Warriors Trade Proposal Flips Wiseman For $37 Million Big Man

James Wiseman, Warriors

Getty Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball against James Wiseman of the Golden State Warriors during a game at Footprint Center on October 25, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The saga of James Wiseman continues and could end with the former No. 2 pick parting ways with the Golden State Warriors this season.

Wiseman’s value has plummeted from two years ago, after recurring knee issues cut his rookie campaign short and sidelined him for the entirety of last season. Dubs head coach Steve Kerr recently admitted that Golden State is nearing the end of its dynasty. If that feeling is pervasive throughout the organization, it could lead to a decision to move on from Wiseman, despite general manager Bob Myers saying earlier this month that the front office isn’t looking to make roster changes too quickly in reaction to the team’s slow start.

Sam Esfandiari of Bleacher Report on Friday, November 18, authored a list of five plausible trade packages the Warriors could pursue in return for Wiseman considering his projected value at this point in time. While less sexy than some other names floated in the past, one of the most logical options is Kelly Olynyk of the Utah Jazz.

Proposal Flips Wiseman, Baldwin to Jazz For Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk, Jazz

GettyCenter Kelly Olynyk of the Utah Jazz drives to the basket over Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game at the Vivint Arena on November 7, 2022 in Salt Lake City Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/ Getty Images)

Olynyk has been a solid contributor to Utah’s 10-6 start, which is strangely a problem since the Jazz made multiple moves over the offseason to reset and rebuild for the future.

That strategy, and how it has backfired in the form of winning, make the team’s starting center a prime candidate to be moved to a franchise he could help this year. Olynyk is averaging 13.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals for the Jazz through 16 games, per Basketball Reference.

Esfandiari laid out an argument for the Warriors pursuing Olynyk in exchange for Wiseman and rookie small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. as follows:

The Jazz’s surprising start caught the league by storm. But moves to deal Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert for draft picks signal a long-term rebuild. However fun this story has been, do not be surprised if Utah sells off vets for long-term upside plays. Olynyk is potentially one of those plays.

In Olynyk, 31, the Warriors would get a player who … fits the motion offense to a tee. An excellent passer and screener and a reliable three-point shooter, Olynyk could provide the necessary spacing to maximize [Jonathan] Kuminga as a cutter and optimize the second unit.

In Wiseman and Baldwin, Utah would be taking a swing, betting their lower-stakes environment is exactly what Wiseman needs to get back on track and fulfill the promise of a high lottery pick.

Warriors Recently Demoted Wiseman to G League

James Wiseman of the Golden State Warriors.

GettyCenter James Wiseman of the Golden State Warriors was recently relegated to the G League.

Olynyk, a 10-year veteran, has extensive playoff experience with both the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. He is currently playing in the second year of an affordable $37.2 million, three-year deal.

For those reasons, and the ones mentioned by Esfandiari above, Olynyk makes some sense as a swap for Wiseman. Kerr noted that Wiseman’s long-term prospects remain strong, but that the center was recently demoted to the G League because he needs floor time and has hurt the Warriors when he has played.

“Steve Kerr on James Wiseman: ‘I’m a huge believer, long term he’s gonna be a real good player. But, he needs reps…'” The Warriors Talk account tweeted on Monday, November 14.

Even if Wiseman can attain the form Golden State had hoped when drafting him, his timeline doesn’t sync up as well with that of the Warriors’ star players as does Olynyk’s. The Dubs may decide to hold onto Wiseman for a while as they continue to navigate the poor start to their season, but if they do move the third-year center, Olynyk would be a quality piece in return.

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