Proposal Allows Warriors to Land Top Shot Blocker, Still Keep Wiseman

James Wiseman

Getty James Wiseman looks to drive in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

To the view of most insiders, the Golden State Warriors will be able to take one of two paths this summer — either commit to investing time and energy into developing promising young center James Wiseman, or ship him away in return for a starting-caliber player and try to make another title run while Steph Curry is still at his peak.

One new trade proposal allows them to do both. The Warriors have reportedly shown interest in the league’s top shot blocker, and one insider believes they can use a combination of draft picks and players that would land him without having to part with Wiseman.

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Warriors Aim For Top Rim Protector

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Warriors have shown interest in Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner, saying in an appearance on the “NBA Mismatch” podcast that the two have been having some initial trade conversations. The trade would give the Warriors one of the league’s best rim protectors, as the 6-foot-11 Turner led the league with 3.4 blocks per game last season. He could also be a strong addition to the offense, averaging 12.6 points per game last season and hitting 33.5 percent of his shots from behind the three-point arc.

As Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area noted, it would take some work for the Warriors to land Turner, largely due to the $18 million he is owed in each of the next two seasons. With the Warriors already leading the league in payroll, it would take some salary matching to land Turner, he wrote.

As Didion noted, that means both Andrew Wiggins and Wiseman would likely be included in the deal.

“Andrew Wiggins seems like the prime candidate for making the salaries work on a Turner trade, as he is owed $31.5 million in 2021-22. Bringing in Turner also would make James Wiseman somewhat redundant in the rotation, so he also could be included in a deal,” Didion wrote.

But Didion suggested another path. He noted that Evan Sidery of put together a reasonable swap that allows the Warriors to keep Wiseman but gives up both of the team’s lottery picks in this week’s draft. In his trade, the Warriors would receive Turner, Jeremy Lamb and the No. 13 pick in exchange for Wiggins and the No. 7 and No. 13 picks.

Warriors Stand by Wiseman

While pundits and prognosticators have been passing around hypothetical Wiseman trades for months, Golden State seems much less inclined to part ways with the promising young center. The team publicly committed to him this season, vowing to keep him in the starting lineup down the final stretch, even as the team was locked in a fight for its playoff life. Wiseman’s season ended up being cut short by injury, but he retained the endorsement of head coach Steve Kerr and ownership.

Golden State owner Joe Lacob said in June that the team was not pining for a trade.

“Very unlikely,” Lacob said of a possible Wiseman trade during an appearance on The TK Show with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. “It would take a lot to make me and (President of Basketball Operations) Bob (Myers) think about doing anything like that. People who talk like that — they don’t understand the cap (and) they don’t understand the economics of the NBA.”

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