Despite just having won their fourth NBA championship in eight years, it seems like all the talk surrounding the Golden State Warriors right now is about money. They’re going to face some difficult financial decisions next summer, and that’s been the talk of the town.
Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole will all be in need of contract extensions, and it’s highly unlikely that the Warriors will be able to extend all of them. But the only played no one seems to be talking about is James Wiseman.
While it may not be as pressing of an issue, Wiseman only has two years left on his contract. By the time it ends, Golden State will be even deeper into the luxury tax, and with how young Wiseman is and how small of a role he’ll probably have on the Warriors over the next two years, other teams could be willing to overpay for him.
Teams such as the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz may be willing to throw Wiseman a huge contract when his current deal is up, and due to Golden State’s current financial situation, they might be forced to part ways with him. It’s not an ideal situation to be in, but it’s the harsh reality they could face.
By the time they are forced to make that deicison, one of two things will have happened. They will have signed all four of Green, Thompson, Wiggins, and Poole and will be paying a ridiculous amount of money in luxury taxes, or they will have let one of those guys go… and still be paying tons of money.
Regardless, since teams will probably throw some crazy offers at him in restricted free agency, the Warriors may be forced to explore the trade market for Wiseman in the coming years, especially since he’s not going to start just yet.
Wiseman Will Not Be Warriors Starter
Head coach Steve Kerr recently did an interview with Anthony Slater of The Athletic. During the talk, he revealed that Kevon Looney would remain the team’s starting center for the upcoming season and act as a mentor for Wiseman.
“Loon will come back as the starter,” Kerr told Slater. “He has earned that and then some. We’re all thrilled that he’s back. There was a real fear that we’d lose him. To get him back is massive for our team. It sets up well for Loon to continue what he did for us last year. In doing so, he’s really a good mentor for James.”
That makes a ton of sense. Looney was just the starting center on their title team and appeared in every single game for the Warriors this past year – regular season and playoffs. Plus, they just handed him a shiny new extension. He deserves to start and is the better fit for the team right now.
But eventually, Wiseman will want to step into a larger role. And if he shows even a small glimpse of the potential that helped him become the second-overall pick in 2020, other teams will jump at the chance to add him to their roster.
So where does that leave the Warriors?
Potential Trade Options for Wiseman
Golden State has three options when it comes to dealing with Wiseman’s contract in the coming years:
1. They match any offer that comes his way.
2. They trade him before he is due an extension.
3. They settle for a sign-and-trade in the 2024 offseason.
There are pros and cons to each of those. The first option sees them keep their core together but pay an absurd amount of money. The second sees them get a less-than-stellar return for a blue chip prospect. And the third relinquish a lot of leverage from their side of things.
It will be difficult to see how they navigate the situation, and it’s far from their top priority right now, but if rebuilding teams are willing to offer him a ton of money in a couple of seasons, Golden State could eventually be forced to trade Wiseman.