Everything is great for the Golden State Warriors right now. They are coming off of their fourth NBA Finals win in the last eight years, Stephen Curry is taking his “night-night” celebration on a worldwide tour, and Klay Thompson is chilling with Rocco somewhere without any worries in the world.
But if you fast forward a year into the future and things won’t be as easy for the Warriors. Next offseason, Thompson, Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins will be in need of contract extensions. And unless the Warriors want to spend roughly half a billion dollars on their team (which is highly unlikely), they’ll have to decide who to keep.
Some people have suggested that Poole will be the odd one out in the group, but what if it’s Wiggins? Poole is younger right now and looks to be the perfect successor to Curry. If the Warriors do decide to let Wiggins walk, there could be a perfect landing spot for him in free agency that would also help Golden State out via sign-and-trade – the Toronto Raptors.
Here’s the outline of the potential deal (for next summer):
Warriors receive: OG Anunoby, Thaddeus Young
Raptors receive: Andrew Wiggins
This deal just makes way too much sense for both sides, and there are plenty of reasons why.
Why the Warriors Make This Trade
For the Warriors, the reason behind this deal is simple – they need to save money. While they’ve been known for years as the team that’s willing to spend in order to win titles, every franchise reaches its limit. And with the Warriors choosing to let Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II walk in free agency in favor of signing cheaper replacements, Golden State may have reached theirs.
Losing Wiggins would be rough, as he’s turned himself into one of the best two-way players in the game, but Anuonby is a far cheaper option. He’d be under contract for an extra season, plus a player option for another, which would give the Warriors a longer window to win with the current core. Plus, he’ll be making over $10 million less than what Wiggins will likely want on the open market (a max deal).
And as far as players suited to replace Wiggins in the rotation, Anunoby would be toward the top of that hypothetical list. In Toronto last season, Anunoby averaged 17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists on 44.3% shooting from the field and 36.3% shooting from distance. And at just 25 years old, he’s two years younger than Wiggins, too.
Golden State would get Thaddeus Young in this trade as well, but he’d mainly be included for salary-matching purposes. But in a sign-and-trade involving Wiggins, this would be a solid return.
So, why would the Raptors make this deal then?
Why the Raptors Make This Trade
This would be Toronto’s chance to take the next step. By the time this trade would be going down, Scottie Barnes will have had another year of development, and both Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam would be in their prime still.
Swapping out Anunoby for Wiggins would give them a huge upgrade, as Wiggins on both sides of the floor. Effectively, Wiggins is just a better version of Anunoby. He’s a better scorer, more versatile on defense, and was a bigger part of a championship run.
Plus, Wiggins being nicknamed Maple Jordan makes this move all the more perfect. He was truly destined to play in Toronto, and there’s always a chance he chooses to leave Golden State anyway, as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
So, if the Warriors are faced with the choice of giving up one of their core players and Wiggins ends up being the odd one out, nabbing Anunoby would be an elite consolation prize.