Warriors

Why hypothetical Warriors trade for Vucevic seems unlikely

Warriors

The 2020 NBA Draft was supposed to be held June 25, and now it looks like it won't happen until Nov. 18.

So, people all across the basketball world have a lot of free time on their hands to come up with hypothetical blockbuster trades.

And because the Warriors possess the rights to the No. 2 overall pick in the draft -- and have let it be known that trading it is a real possibility -- they are involved in a lot of the proposed deals.

Bleacher Report's Preston Ellis this week submitted the following three-team trade scenario:

Warriors get: Nikola Vucevic, Khem Birch, No. 15 overall pick in 2020 draft (from the Magic)

Orlando Magic get: Zach LaVine, Tomas Satoransky, Kevon Looney, No. 4 overall pick in 2020 draft (from the Bulls), Minnesota Timberwolves' 2021 top-three protected first-round pick (from the Warriors)

Chicago Bulls get: Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Isaac, No. 2 overall pick in 2020 draft (from the Warriors)

We'll only focus on this from a Golden State perspective, and the fact is you shouldn't expect this trade to happen.

Vucevic -- who was an All-Star in 2019 -- is a terrific offensive player, as he averaged 20.3 points and 3.6 assists per game over the last two seasons, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 35 percent from deep (on 3.7 attempts). A lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, (somebody at small forward), Draymond Green and Vucevic practically would be unstoppable.

 

But while he is a very good rebounder, the No. 16 overall pick from the 2011 draft is not exactly known for his defense and/or rim protection. Vucevic turns 30 in October, and is scheduled to make $26 million, $24 million and $22 million the next three seasons, respectively.

Also, parting ways with Wiggins -- and not receiving a wing in return -- would leave a big hole at a position of need in today's NBA.

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Yet it's not any of these potential concerns that makes Golden State acquiring Vucevic seem unlikely. Rather, it's safe to assume the Warriors -- if unable to execute a major trade this offseason -- would prefer to hold on to their most valuable assets into next season, in case a bigger star becomes available. The Warriors' front office wants to be in position to strike if Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Bradley Beal or somebody else is put on the market.

Lastly, the Warriors will have the ability to acquire an established big man during this upcoming free agency through the $6 million-ish taxpayer mid-level exception, or via their $17.2 million traded player exception.

Stay tuned.

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