Warriors

Debate on trading Wiseman isn't Warriors' biggest dilemma

Warriors
James Wiseman

This is a critical offseason for the Warriors.

After five straight trips to the NBA Finals, the Warriors now have missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and have to find a way to put a championship-caliber team around Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as their primes wind down.

Curry is 33. Thompson and Green are 31. The clock is ticking, and the Warriors are out of time to decide how best to proceed going forward. They owe it to Curry, Thompson and Green to go all-in to give them their best chance to compete for another Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Given the Warriors' cap situation, the only way for them to dramatically improve the team is to orchestrate a trade for another star to put with their core three.

Most of the offseason talk surrounding the Warriors has centered on young center James Wiseman, his development and whether or not they should trade the 20-year-old center as the centerpiece of a package to get Curry help.

President of basketball operations Bob Myers has said he doesn't want to trade Wiseman. The Warriors believe he can be part of the solution and grow into a franchise center.

But whether or not to trade Wiseman isn't the biggest dilemma facing the Warriors' brass. Of course, if a deal presents itself for a star-level talent, they won't hesitate to include Wiseman in such a deal.

There's no doubt the Warriors, with Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected 2021 first-round pick and their own lottery pick have one of, if not the best trade package to offer anyone this summer.

 

But the problem is: For who?

Wiggins is coming off a bounce-back season and has clear value to the Warriors on both ends of the floor. They'd be selling low on Wiseman's value after a rocky rookie season, but his talent and potential were evident last season.

If the lottery balls bounce the Warriors' way and the T-Wolves' pick conveys at No. 4 (a 9.6 percent chance), or the Warriors' own pick skyrockets into the top four (a 2.4 percent chance), either one of those becomes one of the best assets on the trade market.

It's a haul that should land you a star.

But there isn't anyone out there that's worth that price.

Bradley Beal appears, for the moment, set on sticking it out in Washington and trying to win with the Wizards. Damian Lillard isn't going anywhere.

Kristaps Porzingis is available and also a shell of himself with an albatross contract. Pass.

Given the way Paul George is playing and the fact that the Los Angeles Clippers are one win away from the Western Conference finals, that fever dream has almost certainly disappeared.

It's the NBA, so there's always a chance another superstar gets upset and tries to force his way out of town. The Warriors would be an attractive trade destination for an All-Star player who believes he can be the missing piece in a championship puzzle.

RELATED: Wiseman was 'livid' watching play-in games

But as of right now, the trade market is barren of anything worthy of the Warriors' trade package.

They have the assets to make a big splash, and the motivation to find a game-changing partner for Curry, Thompson and Green will be at an all-time high.

The Warriors have a package that teams should flock toward. It's as enticing as it gets.

But they can't let the motivation turn to desperation and sell low on Wiseman for anything less than that which can elevate them from fringe playoff team to legitimate title threat.

That opportunity might not present itself. If it doesn't, the Warriors should be content to hold onto Wiggins, Wiseman and their picks and live to deal another day.

They'll only get one shot, and a desperate mistake would be a disaster hard to come back from.

Download and subscribe to the Dubs Talk Podcast