Feb 12, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward David Lee (10) controls the ball against Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) in the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Heat defeated the Warriors 111-110. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Kyle Lowry & Amir Johnson to Golden State for David Lee, Draymond Green & draft pick?

Feb 10, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Draymond Green (23) high fives power forward David Lee (10) after a basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Tags: David Lee Golden State Warriors Kyle Lowry Toronto Raptors Trade Rumors

  • Abused Raptors Fan

    Yeah, you realize GSW can’t trade their 2015 draft pick until this summer right? they owe their first round pick this year to Utah, and the Stepien rule prohibits teams from trading FUTURE draft picks in consecutive years. After they convey their 2014 pick, they’d then be permitted to trade 2015′s, but not before.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi ARF:
      I’ve changed the pick to 2016, because this trade will happen quickly, or not at all. Oddly enough, it might make the deal more attractive to the Warriors, as a lot can happen in 2 years.
      Thanks for pointing this issue out to me.
      Did you know Stepien used to own the Toronto Towers? I would go to the U of T campus to watch their games in the early ’80s.
      Please help keep me honest on these matters – I appreciate it.

      • Abused Raptors Fan

        Glad to help. Unfortunately, the Warriors can’t trade that pick either, as they already traded their 2017 pick to Utah as well, all in an effort to make room for Howard last summer.

  • Jensan

    Lee, Thompson for Amir Johnson and lowry and ballast is a more reasonable trade

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Jensan:
      I’ll take a look at that deal later, and post a detailed comment when I do. Thanks for putting it out there.

  • AM

    Contracts aside, I think this trade considerably favours GS. Raps lose two key guys who would have an impact on the GS roster, and Raps get one. As mentioned, Green would be playing behind a couple (or a few) players. If it were to happen, this would make the Warriors even more entertaining to watch.