Proposal Has Warriors Trade Young Center to OKC for Draft Pick Haul

James Wiseman

Getty James Wiseman and Steph Curry celebrate a play in a game against the Sacramento Kings.

The Golden State Warriors hoped they were getting a cornerstone of the future when they took center James Wiseman with the No. 2 overall pick in 2020.

Now, one analyst suggests that the Warriors could be ready to trade the 20-year-old big man and seek out a player who could bring a more immediate impact. Wiseman showed flashes of strong play in his rookie season, but his year was cut short by a knee injury and Wiseman has yet to suit up for the Warriors this season. With Wiseman’s return date not yet set in stone and his impact on the team still uncertain, Derek Parker of’s Inside the Thunder believes the time could be right for Golden State to deal him.

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Warriors Cut Bait, Ship Wiseman

As Parker noted, there is some growing urgency in Oklahoma City to find their big man of the future and Wiseman seems a logical target. While the Thunder would not be able to send an immediate impact player to the Warriors, they would be able to offer a slate of draft picks.

“Oklahoma City would need to put together a decently significant package of picks to acquire Wiseman. Golden State could in turn use the picks to grab a star player on a team looking to enter more of a rebuilding phase,” Parker wrote.

In his proposed trade, Parker has the Warriors landing a pair of potential rotational players in point guard Ty Jerome and forward Kenrich Williams along with first-round picks in 2023 (from the Denver Nuggets), 2024 (Los Angeles Clippers) and 2025 (Philadelphia 76ers).

There had been rumors stretching back to last season that the Warriors were looking for one more established NBA star for a title run this year, but they ended up using their pair of lottery picks to take Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. A new group of draft picks could give the Warriors more ammunition to try another trade this season.

Big Moves Not Likely

Despite the trade speculation that has followed the Warriors through last season and this one, the team has given indications that no big moves are likely. Owner Joe Lacob spoke to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami back in November, saying the team is intentionally developing its young stars alongside the established stars.

“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.”

The Warriors have also yet to see how Wiseman could continue to develop in his second season. As Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported, Wiseman is on track to get into more contact work in practice as he continues rehabbing his knee. His exact return date remains uncertain.

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