Rangy, Two-Way Big Man Namechecked as Warriors Trade Target

James Wiseman Warriors Steve Kerr

Getty Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman speaks with head coach Steve Kerr during a 2021 game against the Indiana Pacers.

James Wiseman is only three games into what Steve Kerr has referred to as an “extended” G League assignment, but the Golden State Warriors center is already raising eyebrows with his play. So far, the former No. 2 overall pick is averaging 16.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 25.2 minutes per game.

Of course, it’s hard to get too excited about his counting stats at a lower level of competition; what the Warriors really need is for him to be able to contribute to winning another title. And the 97 points that they have been outscored in his 210 minutes on the floor doesn’t inspire confidence that he’s going to this season.

As such, Kerr and the rest of the Warriors’ key decision-makers — Bob Myers, Joe Lacob — may have to do some real soul-searching about how invested they are in actually seeing Wiseman’s development through to the end.

If getting another ring for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is the chief objective, the time to make some kind of a move is nigh. To that end, one analyst just pitched a trade netting the club a battle-tested vet with two-way prowess.

Trade Proposal Brings Kelly Olynyk to the Bay

Bleacher Report‘s Greg Swartz just dropped a mega-feature in which he attempted to identify one new trade idea for every team in the league. However, the Bay Area crew was actually included in multiple trades written for the piece.

The trade that was pitched for the surprisingly-potent Utah Jazz was particularly intriguing if you’re someone who’s into the idea of swapping Wiseman for a win-now five-man. Here’s Swartz’s proposal:

  • Golden State Warriors receive F/C Kelly Olynyk and a 2025 second-round pick
  • Utah Jazz receive C James Wiseman and G Ryan Rollins

“Golden State receives an elite shooting big man to take Wiseman’s spot in the frontcourt, and Olynyk’s passing ability fits well in the Warriors’ offensive system,” the hoops scribe opined. “Getting a future second-rounder helps convince them to give up on Wiseman’s potential as well.”

Entering Wednesday night’s games, Olynyk is averaging 12.6 points, nearly five rebounds, three assists and 1.2 steals per contest. He’s also shooting 54.7% from the floor and 50% (!!) from deep. Going beyond the numbers, though, he’s been a glue guy for a Jazz team that’s still getting it done sans Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.

And while he’s definitely not a rim protector, he has smarts on the defensive side of the ball that Wiseman is still working to develop.

Would the Jazz Actually Trade Olynyk, Though?

The qualifier that Swartz gave for Utah being willing to do this kind of trade was Danny Ainge and Co. deciding to “start losing games.” And while the wins aren’t coming as furiously as they were during the first couple weeks of the season, the Jazz certainly don’t look to be tanking.

If — and that might be a biiiiig IF — something changes, however, Wiseman and Rollins are exactly the kinds of players Ainge should be coveting. Specifically, high-upside youngsters on low-dollar or rookie-scale deals.

Added Swartz: “Wiseman would get a far greater opportunity in Utah with a young center rotation, and Rollins, 20, could study behind Mike Conley Jr. for a while.”

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