren on Wednesday after the first-year coach lost the locker room this past season.

The Pacers clearly thought their best chance to appease to their top players was to cut ties with Bjorkgren. Even so, some of the Pacers' top players could be looking for a change after a tumultuous season.

If that becomes the case, the Warriors should inquire about the availability of T.J. Warren, Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon. It's highly doubtful the Pacers would entertain offers for All-Star center Domantas Sabonis.

Brogdon and Warren would be able to fill the Warriors' need for a bench scorer who can initiate the offense and create their own shot. Turner's interior defense would intrigue Steve Kerr.

RELATED: Warriors work out second-round prospects with styles like Klay, Draymond

Paul George

No, the Clippers haven't been eliminated yet. And if they go on to win the West or the Finals, George of course isn't going anywhere.

But if LA does get bounced from the second round by the Utah Jazz, the Clippers could look to make sweeping changes. I don't think Kawhi Leonard is going anywhere, so that leaves George, whose previous playoff flops will make him an easy scapegoat if it happens again.

Could Wiggins, Wiseman and two picks be enough to get George? Maybe. Is he worth that big a price? That's up for debate.

But he would fill the Warriors' need for a star wing who can score and defend the opponent's best player which would take pressure off Curry and the returning Thompson.

The Clippers' situation has always been combustible. Right now, it feels unlikely that George and Leonard won't be Clippers come fall. But another playoff failure could force the Clippers to answer some tough questions and, perhaps, make some big changes.

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