Grade the Trade: Mavericks acquire once-hyped forward in mock deal with Warriors

Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks add athleticism and youth to the front court

In this deal, the Dallas Mavericks would receive forward Jonathan Kuminga and guard Gary Payton II from the Golden State Warriors. Meanwhile, the Mavs would send guard Jaden Hardy, center Richaun Holmes, and two second-round picks to the Bay.

Kuminga Trade

Dallas adds the necessary reinforcements to give their subpar defense a big boost. Kuminga is the centerpiece in Dallas for this deal, but receiving Payton II is equally important, at least for this season.

Kuminga is a young forward, who was drafted in the top 10 in the NBA Draft just a few years ago. Throughout his brief career, Kuminga's playing time has been sporadic. Even though he's dealt with inconsistent minutes and a veteran-laden team, Kuminga has made his presence felt.

The young forward is a dynamic athlete who can knock down the occasional three-ball and play tough defense. And perhaps the most promising attribute of Kuminga's game is his untapped potential.

The other incoming player, Payton II is a defensive dynamo who's played his best ball on the Warriors. While his offense may only consist of cuts, spot-up threes, and opportunistic baskets, his defense is elite.

Trading Kuminga won't be an easy pill to swallow for Golden State. They spent the 7th overall pick on the former G-League Ignite forward in 2021. Nevertheless, the Warriors recently traded away another top selection, just a year prior.

The Warriors selected James Wiseman second overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. But, he never panned out in the Bay. Wiseman proved to be ineffective on the court. Additionally, he consistently dealt with injuries.

The contending Warriors quickly decided they had seen enough of Wiseman and sent him to the Detroit Pistons in February of 2023; only receiving Payton II and two second-round picks from the Atlanta Hawks.

Despite trading multiple young assets, the Warriors would be requiring Hardy in this trade. The young Maverick is a microwave scorer who'd certainly give the stale Warriors offense a jump.

Furthermore, adding a player like Holmes should be a priority for Golden State. The Warriors only roster three players who stand 6-foot-9 or taller.

Next, a more in-depth analysis of each team's grade will be given on the following slides.