Grade the Trade: The Warriors add an MVP in this bold trade proposal

Klay Thompson #11 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Klay Thompson #11 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors have had a relatively quiet offseason thus far, minus the Chris Paul trade, but a proposed deal could quickly change that. After acquiring Paul, they’ve seen their names come up in other hypothetical trades, given that they have a rare combination of big expiring contracts, promising young prospects, and most of their draft picks going forward.

Meanwhile, with James Harden publicly demanding a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, all eyes are on his teammate, MVP Joel Embiid. Embiid has not requested to be traded, though rumors suggest that that is a possibility.

If he does, then he would become one of the most sought-after trade targets in recent memory, with just about every team in the NBA weighing potential trade packages to try and acquire him. That leads to Bleacher Report writer Joe Akeley’s intriguing trade proposal that would send Embiid to the Golden State Warriors. Let’s grade the trade!

Grade the Trade: The Warriors add Joel Embiid to their championship core.

Akeley’s hypothetical trade proposal will send Chris Paul, Jonathan Kuminga, and Andrew Wiggins, two first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, and an unprotected pick in 2028, to the Sixers in exchange for Embiid and Tucker. While the idea of the Warriors acquiring Embiid may seem outlandish, that may be a surprisingly competitive offer.

Sixers team president Daryl Morey is known to desire draft picks, and that has been the holdup in the Harden trade. Therefore, any team looking to trade for Embiid would need to offer several good picks to meet his high asking price. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will all be in their mid-to-late 30s, as will Embiid, by the time those draft picks come due.

That would make those two pick swaps potentially valuable to a rebuilding Sixers team, in addition to Golden State’s 2028 first-round pick. As for Paul, Kuminga, and Wiggins, Paul could be traded again to a contender, with the Sixers potentially getting back even more assets by agreeing to take back other teams’ long-term salaries.

The same could be said for Andrew Wiggins, who is somehow still only in his twenties and under contract for four more seasons. On the other hand, Kuminga is only 21 and was previously taken 7th overall in the 2021 NBA draft. He has had an inconsistent role on a good Warriors team but has shown enough to be seen as a valuable prospect.

For Golden State, adding Embiid would force the Warriors to change their style of play, but for the better. For the first time, he’d give the Warriors an interior scoring option to run offense through, with plenty of shooting to surround him. He’d also form a dangerous pick-and-roll/pop threat with Curry.

That would take a lot of offensive pressure off of Curry and Thompson and possibly extend Golden State’s title window by a couple of seasons. They would definitely do the deal, but would the Sixers?

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If Embiid does ask out, then Philadelphia will have plenty of offers to choose from, and some will assuredly be better than this proposal. Even then, it’s not nearly as much of a pipe dream as it might seem. Grade B