Are Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala going to be ready? Can fans reasonably expect James Wiseman to contribute? Will Steph Curry’s shooting slump continue into the postseason? Can the team rediscover its swagger? And so on…
As big as those questions are, though, Golden State has an even bigger dilemma looming. Specifically, whether it’s going to pay/keep Jordan Poole or All-Star Andrew Wiggins.
Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney and Steve Bulpett discussed the situation on a March 3 livestream.
“Poole, the young wing, the Warriors want to sign him to an extension. If they sign him to an extension, that could be it for Wiggins in Golden State,” said Deveney. “He’s got one more year on his contract, $33 million. They could play it out which is absolutely possible, or they could try to get something for him.”
Added Bulpett: “You’ve got to manage not only your rotation, you’ve got to manage your payroll. They could be in a really perfect sell-high situation with Andrew Wiggins.”
If the Warriors do look to cash in on Wiggins, Deveney has an idea about who they could target.
Proposed Deals Bring Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Bay Area
As Deveney sees it, trade packages involving Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. make a lot of sense for both sides.
“I’d go back to Dallas, I think Dallas will be star-hunting this summer, I think that’s one of the things that, when they made the trade to send out Porzingis, now they have an idea of perhaps being able to make a deal,” he said.
“You could get Hardaway, no doubt that Dallas shopped Hardaway at the trade deadline, and then you could have a deal where you have Hardaway and [Spencer] Dinwiddie, or Hardaway and Davis Bertans… It would be at least worth considering for the Warriors.”
However, Bulpett envisions a different scenario.
“I think they’d be looking more to shed players. You trade Wiggins and I think picks would be huge for the Warriors in that situation. If you can speculate with Wiggins and get a first-round pick for him, on a team that isn’t great, you can kind of play the lottery on, what will this pick be worth?”
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Hardaway Has Some Question Marks
While dealing for Hardaway (plus one) doesn’t lower the Warriors’ massive luxury tax bill on its own, it does distribute the money over two roster spots as opposed to doling out a max or near-max contract to one player who’s your third or fourth option offensively.
For his part, Hardaway is on a fairly team-friendly deal that will pay him $19.6 million next season before dropping to $17.9 million the following year and $16.2 million in 2024-25. However, he would come with some question marks.
First and foremost, the nine-year veteran just had surgery after breaking his left foot. So one has to wonder how he’ll bounce back as a 30-year-old next season. Secondly, before he went down with his injury, THJ’s efficiency had taken a noticeable dip compared to recent campaigns in the Big D.
In 42 games this season, he averaged 14.2 points per game, however, he was just a 39.4% shooter overall and a 33.6% shooter from deep.
Still, he’s a veteran player with scoring/shooting ability that you can either start or bring off the bench if you’re looking to go all-in on Poole.