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Should The Warriors Move James Wiseman Soon?

By Jeff Stinger

James Wiseman is definitely the biggest name to land on the Golden State Warriors in the past few years. But, a significant lack of impact on the Dubs’ hopes of defending the title takes him back to trade talks ahead of the February deadline. Given his stature as a recent number two overall pick and a massive $9.6-million salary, the 21-year-old’s name has been thrown around in a series of trade discussions as the franchise looks to find more stability in the second half of the season.

There are plenty of reasons why Wiseman should stay and leave the Warriors. He’s exhibited signs of development in the past few weeks. However, the Dubs did prove that they could win without him last season. Beyond that, there are speculations why the franchise will be ready to move him soon.

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Is Wiseman really ready?

The Golden State Warriors have to navigate unsteady spells of the season with their star guard Stephen Curry in and out of the lineup due to injury. This puts their chances of back-to-back championships under fire. The Dubs have been poor on the road this season even with Curry on the floor, and now their home record will be tested multiple times before closing the first half of the campaign.

What this brings about are talks to make changes before the trade deadline regardless of Curry’s status. The team lost pivotal rotation players when Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. departed the team. Young talent Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga haven’t reached the level expected from them yet. This begs the question of what the Warriors do with James Wiseman in the near future.

Wiseman jumped between the Warriors and the G-League, which is not ideal for a former No. 2 overall pick. The big man faced a fair share of injuries but appears to be healthy now. He performed well a few times this season. But for a team trying to chase a guaranteed playoff spot and a clearer path to the finals, is there enough merit to keep Wiseman around, or is he a bargaining chip the franchise can use to take in a player that can make an immediate impact?

No time to lose

The Golden State Warriors is a franchise that prides itself on developing players and building its core pieces through the draft. Trading Wiseman would be a move that veers away from that familiar system, and it’s why there remains a solid chance he remains on the Warriors after February.

But, we do love throwing out “what ifs?” during the trade window. That said, a trade idea with the Chicago Bulls is worth looking forward to. This trade has been lurking around the rumor mill. It makes sense for both teams to consider the trade. Wiseman was a second overall pick in the draft and still holds the untapped potential it takes to become a star.

With the Warriors’ core team aging, they do not have the time to wait and see if Wiseman does develop into the player they anticipated him to be. They have a win-now team built around their big three. Alex Caruso is an NBA champion and could fit into any system quickly. The Bulls can revive their frontcourt depth this season with Wiseman in case Nikola Vucevic exits in free agency as he unsuccessfully closed an extension agreement with the Bulls.

Ultimately, if the 21-year-old fails to progress as expected, Golden State could be forced to ship the cente for immediate help.

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