Following the NBA’s 2021 All-Star weekend the Golden State Warriors are currently 19-18. It certainly isn’t close to where they thought they’d be to begin the season but nonetheless they are 4th in the NBA’s Pacific Divison and are 9th with their record in the Western Conference standings.
While the second half of the NBA’s season will help determine where their fate lies the Warriors are also in a time crunch with their aging stars. As their core three of two-time MVP Stephen Curry, former Defensive Player of The Year Draymond Green, and multiple time All-Star Klay Thompson, are all in their early thirties, the franchise will have to decide at some point if risking their future is worth bringing in another talent who can help ease the sense of father time.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle and their Golden State beat writer Connor Letourneau, it’s not just a thought others are considering but something the organization knows they may have to do.
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Warriors Could Trade Their Future for Star Talent
With the Warriors’ big 3 back and healthy next season they could be one of the better teams in the NBA. However, given the rise of the Brooklyn Nets, the LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and the recently surging Utah Jazz, they would have their hands full competing with teams they have just as much if not more star power and quality role players.
Additionally, with the slow progression of their rookie center James Wiseman, Golden State could look to move him and their coveted Minnesota Timberwolves 2021 Draft Pick for a perennial All-Star if given the opportunity. According to Letourneau’s most recent report, they know that outside their trio that those are their biggest and best assets to move.
“Golden State knows that any discussion for an All-Star-caliber player will begin with the other team asking for one or both of the franchise’s two biggest assets outside of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green: the top-three-protected 2021 pick from Minnesota and rookie center James Wiseman,” Letourneau noted in his report.
“But according to a team source, the Warriors ‘almost definitely’ wouldn’t surrender that Timberwolves selection or Wiseman unless they got back someone generational such as Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
Is Wiseman the Long-Term Answer?
It may be relatively difficult for the Warriors to acquire someone of Embiid or Antetokounmpo’s stature without that pick, others, Wiseman, swingman Andrew Wiggins, and a host of other assets. If that is the case, they would be well within their right to look at other All-Star caliber players who could help contribute immediately.
Yet, what if one of their current players is the answer to what they’ve been potentially searching for outside of the franchise? Their rookie center in Wiseman missed the entire preseason and a large chunk of games recovering from his wrist injury. Prior to it, he was beginning to find a rhythm to his game and showcase the talent that made him worthy of Golden State’s high pick.
Some may be down on Wiseman due to him not playing to the same level as other marquee rookies but all they have to do is look at Golden State’s history. Their championship big 3 wasn’t built overnight, and patience may be the best thing for both Wiseman and the franchise.
After the Warriors win against the Charlotte Hornets, Wiseman was asked about his playing time and if he’s had any frustration with it.
“Just staying humble, taking it one day at a time,” Wiseman stated to reporters via NBC Sports. “My time’s coming soon.”
One of Golden State’s stars in Green, backed up Wiseman’s comments explaining that Wiseman is actually “playing damn good.”
“What’d he miss? Ten games? Eleven games?” Green told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s a setback. That’s 11 games of experience he missed. But saying that, we’re 34 games, so he’s about 23 games into his rookie year. All things considered, he’s playing damn good.”
“He’ll get better,” Draymond said. “Is he frustrated? I’m sure he is. This is the first time in his life where he can’t step on the court and dominate everybody like he wants to dominate them. That takes some adjusting.”
Whether the Warriors decide to make a move or remain steady at the trading deadline, the upcoming weeks and months may determine the franchise’s future overall. As it did with their previous trio, maybe patience with their rookie big man could be the best thing they could have right now.