Writer’s Warriors-Pacers Trade Idea Moves Wiggins for Former Lottery Picks

Andrew-Wiggins-Pacers

Getty Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins during a January game against the Indiana Pacers.

The Golden State Warriors essentially have two options for how they can play out this off-season.

The first choice is to mostly stand pat, use both of their first-round selections in the 2021 NBA Draft, and bank on the healthy return of Klay Thompson and a more consistent sophomore season from James Wiseman. The second, more intriguing and discussed about option lately has been for the organization to take advantage of their ample lottery draft picks, as well as the youthful Wiseman and talented Andrew Wiggins, and move those pieces in exchange for a star player like Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons or Pascal Siakam.

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The main advantages of the first strategy are that the Dubs wouldn’t have to sacrifice their future, and even though they would be relying largely on the status of Thompson and development of Wiseman, the potential could still be there for a deep playoff run next year. The obvious benefit of going the other route is the possible creation of a “Big Four” – consisting of Thompson, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and the newcomer – and becoming the near-automatic favorite for the 2022 NBA crown.

There are still a ton of different in-between moves that Golden State could make in an attempt to find that middle ground where they aren’t selling out, but still putting themselves in a good position to become next season’s champion.


‘Ben Simmons-to-Golden State Rumors Don’t Make Any Sense’

Draymond-Ben-Simmons

GettyGolden State Warriors forward Draymond Green tries to steal the ball from Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons.

The San Francisco Chronicle sports editor Alex Shultz recently laid out a handful of “realistic trade ideas” for the Warriors to consider, ones that are centered around Wiseman and the seventh and 14th overall draft picks. Some have been discussed at length by Heavy.com Warriors contributors, as well by numerous other media outlets.

Shultz starts by analyzing two proposed deals with the Raptors, both of which would land them Siakam – one would give them Chris Boucher as well. Them comes the mammoth offer involving Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard, which would send Wiseman, Wiggins, both 2021 lottery picks, an unprotected pick in 2022, and a top-three protected pick in 2026 to Portland in exchange for just the six-time All-Star.

Similarly to these potential blockbusters, Shultz also doesn’t see a possible trade happening for Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis or the much-maligned Simmons of the Sixers.

“The Ben Simmons-to-Golden State rumors don’t make any sense; you can’t lose Wiggins, a legitimately solid 3-point shooter, and swap him in for another guy who absolutely cannot shoot and doesn’t like playing at the center position. Plus, the 76ers absolutely do not need Wiseman,” Shultz wrote.


Proposed Trade Sends Wiggins to Pacers, Warren, Lamb, Holiday to Warriors

Justin-Holiday-Andrew-Wiggins

GettyJustin Holiday of the Indiana Pacers and Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors during a game in January.

Despite none of these being to Shultz’ liking, he says that there is a fit out there.

“One team with too many above-average players are the Indiana Pacers, stuck in Eastern Conference purgatory,” he wrote. “If the Pacers lock onto a prospect that they think has star potential at the No. 7 slot, perhaps the Warriors could package the pick with Wiggins — who’d still be useful-ish for Indiana — and grab some less flashy depth while keeping Wiseman.”

Shultz’ proposal is this:

Warriors receive: T.J. Warren, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday

Pacers receive: Andrew Wiggins, No. 7 pick

Position-wise, Warren would fill in for Wiggins at small forward and size-wise, though Wiggs is certainly lankier, Warren is about an inch taller and 20 pounds heaver at 6-foot-8, 220 lbs. respectively. Warren will be 28 in a couple of months, so even though he’s conceivably still in his prime, he’s about a year and a half older than Wiggins.

As a career 50% shooter, Warren would be an upgrade – albeit modest one – over Wiggins from mid-range, but the latter is more active and accurate from beyond the arc. The key note with Warren is that he’s coming off of a lost season, having played just the first four games of the season before undergoing foot surgery.

Warren has had injury trouble in the past as well, never playing more than 67 games in a season and averaging just under 50 games through his first seven years in the league. The NC State product has two years left on his current contract and will make about $12 million per season.

The 29-year-old Lamb has only been a part-time starter over his nine seasons in the league and has appeared in just 82 games over the last two campaigns with the Pacers. Though he’s averaged only 21.2 minutes per contest over his career, Lamb has also posted 10.4 points per game, including a double-digit scoring average in each of the last four seasons. He has two years left on his contract which sees him making $10.5 million each season.

The eldest of the three Holiday brothers, 32-year-old Justin is another lanky guard/forward combo and has been one of the most durable players in the NBA over the past four seasons. Holiday played in all 82 games with the New York Knicks during the 2016-2017 season and all 82 contests in the 2018-2019 campaign during his time with the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies.

Holiday also played in each of the 72 games this season for the Pacers during the shortened season and scored 10.5 points per game. He was also a bench player for the 2015 Warriors title-winning team.

READ NEXT: Analyst Predicts Warriors’ NBA Finals Win if They Trade for Sixers Star

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