Golden State Warriors

James Wiseman would cost Warriors $90 million in 2023-24

The Warriors have a tough decision to make with James Wiseman. The better he plays, the easier it will be, no matter what they choose to do.

Warriors center James Wiseman has tons of potential. But how much is Golden State willing to spend to see it come to fruition?

Because of the Warriors’ sky-high payroll dotted with superstar contracts and Wiseman’s slow development due to injury, Golden State will have to commit a massive amount of cash to Wiseman next season, even if it’s unclear how good he actually is at this time.

That’s according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau. His report explores possible trade scenarios, including a previously reported trade suggestion involving Wiseman, C Jakob Poeltl, and the Spurs.

Perhaps the most palatable option would be to unload Wiseman, who has done little to show he is worth the roughly $90 million — between salary and luxury-tax penalties — he will cost the Warriors next season.

The problem is that his market value is at an all-time low. LJ Ellis of SpursTalk recently reported that the Warriors are interested in flipping Wiseman for San Antonio center Jakob Poeltl, which makes sense, given Golden State’s need for a defensive-minded center to back up Kevon Looney. But according to Ellis, the Spurs aren’t high on Wiseman and likely would need sufficient draft capital to get a Poeltl deal done.

San Francisco Chronicle/Connor Letourneau

Since Wiseman will cost the Warriors $90 million next year due to salary and luxury-tax penalties, his value on the Warriors is diminished. And because of his unfulfilled potential on the court, his value is also low for other teams. That’s a legit problem. But the solution is clear.

Wiseman has to start balling out, fast. He finally showcased the ability he displayed before he got hurt his rookie year, though it was in a blowout loss to the Nets on Wednesday. He tallied 30 points in just 28 minutes on 12-for-14 shooting, including a 3-pointer.

Wiseman may have to do much more than that to remain a Warrior though. Namely, he has to play well alongside superstar Steph Curry, who was out on Wednesday, along with a host of other starters.

But maybe not. Ultimately, salary decisions are up to team owner Joe Lacob. Regardless, Wiseman’s low value has to increase for the Warriors to have any favorable options with their young center, so Wednesday was a good day.

What do you think? Is Wiseman worth $90 million bucks next season? Should the Warriors trade him, assuming his value increases, which it already has after this 30-point performance? Those are tough questions for Golden State. But the better Wiseman plays, the easier they’ll be to answer.

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