Now that the Golden State Warriors’ season is over, the franchise has a crucial offseason ahead. How can it maximize superstar guard Stephen Curry’s extended prime?
For some, the answer to that question involves trading this year’s first-round draft choice, center James Wiseman.
That’s exacerbated by Golden State’s late-season success playing plenty of “small-ball,” thriving without a true center for much of the time. But according to one Warriors insider, The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, the early feeling around the Warriors is that the club will hold onto its No. 2 overall pick from just a few months ago.
But the early sense, before any market has materialized and the organizational power players have had necessary summer conversations, is that the Warriors expect to move forward with Wiseman. His value has presumably decreased, yet the internal belief is that he will eventually blossom. So this would be a sell-low moment, if nothing more than a marginal rotation upgrade is offered.Anthony Slater/The Athletic
It’s worth noting that part of the reasoning behind keeping Wiseman is that his value is down. But Slater’s report is no-doubt largely based in the Warriors’ belief in Wiseman.
It definitely early, however. The NBA Draft order has yet to be set, and the position of Golden State’s draft picks (Minnesota’s top-3 protected pick and its own late lottery choice), could alter the offseason landscape for the Warriors.
Golden State is in a tough spot here: it needs help immediately to extend Curry’s prime, and it’s unclear how much Wiseman can help with that, especially considering he’ll rehab from his torn meniscus this offseason rather than work on his game. But the Warriors still believe he’ll blossom long-term.
Wiseman can contribute next season — think a JaVale McGee-type presence — but he’s unlikely to be a major factor in a championship run, due to his youth and inexperience. For now though, it appears he’s part of the plan. Still, one has to figure: if the Warriors can get a big-name player for Wiseman, that early sense around Golden State could change real fast.
(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)