Erudite Warrior: Exploring the Wiseman, No. 7 Draft pick, Siakam trade rumor
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From John Hollinger at TheAthletic earlier today:
…there is a widespread expectation that the Warriors will use No. 7 and (James) Wiseman, in particular, to seek more immediate upgrades to the roster. One name to watch: Pascal Siakam.
…which, sadly, caused a whirlwind of “Wiseman-expected-to-get-traded” aggregation:
(Screenshot by Tara, one of our IG followers)
I’m going to assume the hypothetical trade involves Andrew Wiggins for the salaries to match, plus Wiseman and the No. 7 pick for Siakam.
I have a few thoughts about this idea, but first, it's important to point out that this all stems from Hollinger spitballing, and we have no real evidence that there is an actual trade rumor behind this, so all of us fans should temper our feelings accordingly.
However, I do think that Siakam is one of the more reasonably available targets that the Golden State Warriors could go get, given the assets they have.
The Toronto Raptors do seem like a team that might just pivot towards having a younger core, and starting with picks No. 4 and 7 in this Draft plus Wiseman, that’s a pretty sweet instant group to get there.
DubNation’s pipe dreams for Kawhi Leonard or whomever else in that top tier of players need to be tamped down to more realistically attainable guys. Siakam at least fits the mold of someone who is certainly a really good player who could help a team win, and might actually be on the market for the right deal.
With that said, this move feels unlikely to me from a basketball and PR standpoint.
Siakam fits a bit weirdly, though, into who would remain with the Warriors after this proposed trade. Obviously, there would be more offseason moves to make, but this would be the only big swing available to Golden State. The team's powder would be spent, so any other additions would have to be with the taxpayer MLE and/or veteran’s minimum salary slots.
Siakam is a 4 with the ability to play some small-ball 5. That's cool, unless you have a guy who already does that in your core group named Draymond Green. With the Warriors long-reticent to push Dray to play the 5 full-time in the regular season, a presumed starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Siakam, Dray and Kevon Looney seems like an odd fit on both ends.
Can Siakam match up with the speed of the elite wings in the league? Can he shoot well enough to help with spacing issues? His last normal year, he shot 36% on threes, while Wiggins shot 38%.
I'm not sold on this being the player worth pushing in all the chips. But is he the best player that could be realistically available for the Warriors’ trade package? Maybe. He was an effective second or third guy on a title team at 24 years old, and while he’s struggled a bit trying to be the Raptors’ go-to guy, that isn’t the role he’d be asked to play here.
Additionally, though, to sell low on Wiseman is a big PR hit from last year for the Warriors’ front office, and it feels like it's unlikely they do so unless they are netting a bigger fish, or making a trade that could more clearly be sold as a win.
I believe Hollinger is certainly correct in implying that general manager Bob Myers is exploring all sorts of ways to add vets as upgrades to the roster and that Wiseman and/or the No. 7 pick are definitely on the table for the right player, but is that player Siakam? I’m hesitant to think so.