The amount of talent in the 2020 NBA Draft pales in comparison to the 2019 NBA Draft, which makes Golden State’s scenario with the #2 pick interesting. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry will be coming back healthy this next season and adding in a rookie may not fit what the Warriors want to do. Both players are at least 30 years old, and their window for the championship is closing fast. So bringing in a rookie to the system does not make sense for Golden State. With the amount of assets they can include in a deal, expect to see that pick on the move along with some of the Warriors young prospects.
Option #1: Golden State goes Big
One piece that Golden State has always lacked was a dominant center. Draymond Green has played a small ball center for the Warriors over the past few years, but adding Nikola Vucevic into the line-up adds size and a center that can space the floor. He has never been a deadeye shooter from three, but a career 34% from three point range makes the defender step out on him, which creates driving lanes for Curry. The Warriors would have to give up on Wiggins and the #2 pick, but Vucevic makes Golden State back into a contender.
For Orlando, it is not ideal. I mentioned the lackluster 2020 NBA Draft class, but trading Vucevic gives opportunity to Mo Bamba to see more minutes for the Magic. On top of that, the addition of Wiggins adds depth to an already solid forward position in Orlando. As mentioned, it is not ideal, but Orlando is running in place and wasting Vucevic’s prime away losing in the first round year-in-year-out. So why not start over, the East is only going to get better, so do not try to delay the rebuild for another year. Take the #2 pick and a player that has shown some flashes of being a star and attempt to rebuild around their strong forwards and the #2 pick.
Option #2: Bad Contract Swap
It is no secret that the experiment in Philly did not work out. Al Horford saw his role diminished after signing his monster four year deal, and Josh Richardson struggled to stay on the floor, playing 55 of the Sixers 73 games. So why not start over? Horford’s contract is almost untradeable, emphasis on the almost. Bring in Golden State, who would gladly try a Wiggins-Horford swap. Throw in the second pick and a depth option at center for Richardson, and both teams have to consider the deal.
Horford, a career 36% shooter from three, and a former member of an All-Defensive team, fits the mold of what Golden State is trying to do. Draymond Green and Al Horford may not be the must athletic big man tandem, but they will cause a lot of headaches for opposing big men. Throw in Richardson who averages over a steal a game for his career, and Golden State has a defensive minded team that could make a run at the title in 2021.
For Philly, taking on Wiggins is not what you want coming on the way back for Horford. Wiggins may not be the best fit for the Sixers, but he can be a spark plug, as he has a career average of just about 20 points per game. The only reason Philadelphia may consider the deal is the #2 pick. There are a lot of intriguing projects in the draft and
Option #3: A Trade Back
Arguably the most reasonable option would be a trade back, and what better team to strike a deal with then the New York Knicks. Giving the #2 pick to the Knicks makes certain that we will see LaMelo Ball under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.
For Golden State, this deal gives them a chance to assess who has been taken by the #8 pick and draft a wing. On top of the #8 pick, they receive a project piece in Frank Ntilikina. Ntilikina has been far from effective since his debut in 2017, shooting less than 40% from the field and averaging over a turnover a game. But what better player-coach combination to help progress Ntilikina into what was expected out of him as the 8th pick of the draft than Kerr and Curry. It does not get the Warriors off of Wiggins’s bad deal, but it does give them an influx of young talent.
Option #4: Vic to GSW
Trading for Victor Oladipo will be no small feat for the Warriors, and his fit may be questionable offensively. But defensively, the addition of Oladipo will give western guards and forwards trouble when he is paired with Klay Thompson. Curry and Klay can both play off the ball, so Oladipo can be a primary ball handler as well. It would take a lot of draft capital to get Oladipo’s expiring deal into Golden State, but it would be worth it as the trio of Vic-Steph-Klay can give the Warriors a chance to compete for a title.
Indiana has just fired their head coach, Oladipo’s contract is expiring, and they have the chance to add two potentially top-10 picks in the next two years. That is why the Pacers do it. Sure Wiggins is not the Oladipo replacement you are looking for, but this deal gives the new Pacers coach a chance at a fresh start. On top of that, Vic’s value may be diminishing after this season’s struggle to rebound after his injury from a couple years ago.
The Window is Closing
The #2 pick does not fit the Warriors mentality of winning next years title. Curry and Klay are on the wrong side of thirty, Green is losing value, so why not turn that lottery pick into a third star. It is the only option the Warriors have if they want to compete for next year’s title.
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