This year the NBA has watched Steph Curry play close to an MVP-caliber level, on a Golden State Warriors team that’s been hovering right around .500 all season. It doesn’t take much to wonder what an impact big-man would bring to that lineup instantly, even with two young promising big men already in Golden State.
This year’s second overall pick James Wiseman has shown signs of spark averaging 12.2 ppg in just 20.1 mpg. He’s been doing it while splitting time with fellow young 7-footer Kevon Looney, and neither of the two have been able to cement themselves as the everyday starter.
Enter Nikola Vucevic. The proposed trade would include James Wiseman, Kelly Oubre & a 2022 first-rounder to Orlando in exchange.
Will this move make Golden State viable to take down either L.A teams, Utah, Portland, or even Phoenix for a title? Probably not. But it would mean the Golden State Warriors aren’t a guaranteed first-round bounce.
Wiseman’s offensive +/- on the court this season is -11.1, while Oubre is having a considerably down statistical year this season. Cases can be made for and against parting with both players.
Adding in the 2022 first-rounder? It’s simply to sweeten the pot for Orlando. Warriors fans see a 20-year old Wiseman with his best years in front of him and would almost certainly be against adding on that draft pick in the deal. That’s just likely what it would take.
When it comes to Nikola Vucevic, it’s an immediate upgrade for Golden State. Basketball reference ranks the 10-year vet as the third best player in Orlando history statistically. For perspective, he trails only Dwight Howard (first) and Nick Andersen (second) on that list, and it took Vooch only eight-and-a-half seasons to reach that.
Granted, that speaks to both his dominance, and the lack of long-term great players on the Magic all-time.
As of now, there isn’t any word Orlando has any urge to trade the 7-footer. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible if Golden State presents an offer the Magic can’t refuse.
After all, the Magic have had little success while Nikola Vucevic has been in town, so they may be intrigued to get a haul for the 30-year old before he loses any value. It will certainly be something to watch in NBA trade rumors.