Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors Christian Wood trade #3
One of the reasons that Christian Wood is such an attractive trade candidate for the Golden State Warriors is their dire salary cap situation. The Warriors currently have $168.1 million in salary commitments for the 2021-22 season. While the NBA’s salary cap is soft, the Warriors paid $147 million last season in luxury tax alone.
The Warriors haven’t shied away from spending big but once a team goes above the luxury tax by as much and as consistently as the Warriors have, for accounting purposes, they’re essentially paying their players around 185-percent of their stated salaries. As noted before, Christian Wood’s contract is one of the most favorable in the entire league and the Warriors, more than any other team, could use a deal like his.
This trade is reminiscent of the James Harden trade in that the Rockets prioritize future assets over NBA talent. By taking on Andrew Wiggins’ contract the Rockets are saving the Warriors close to $20 million over each of the next two seasons in salary.
In many ways, this is two deals wrapped into one. In the first, the Rockets send Christian Wood to the Warriors for the seventh and 14th picks and the Warriors 2027 first-rounder. In the second, the Warriors take on Wiggins’ salary and are compensated for it with the Warriors’ 2023 and 2025 first-round picks.
Wiggins is still a useful player but he is in many ways the anti-Christian Wood. While Wood plays like an All-Star and is paid like a sixth man, Wiggins plays like a sixth man and is paid like an All-Star. This deal works for both sides in that the Warriors help their salary cap situation and add a player for another championship run and the Rockets add a bunch of future assets.
The seventh pick is a great pick, especially in a draft as deep as the 2021 draft, and the Warriors’ 2025 and 2027 first-round picks could be incredibly valuable based upon the age of their current core. This trade isn’t exciting and the Rockets could do better, which is why it’s only third, but if future assets are the priority, then this the deal to make.
Next: Trade #2