Warriors Snag High-Energy Wing in Proposed Wiseman Trade

Tim Hardaway Jr Kenrich Williams

Getty Tim Hardaway Jr. defends Kenrich Williams during a game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James Wiseman showed progress in at least one key area in his Friday appearance with the Golden State Warriors‘ G League outfit. In 28 minutes of action, the former No. 2 overall pick committed just one foul, making it his cleanest game to date.

Beyond that and another sweet lob jam, though, there wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about in Wiseman’s performance. He scored 12 points on 13 shots, missed both of his free throws and was a minus-2 on the floor in a game that the Sea Dubs won.

Really, it was just more ammunition for those arguing that the Warriors should ship him off to serve a win-now agenda. Joe Lacob may be convinced that the 21-year-old is a “once in a decade” talent — and Steve Kerr has expressed that he has belief in Wiseman, too — but it’s hard to see him making winning contributions any time soon.

Especially with Draymond Green playing more with the second unit now.

Should Golden State actually decide to move on at some point, Bleacher Report‘s Greg Swartz has an idea about who the club should look to acquire.

Kenny Hustle Trade Pitched by Analyst

Thunder Media Day – Kenrich WilliamsGideon Hamilton and Bobby Thompson speak with Kenrich Williams during Thunder Media Day.2022-09-30T23:06:34Z

Swartz just whipped up another new batch of trade ideas in advance of the pre-deadline frenzy, and the Warriors were mentioned in a handful of them. One of the pitches saw the team swinging Wiseman to OKC for a win-now wing — and one of the league’s ultimate energy guys — as well as a draft asset.

Here’s what was proposed:

  • Golden State Warriors receive F Kenrich Williams and a second-round pick in 2023 (via DAL/MIA)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder receive C James Wiseman

Wrote Swartz:

“For Golden State, the move brings in a veteran forward in Williams who can defend and hit threes while wiping $7.6 million off the salary sheet, resulting in some significant luxury tax relief,” wrote Swartz. “The Warriors also pick up a 2023 second-rounder and become a better team this season by not having to play a still-raw Wiseman.”

The soon-to-be 28-year-old — who has been affectionately dubbed “Kenny Hustle” is averaging 6.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in just under 21 minutes per contest.

Some of his defensive metrics have dipped this season, but opposing players have still seen their conversion rates drop by an average of 9% on three-point attempts when Williams has been the closest defender. His three-point efficacy is also down in the low 30s, but he’s just two years removed from nailing 44.4% of his triples.

OKC May Not Be the Best Fit for Wiseman, Though

In theory, Wiseman could step right into oodles of main-roster minutes for the up-and-coming Thunder.

“There are center minutes to be found with 2022 No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren out for the season with a foot injury, giving Wiseman the chance to prove he can still become a star one day,” opined Swartz.

However, Aleksej Pokusevski has played well in Holmgren’s stead, putting up 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 41.8% from deep. And when Holmgren returns to the fold next season, getting him as many reps as possible will be a big-time priority for OKC.

On the other hand, the Thunder are still in a rebuilding process, and accruing another high-level asset (with major upside to boot) wouldn’t be the worst move.

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