During a recent episode of The Lowe Podcast, Bill Simmons joined pod host Zach Lowe to speculate about potential game-changing trade deals for next season. Simmons suggested that the Golden State Warriors could make a deal for Blake Griffin and the 7th pick in this year’s draft, then send Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and their 2nd overall draft pick to the Detroit Pistons.
When the Warriors acquired Wiggins in a mid-season trade last February, they envisioned an acquisition that will prove to be valuable when their main core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green returns in full force in the 2020-21 season. Selected first overall in 2014, Wiggins hasn’t lived up to the hype and is perceived by many as a one-dimensional scorer.
But should the Warriors scratch the Wiggins experiment before it even begins? Let’s take a look at how realistic this trade idea is for both Detroit and Golden State.
Golden State won’t take this risk
Unless the Warriors receive a bona fide star or an uber-versatile combo forward who can guard almost every position, they won’t involve Wiggins in any trade negotiation, let alone him and the 2nd overall pick in the same package. Despite all the criticisms that pounce on his lack of competitiveness and his shaky shot selection, Wiggins showed glimpses of his versatility last season, most notably on his defense.
In the 12 games that he played for the Warriors, Wiggins averaged 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, while exhibiting much-improved instincts on off-ball opportunities on offense. These are assets that are essential in the Dubs’ system. It won’t come as a surprise if the Warriors try out the Wiggins experiment first, especially if they can’t haul in a prime All-Star in a trade.
Furthermore, Griffin’s vast history of injuries makes this a very risky move for the Warriors. It doesn’t help that he is coming off a career-low year in which he normed a lowly 35% overall clip from the field, including an abysmal 24% from the three-point line.
Steph, Klay, and Draymond have all entered their 30s, which means that the Dubs are on a win-now mentality. They can’t afford to have an oft-injured 31-year old Blake sitting out tons of games.
Detroit won’t take this risk, either
The chance to go up the draft and nab the second overall pick is very tempting, especially for a rebuilding team without much of a direction moving forward. Almost everything is looking bleak for the Pistons franchise, and they still don’t have that young extremely talented player to build their roster around.
But the problem is this is not a top-heavy draft. In terms of talent and star potential, the gap between the potential 2nd selection to the 7th is very close. Wiggins’ bloated contract, which will extend until 2023, could have been bearable if the upcoming draft boasted elite, sure-fire superstar talent in the Top 3.