With the NBA trade deadline approaching on February 10th, the hot stove and rumors are starting to gain some steam. Minor trades have already been made throughout the league, but there are some big fish still available, including names that have been circulating for many months now, like Ben Simmons.
After getting off to a torrid start, the Warriors have fallen on some difficult times as of late, with injuries mounting up and difficult adjustments being made with the return of Klay Thompson. Steph Curry has been going through a tough shooting spell for a few weeks, and the absence of Draymond Green has really highlighted some inefficiencies in the offense and defense.
The roster is fully stocked, so any change to the Warriors almost assuredly would have to come via trade. So the question remains, should the Warriors again explore acquiring Simmons before it is too late?
Former Warrior Dorell Wright is not too keen on the idea given the cost of making the acquisition.
"I think with this team right now is perfect," Wright said on the latest episode of the Dubs Talk podcast. "For Ben Simmons, of course you call and just see what is going on, because he is a big-time player, former number one pick, and we know all the things he brings to the game. So you definitely want to know exactly what they are looking for."
"But I really, really like this team, because I think you would have to give up too much for Ben Simmons," Wright said.
For Wright, the reality that the team would have to include Andrew Wiggins into the package to make the money work is what gives him pause.
"I'm not trading Wiggins. That would be a big mistake getting rid of Wiggins," Wright declared.
"Now, if you are not talking about messing up anything with the core guys, and when I say core, I mean Klay, Steph, Draymond and Wiggins. If you do not have to touch those four, then maybe we can talk a little bit more about making that happen," Wright explained. "If it is going to mess up those core guys, I would not even think about doing it. It is all about winning right now. These guys are getting older and older in their career, and I am pretty sure they want to win more championships, not just one, but maybe a few more. So if you can keep those four guys, then maybe I will take a look at it."
However, without adding any of the four main salaries into the mix, any deal for Simmons would be extremely difficult and highly unlikely to accumulate enough outgoing salary.
"Basically what I'm saying is impossible," Wright laughed.
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Simmons of course will likely not be the only impactful player made available before the deadline. However, like Simmons, practically all great players carry a large salary, and Wiggins would yet again need to be the building block of a trade. To Wright, trading away Wiggins would require a return of a highly specific type of player.
"That person needs to be a '3 & D' guy. Period," Wright said. "Because that is the beauty of having Andrew Wiggins. You take so much pressure off of Klay Thompson now, he does not have to guard the best player on the other team. So whomever you get for Andrew Wiggins has to be able to guard. If he can't guard, and then he can't get you a bucket on the other end, it is kind of hard."
"You would be lacking in wings," Wright continued. "The thing about Andrew Wiggins is he is versatile. You can post him up, you can put him in the pick and roll, you can use his length against point guards if you need him to guard a Ja Morant. He's so versatile, it is kind of hard to give up someone like that for someone that can score a little bit better."
"There are a lot of guys out there that do not have the same intangibles as Andrew Wiggins."
So by removing Wiggins from the equation, the list of high-impact players that the Warriors could acquire shrinks considerably. Despite a recent injury, Myles Turner remains a name that has circulated around the rumor mill in regards to the Warriors. The Indiana Pacers big man is an elite rim defender that can stretch the floor as well. With the uncertainty of James Wiseman's recovery timeline, and even more, the unknown of what exactly he can bring to the team at this point, the Warriors could consider making a move.
Yet, like the many reports squashing the idea that the Warriors would consider trading Wiseman, Wright is opposed to any such trade.
"I want to see Wiseman blossom, I think this is a perfect team to see what he brings," Wright said.
"With Myles Turner, he's a good young player," Wright continued. "The thing with him is that he hangs around the 3-point line a little too much for me. I think for this team, you need a guy that can be in the dunker area, somebody like a JaVale McGee, that can block shots, and Myles Turner does do that. But you need a lob threat, and if you hang around the 3-point line too much, then you kind of take away what he does well."
"It is definitely a tough one, but I would like to see what James Wiseman can bring."