Plenty of rumors were flying around leading up to November's NBA draft regarding a potential trade involving the Warriors and the Chicago Bulls, centered around an exchange of Golden State's No. 2 overall pick for the No. 4 pick and Chicago center Wendell Carter Jr., who some believed created a positional redundancy for the Bulls. But nothing ultimately came together, and Carter tells The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry he never put much stock in a potential trade to the Bay Area.
“When I first saw it, I kind of knew it was BS,” Carter told Mayberry. “I didn’t pay much attention to it … I had a lot of faith I was going to be here. I knew the coaching staff and the front office believed in me from the talks that we’ve had. So I knew I was going to be a Bull. But it’s always a little anxiety when you see your name floating around as possibly being traded. But deep down in my heart, I knew I was going to be a Bull.”
The Warriors retained the second selection and chose Memphis center James Wiseman, while Chicago also stayed put and drafted power forward Patrick Williams out of Florida State.
Carter Jr. was Chicago's seventh overall pick back in 2018 and has started all 87 of his NBA appearances. The Duke product averaged 11.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game last season prior to the season's coronavirus suspension.
Golden State was able to bring in a player just about every expert pegged as the best big man in the draft class, while still hanging on to valuable trade assets, including the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2021 first-round draft pick.
Carter Jr. could have been a nice addition to the Warriors' frontcourt, but Chicago likely had no interest in giving up on the 21-year-old after less than two full seasons.