The Warriors are currently the favorites to win the Western Conference and have the second best odds to win the NBA Championship. Because of the team’s success this season it’s fair to say that the Warriors are in win-now mode. If a player that the Warriors covet becomes available would they be willing to part with Wiseman?
Wiseman’s Career So Far
Wiseman played in 39 games last season for the Warriors averaging 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. A season ending surgery on his right meniscus ended his rookie season early. Prior to the season the team was hopeful that Wiseman would be available for training camp, but he’s yet to be cleared for full contact.
Unfortunately, Wiseman had another setback on December 31 when he was placed in the league’s health and safety protocols.
The good news, according to head coach Steve Kerr, is that Wiseman was on the verge of being cleared to return to practice before being placed in protocol. Hopefully that means he can return soon after clearing protocols. Ultimately though what might make the Warriors trade Wiseman is the strength of the roster.
The Warriors Roster
The Warriors currently have one of the best rosters in the league. One that is balanced with both veteran star power and promising young talent. With the strong start to the season and the eventual return of Klay Thompson to the starting lineup there’s plenty of reason for the Warriors to be in win now mode. If Thompson returns to close to his original self the Warriors could even end up being the favorites to win the championship.
Beyond the usual suspects of Steph Curry and Draymond Green, the Warriors’ supporting cast has had a great season so far. Andrew Wiggins is in the middle of the best shooting season of his career, averaging 19 points per game while shooting 48.7% from the field and 43.4% from three. In his his third season, Jordan Poole is averaging a career-best 17.6 points per game.
Other role players like Otto Porter Jr., Damion Lee, and Gary Payton II have all played well, with all three averaging between 7.7 and 8.4 points per game. On the interior Kevon Looney has still been productive for the Warriors averaging 6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 19.5 minutes per game. Nemanja Bjelica has also played in all 35 games, chipping in 6.7 points and 4 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. Rookie Jonathan Kuminga has also seen an uptick in minutes in the last ten games scoring 6.8 points in 11.8 minutes per game.
With all that talent on the roster and the way the Warriors have been playing it’ll be interesting to see how they try to integrate Wiseman when he returns. Will they be able to find the playing time for him to develop?
Ultimately, the Warriors are unlikely to trade Wiseman. The team has been patient with his recovery and isn’t going to trade him for cheap. Also it’s unlikely that another team would trade anything significant for Wiseman, given the uncertainty around his injury, without other compensation. Furthermore the Warriors are in a position where they don’t have to make any moves. The team is already a championship contender and if they can figure out how to integrate Wiseman when he returns, then it’s just another weapon for them down the stretch.