A proposed trade sees the Warriors upgrade by moving 3 top prospects

The Golden State Warriors have begun to right the ship after starting the season 6–9, thanks to the fantastic play of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson rounding into form. Despite that, they are only 11-11 at around the quarter-mark of the season, and they still have a lot of work to do if they want to return to the NBA Finals and defend their championship. That brings me to a compelling trade that Fanspo recently proposed involving the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs.

In this hypothetical deal, the Golden State Warriors would trade for Josh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl in exchange for James Wiseman, Patrick Baldwin Jr., a 2026 first-round pick, and Jonathan Kuminga. The Warriors giving up both Wiseman and Kuminga as well as a future first would mean they’d be mortgaging their future to try and win now, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The Warriors will have to decide between winning now and the future.

Adding Poeltl would push Kevon Looney to the bench, providing them with a clear upgrade at center and helping boost their second unit by pushing JaMychal Green out of the rotation. Likewise, Richardson would take over Kuminga’s role at backup forward, but he is a much better shooter than Kuminga, who often hangs out in the corner and cuts to the basket for easy dunks.

That’s not to say that he isn’t good, or doesn’t have a high upside, but adding yet another shooter to a team that already has Curry, Thompson, and Jordan Poole could help boost their offensive rating from top 10 to top five. Poeltl can certainly contribute on that end too, but he’ll be relied upon to help fix their bottom 10 defense with his rim protection, as can Richardson, who’s a solid defender.

Richardson and Poeltl would help to upgrade and solidify the Warriors, who can roll out a strong 10-man rotation consisting of Curry, Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Poeltl, Poole, Donte Divincenzo, Anthony Lamb, Richardson, and Looney.

As for the future that they’d be mortgaging, Wiseman was recently sent down to the NBA G League to continue to develop his game. In five games, he averaged 15 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 26 minutes. That may appear to be adequate, but for a former second-round pick, it is a warning sign that he may not be a future star.

Worse yet, he’s costing their team $9.6 million this season and will cost them $12.1 million next season. Meanwhile, Poeltl is a top-12 center in the NBA but is actually making less than Wiseman, and while he may be costly to re-sign, the Warriors will have his bird rights. The same goes for Richardson, meaning that both could be retained after this season.

Would the Spurs agree to a Warriors trade?

For the Spurs, they may be willing to take a flyer on Wiseman and have plenty of cap space to pay him while he continues to develop on their rebuilding roster. They’d probably also be very interested in Kuminga, but probably not so much in Baldwin Jr., whom they passed over three times with their three first-round picks in the 2022 draft.

That being said, a smaller deal involving Wiseman, Kuminga, and, say, a top-10 protected 2026 pick would probably pique their interest, but the Warriors may prefer to keep Kuminga and try to substitute him with another first-round pick. The Spurs could probably get more for Poeltl and Richardson separately,  and they may decline that trade unless Kuminga is included or Richardson is taken out.

Overall, the proposed trade is a good one, but as is, the Warriors wouldn’t make that deal. However, they could make a smaller one, involving Wiseman and two firsts for Poeltl, while still managing to hold onto some of their future assets.