Golden State is reportedly planning on using James Wiseman as trade bait this offseason, but one former Warriors star believes it’s too early to give up on the young big man.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger reported this week that the Warriors are hoping to package Wiseman together with Andrew Wiggins and the No. 7 overall pick to land a player who can bring a more immediate impact as the team looks to jump back into title contention with the expected return of Klay Thompson next season. Toronto Raptors big man Pascal Siakam is pegged as a potential target, but former Warrior Chris Mullin thinks the price would be too high.
Mullin High on Wiseman’s Potential
Even before the latest reports that Golden State may ship Wiseman to land Siakam, there have been conflicting reports about the future of the 19-year-old center. The No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, Wiseman struggled at times to fit into the Warriors motion offense and with his overall transition into the NBA.
There were reports around the trade deadline that Wiseman could be included in a deal, but the Warriors instead committed to keeping him in the starting lineup and giving him a significant role in the rotation to help in his development.
Mullin said he still has faith that Wiseman will develop into a productive big man — and play a role that could help the Warriors in their return to the playoffs.
“That particular deal — I still have a lot of faith and belief in James Wiseman, and Siakam, he’s a heck of a player but he’s similar to what they have,” Mullin said in an appearance on KNBR’s Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks. “If you watched these playoffs, every team has a legitimate center that they use at some point during the game, during the series, to change the way they’re playing. So, I mean I believe in James Wiseman, that’s my personal opinion.”
It wasn’t just Wiseman that Mullin backed. He also believed that Wiggins is as good or better than anyone the Warriors could land in a deal.
“So, these other names are they much better than Wiggins? I’m not so sure about that,” Mullin said. “And like I said, Wiseman’s young but he’s really talented, so you’re gonna go get an older guy that’s not as talented? I don’t see that as an option either.”
Other Trade Possibilities for Warriors
There are others who believe that the Warriors will find another use for their draft picks, the No. 7 from the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of last year’s D’Angelo Russell trade and the No. 14 that Golden State drew in the draft lottery. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley speculated that the Warriors could package their No. 14 pick with wing Kelly Oubre (in a sign-and-trade) to land Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner.
Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area noted that the Warriors could also try to package picks and players to move up the draft board.
“If the Warriors aren’t able to turn their top assets into another star this summer, moving up into the top five would give the organization a chance to snag an extremely talented rookie from the handful of elite prospects at the top of this year’s class,” he wrote.
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