The Golden State Warriors are in a unique position. It’s not often that an NBA team can call itself a championship contender while also owning three lottery picks in two years, but here Golden State is with the 2020 No. 2 overall pick, James Wiseman, in the bag and the No. 7 and No. 14 pick in this year’s draft ready to be cashed in.
The question is: How will the Warriors cash those picks in? Will they stay put and simply draft the best player that falls to them at each position? Will they package 7 and 14 to move up for one higher pick? Will they trade one and keep one? What about Wiseman? Is he on the table?
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Warriors president Bob Myers recently stated that the team will not prioritize the development of young players over winning in the immediacy, which is to say, if Wiseman and/or whomever the Warriors potentially get with this year’s lottery pick(s) aren’t ready to meaningfully contribute right away, they’re basically on the table. Which brings us to NBA Insider and former Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger, who noted the following in a recent piece for The Athletic:
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.
Now this is interesting. If the Warriors are truly going to prioritize short-term returns as they attempt to squeeze every last drop of elite production that remains in the Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson/Draymond Green trio, Siakam is surely more ready to help than Wiseman, who had a disappointing rookie season and didn’t look at all ready for meaningful minutes, and a rookie.
Plus, Siakam is a more realistic target than, say, a Bradley Beal, who’s on everyone’s wish list. If a player like that were to come on the market, Wiseman and a mid-lottery pick wouldn’t be enough. Siakam’s stock has lost some steam, but he remains a very good two-way player that just about every team not named the Nets would be thrilled to have as a No. 3 scorer.
For the Raptors, who already own the No. 4 pick in this year’s draft, it would be tough to beat a post-Kyle Lowry revamping with Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, a 20-year-old No. 2 overall pick in Wiseman and two top-seven picks in a deep, talented draft.
The flip side, of course, would be Lowry and Siakam staying and adding the No. 4 pick to VanVleet and Anunoby, or Lowry bringing back additional help via a sign-and-trade. There are options, but given Wiseman’s upside and the quality of this draft, it’s difficult to imagine much better value for Siakam if the Raptors are indeed considering moving him.
But this is just one possibility. The point is the Warriors appear to be in deal mode. They know the clock is ticking on putting a title contender around Stephen Curry, and they have the assets to ensure they do that. If it’s not Siakam, they’ll look elsewhere. If a reasonable deal presents itself, do not expect Golden State to pass it up.