The No. 1 decision for the Golden State Warriors as it builds its roster for next season could very well be whether to trade center James Wiseman, the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
But league insiders have apparently already determined what general manager Bob Myers will do with the talented but raw Wiseman. Golden State won the seventh overall choice in this year’s draft, and The Athletic’s John Hollinger reports that most expect Myers to pair that pick with Wiseman and go shopping for All-Stars via trade.
Golden State assured itself of an additional first-round pick when Minnesota failed to land in the top three on lottery night. The Warriors now have the seventh and 14th picks plus last year’s second overall pick, James Wiseman, and there is a widespread expectation that the Warriors will use No. 7 and Wiseman, in particular, to seek more immediate upgrades to the roster. One name to watch: Pascal Siakam.John Hollinger/The Athletic
Though I’m a fan of Wiseman, Raptors forward Pascal Siakam would be an impressive return. He’s an NBA champion (winning in 2019 against the Warriors, regrettably), and he’s a one-time All Star.
But for the trade to work, the salary-stretched Warriors would have to send one of their high-priced players back in return. That would almost assuredly be forward Andrew Wiggins. So while adding Siakam sounds nice, he wouldn’t be adding to the club as much as simply replacing a very capable role player already on the roster.
Wiggins isn’t an All Star, but he had a career year in 2020-21. He shot the ball from 3-point land and played defense better than ever. Siakam shot can get hot, but he’s more of a slashing scorer. He shot just below 30 percent from distance this season, and he shoots 33 percent beyond the arch for his career.
If salary were of no concern, adding Siakam would be very appealing. But despite his All-Star status, he’s not enough of an upgrade over Wiggins to relinquish Wiseman and the No. 7 pick. That’s just crazy, regardless of how many insiders may expect it to happen.