For the better part of a year, the Golden State Warriors have been included in several iterations of what has essentially been the same trade rumor — the Warriors landing an established star in exchange for some combination of second-year center James Wiseman and rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob opened up about those rumors and the path for the team going forward, explaining how the team is aiming to contend for a title now while also building toward the future. It’s a model that the San Antonio Spurs used to decades of success between the tenures of David Robinson, Tim Duncan, and Kawhi Leonard, and one that likely means none of the budding young stars on Golden State are moving anytime soon.
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Warriors on ‘One Path’
As Lacob told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, the Warriors are built to contend for a title this year on a very specific formula of veteran players and young, developing players — without much room or money to bring in anything else. That means the occasional trade rumors connecting the Warriors to Ben Simmons or Bradley Beal are likely out of the question.
“First of all, this is the only path,” Lacob said. “There is no other path. I don’t really understand what people are talking about. We have the highest payroll in the history of the NBA by a longshot. So we are all-in. But I believe, we believe — our coaching staff and our basketball operations staff — the great teams have a combination of types of talent. You want to be able to play different ways. You want to have young players that are developing and you want to have the great ones that are already there.”
Lacob added that he doesn’t want a team that is “old, broken-down,” pointing to some of the great teams of the past that paired established stars with budding young talent.
Warriors Commit to Their Young Stars
Lacob’s comments on the long-term development Wiseman, Kuminga, and Moody would likely not come as a surprise to those following the organization closely. The team has remained publicly committed to the trio, reportedly turning down an offer from the Philadelphia 76ers that would have packaged them together along with future first-round draft picks to land Simmons.
General manager Bob Myers also said at the conclusion of last season that the team had no plans to trade Wiseman.
“I think he can help us. I expect him to be on the team next year. We don’t want to trade James Wiseman,” Myers said, via USA Today’s The Rookie Wire. “I think he is a tremendous talent. He was put in a position where the guy has, hopefully, taken all of his lumps early in his career. I think he can be very helpful to us in the future, and I think he can be helpful in the present. We plan on him being on the team. We are very confident he is going to be a good player and help us win next year.”
After months of rehab after a season-ending knee injury, Wiseman is expected to rejoin his teammates in the coming weeks.