The reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, are clinging desperately to the end of their dynasty, sitting at 22-22 and seventh place in the Western Conference. Their title chances are looking slimmer and slimmer as the seasons goes on. This season, the team has been plagued by injury to Steph Curry, regression from newly extended Jordan Poole, and defensive and offensive mediocrity the Warriors are not used to.
The reason for the Warriors’ struggles has been pretty evident to the viewer: a lack of a dominant presence in the paint. Despite being top of the league in pace, they rank 27th in blocks and 30th in free throw attempts per game. It may finally be time for the Warriors to invest in a dominant big man because the core of the team is slowly regressing and no longer able to afford just an average center. Bob Myers, Steve Kerr, and the front office have made it abundantly clear that they want to continue contending with the core of Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green for as long as possible. Additionally, they want to keep complementary piece Poole as he is relatively untradeable due to his contract situation. Luckily, because of the D'Angelo Russell trade and the Warriors' woeful 2020 season, they have three highly drafted young pieces on the roster. Among James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody, none of them get even 20 minutes on the court per game. Especially in the case of 2020 second overall pick, James Wiseman, his future with the Golden State Warriors is looking very bleak. Having all their picks going forward and three very young and promising pieces to play with, in trades, the Warriors have the value and the salary matching ability to land a mega star because of Andrew Wiggins' 34 million dollars per year contract.
The San Antonio Spurs big man Jakob Poetl would be a cheap option that would excellently fill the Warriors' defensive needs. The Spurs are 14th in the West and after selling Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks, the Spurs are in full rebuild mode, meaning the 27-year-old defensive star is very expendable. The package for Poetl would likely be one of the young pieces and a first-round pick, with no need to throw in Andrew Wiggins to match the salary. The Spurs would happily accept James Wiseman back as a potential offensive star in the future. Another less likely, but higher upside option, could be the Washington Wizards’ Kristaps Porzingis. The Wizards are perpetually stuck in mediocrity, and Porzingis will clearly not lead them to a championship in the future. He is another monster rim protector but fits the Warriors' system because he’s an elite shooter, hitting two threes a game for the Wizards. He also takes seven free throws a game, fixing another one of the Warriors' problems. If the Warriors approached the Wizards with a swap deal for Andrew Wiggins, the Wizards would undoubtedly accept. The final option that could open up this summer is a blockbuster for superstar Karl-Anthony Towns from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Rudy Gobert experiment has fallen on its face and Towns clearly does not mix well. The trade this summer would likely cost Wiggins, Moody, Kuminga, Wiseman, and multiple first-round picks, which, in the current trade market, would be well worth it to capitalize on the championship window of the Warriors' aging stars.