When we got wind of this trade rumor, I tested it financially, and it worked (all the trade rumors we analyze do, or they wouldn’t be here – we do our homework) but seemed preposterous. The Golden State Warriors a few weeks ago were looking like the ultimate Playoff Team No One Wants To Face, but a funny thing happened. The Bay boys have hit a rough patch, and are in danger of falling out of the post-season entirely in the remorseless Western Conference. A hot Memphis Grizzlies team is only one game behind in the loss column. The Warriors may be in a mood to shake up their roster without touching their two best players, elite gunner Stephen Curry and two-way interior presence Andrew Bogut.
Analysis: Kyle Lowry as a Warrior is a scary thought. He ranks #6 this season with 126 made 3-balls; Curry is #1 at 171. Golden State is #10 in team scoring at 103.6, and Kyle would help that number significantly. Yes, I’m aware they would lose Lee’s 18.8 PPG [Points Per Game], but I’d wager they would get all that back with interest once Kyle is on board. He’s clocking just a pair of points PG behind Lee at 16.7, and his numbers would probably spike when playing behind (or with?) Curry.
Amir Johnson’s presence would ameliorate the loss of Lee up front.
David Lee would step into the starting power forward role with the Toronto Raptors without breaking a sweat. He’s an 8-year veteran who can create his own shot inside and out, crash the boards and find the open man. On defense, he can be punished by bruisers like Blake Griffin, so he’s not the solution to the Raps’ lack of frontcourt heft. Pushing the willing but limited talents of Patrick Patterson to the bench would immediately improve the Raps’ second unit.
Draymond Green is a youthful swingman from Michigan State whom I’ve seen a few times. He looked raw, but clearly athletic; think a smoother Joey Graham. He would struggle to find playing time in a lineup with DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross (even John Salmons) well ahead of him on the depth chart, and might be better off logging 30 minutes a night in the D-League.
The Trade Machine says this deal has no impact on the Warriors, but costs the Raps 5 games. To compensate the Raps for the loss of their best player, the Warriors, who have no pick this draft, would need to throw in their ’16 first-rounder.
Verdict: This is a deal that makes sense intellectually (the Raps get value for Lowry before he walks) but not emotionally. The loss of Lowry and Johnson would tear the heart out of the team.
Likelihood: 5%. This trade takes place only if Lowry states flatly he’s gone in the off-season, and that the Bay area is a preferred destination. Furthermore, the Warriors have only one game before the trade deadline to determine if they are truly in trouble, and therefore in need of a dramatic change in personnel. That’s a lot of pre-conditions.
WWMD? [What will Masai do?]: The Raptors’ General Manager would be sorely tempted to sacrifice this playoff run because of the draft pick. Masai is playing a long game, and would make this deal.
What do you think, Rapture Nation? Are you on side? Warriors fans are welcome to chime in.
Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.
Remember, for the best deals on Toronto Raptors tickets for any game on the 2013-14 NBA schedule, visit our friends at TiqIQ.com.