Houston Rockets – Team #4: Golden State Warriors
If the Golden State Warriors don’t give the Rockets a call over Victor Oladipo it means one of two things. First, it means they’re content with barely making the playoffs and getting axed in the first round, and second, it means they think James Wiseman is a future All-NBA player.
Even if the Warriors believe that Wiseman is a future All-Star they should trade him now to build a roster that can compete for a title this season and next. Their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are all past the age of 30.
Wiseman turns 20 in March and his prime won’t be for another five to six seasons. Unless the Warriors are convinced he is an All-NBA talent, moving him for immediate help makes much more sense than keeping him around as their core ages out of the league.
The Warriors are a perfect fit for Victor Oladipo and PJ Tucker as they would give them a fighter’s chance in the Western Conference this year as they wait on Klay Thompson to recover from yet another season-ending injury. Oladipo fits like a glove next to Curry as he can play off the ball, initiate the offense, and cover the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer.
Tucker still remains an excellent defender and he will always be reliable from the corner on offense. A starting lineup that features Curry, Oladipo, Tucker, and Draymond has the ability to beat any team with their combination of firepower and defensive flexibility.
The Rockets would receive James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins but no future draft compensation. While Warriors fans might say this is too much talent to surrender for a rental, it actually solves one of the franchise’s greatest problems going forward.
As it currently stands, the Warriors have $164 million in salary commitments for next season. Trading for two rentals who will be off the books next year and sending Wiseman and Wiggins out will save them nearly $40 million in cap space.
This trade would see the Rockets secure two long-term building blocks but it would go against their recent trend of cutting costs. If the Rockets are willing to spend money over the next few seasons then this is a trade that they would have to sign off on.
In the end, the Warriors might view Wiseman as too good of a long-term prospect to move for a rental but the franchise needs to come to terms with the reality that his prime is a long way off. Victor Oladipo makes the Warriors better this year than Wiseman does and having Wiggins off the books helps the franchise’s finances to such a degree that they would have to consider this trade if offered it.
Next: Team 3