News continues to circulate about whom the Golden State Warriors could select in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft. While top-ranked big man James Wiseman would shore up their frontcourt for the future alongside their sharp-shooting but aging core, guards such as Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball could inject new life into the run-n-gun style of play the Warriors use. Additionally, either guard could help carry the regular season scoring load from the “Splash Brothers” of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to help save their legs for the playoffs.
While a learning curve would be needed for any rookie that would walk into the Warriors franchise, it may be more suitable for them and their championship window to trade for an experienced and seasoned player who can contribute immediately to the team.
Former NBA champion and current NBA analyst Paul Pierce suggested the Warriors do just that. In a recent episode of ESPN’s “The Jump”, Pierce stated the Warriors would be better off calling up the Orlando Magic and inquiring about a frontcourt centerpiece they’ve had for years.
“I think it’s all gonna be predicated on what they do with this (No. 2 overall) draft pick,” he said. “If they can turn this draft pick and (Andrew) Wiggins into acquiring another All-Star or All-Star caliber player, then yes they can get back into contention.
“And a name that comes to mind — (Nikola) Vucevic. I think he could go in there and fit right in among their guards. He gives them a down-low presence (and) can knock down shots.
“If they can do that, then yes. But if not, they’ll be right there in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference.”
How Vucevic could become a Warrior
Vucevic would be a great addition to the Warriors organization. A former all-star, career 33.5% three-point shooter, and being a very reliable presence in the paint, he would provide a good low post option for the team in the playoffs when games begin to slow down and are more predicated on the half-court offense.
In order for this trade to work, a number of pieces would have to be involved and move from the Magic and Warriors. A few months ago, Bleacher Report’s Preston Ellis floated the idea via a 3-team trade that would include the Chicago Bulls as well.
Golden State Gets: Nikola Vucevic, Khem Birch, 2020 No. 15 pick from ORL
Orlando Gets: Zach LaVine, Tomas Satoransky, Kevon Looney, 2020 No. 4 pick from CHI, 2021 first-round pick from GSW (via MIN)
Chicago Gets: Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Isaac, 2020 No. 2 pick from GSW
A 3-team trade of this magnitude would not only be surprising but send shockwaves through the league due to its unexpected nature. It’s a fun idea to play around with but isn’t something that should be expected for the Warriors, or Magic or Bulls, to do.
Other Players on Warriors’ Radar
Vucevic, again, would be a great addition to the team yet trading Andrew Wiggins would leave a wing position unfilled for the Warriors, and in the championship seasons, they’ve consistently received solid play from their small forwards on both the offensive and defensive end of the court.
Another player who may be better suited for their trade scenarios would be the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal who could become available in the near future. He may not be a small forward but this is when Thompson’s size becomes an asset as Beal would be the starting shoot guard and Thompson the starting 3. Despite Beal’s comments on wanting to remain with the Wizards for his career, after playing well enough to average 30.5 points, 6 assists, shoot 35% from behind the three-point line and 84% from the free-throw line, and becoming the universal pick for player snubbed for the 2019-2020 all-star game, it may only be a matter of time before he wants a change of scenery to increase his chances of becoming a champion.