The Golden State Warriors hold two lottery picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, but one insider believes the team could swap them — along with one of their brightest young stars — for the chance to move all the way to the top of the draft board.
The Warriors hold their own pick at No. 14 and the No. 7 from the Minnesota Timberwolves, a top-three protected pick from last year’s D’Angelo Russell trade that conveyed to Golden State. But some believe that the Warriors, expected to enter the 2021-22 season in win-now mode with the return of Klay Thompson, may not have the time or patience to develop more young players and could instead make a move to snag someone who could have a more immediate impact.
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Warriors in Draft Blockbuster
There had been ongoing speculation over the course of the last season about just how committed the Warriors were to developing rookie center James Wiseman. The big man showed flashes of strong play but struggled at times to fit into the team’s motion offense and had some difficulties in adjusting to life in the NBA. That led many to speculate that Golden State could trade Wiseman for a player better suited to help the immediate plans. Draft expert Jonathan Givony believes there is a possibility it could still happen — with a few other assets thrown in.
Appearing on the “The Lowe Post” with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Givony was asked about a hypothetical deal where the Warriors would send Wiseman and the No. 7 and 14 picks to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. While Lowe said it was difficult to imagine the Pistons wanting to part with the pick, Givony admitted the proposal seemed intriguing for the Warriors.
“The Warriors are one of the big storylines that we’re gonna be following for sure. Not just because they move the needle, but because their situation is so interesting. What is Steph going to do a year from now? What do they think about Wiseman deep down? As you may remember, I was not a James Wiseman guy and I was not shocked by the year he had. I don’t subscribe to the theory that what DeAndre Ayton is doing now should make them feel any better. DeAndre Ayton was a 10x better prospect than James Wiseman.”
“And yeah, I think Detroit would definitely look at that. They were one of the teams that supposedly loved Wiseman a year ago. So that could be an interesting move for them. But their fans would be disappointed by that I would think.”
Warriors Committed to Wiseman
It is not clear how willing the Warriors may be to part with Wiseman. Though there were ongoing rumors that the young center could be dealt at the deadline, the team not only kept him off the trade block, they also publicly committed to keeping him in the starting lineup through the final stretch of the season. While Wiseman’s season was ultimately cut short by injury, he held onto an important role in the rotation until that point and later got a public endorsement from his coach and the team’s owner.
“He is so promising and so gifted, and we’re devastated for him with this injury,” head coach Steve Kerr said after Wiseman underwent season-ending surgery, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “It’s such a shame. He’s had such a rough go between missing training camp, and then the wrist injury and now this.”
“But he’s a really promising talent and a great young guy.”