The Golden State Warriors‘ engine continues to purr like a tabby. For their latest trick, Steph Curry and his Bay Area brothers-in-arms withstood a 48-point night from Anthony Edwards to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves by double digits. Recent successes aside, though, the Warriors still have some questions to answer.
For one, former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman is nearing a return to court after recovering from his April meniscus surgery. That’s great news, obviously, but how will head coach Steve Kerr integrate him?
Golden State is rolling as currently constituted and young players often don’t contribute to winning. Last season, the Warriors were a whopping 13.5 points per 100 possessions better when Wiseman wasn’t on the floor. Can Kerr afford to give him major minutes when his team looks to have rejoined the title conversation?
Conversely, can he afford not to play Wiseman, who has the potential to be a franchise-type player? At the very least, he has a significantly higher ceiling than Kevon Looney.
In a recent piece detailing some fresh trade scenarios, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley indicated that Golden State’s best bet may be to swap him out for some enticing win-now pieces, including a member of the Warriors’ 2015 NBA championship team.
B/R Trade Brings Harrison Barnes Back to GSW
While a Ben Simmons-Jaylen Brown-Karl-Anthony Towns mega-swap was the headliner in this one, Buckley’s proposed trade between the Warriors and the Sacramento Kings was a wild one in its own right. Here is how it shakes out:
- Golden State Warriors receive: Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton
- Sacramento Kings receive: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman and Moses Moody
There’s obviously a lot to unpack here, as multiple former lottery picks — including Wiseman — would be changing teams. However, the return of Barnes to the team that drafted him definitely jumps off the page. Moreover, the Warriors clearly become deeper with the deal as constituted. Wrote Buckley:
Harrison Barnes has already won a championship in this system, which values his spot-up sniping and defensive versatility. Buddy Hield would address the need for support shooting around Curry by pairing him with the only other player splashing four-plus threes per night. (Just imagine what could happen with Klay Thompson in that trio.) Tyrese Haliburton could mold his glue-guy skills to fit different roles on different nights.
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Why the Kings Do the Deal
Where the Kings are concerned, there’s a lot to like about the hypothetical trade, too. Even if parting with Haliburton would be a tough pill to swallow:
Wiseman is the crown jewel, as a blue-chip prospect with a drool-worthy blend of size, skill and natural tools. Moses Moody’s three-and-D floor should make him an easy fit with De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell, and the trio could be tremendous defensively if they max out their development. Finally, the Kings would have this season and next to see if Andrew Wiggins is worth keeping around or more valuable as a trade chip, perhaps as an expiring contract in 2022-23.
All that being said, the Warriors may not want to part with Wiseman, who averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a rookie. On a recent episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, The Athletic’s Anthony Slater said it would probably take “a home-run type of thing” for Golden State to part with him.
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