Defensive Player of the Year finalist Draymond Green is confident the Warriors, who failed to advance past the “play-in” stage of this year’s playoffs, will return to contender status when Klay Thompson returns from his Achilles injury in 2021-22. The trio of Green, Thompson and reigning scoring champ Stephen Curry should be enough to keep Golden State relevant in the Western Conference, but the Warriors, winners of three of the last six NBA championships, appear to be thinking bigger.
According to former Grizzlies exec John Hollinger, now a columnist for The Athletic, the Warriors are gearing up for a major move with Golden State looking to package seven-footer James Wiseman (who averaged 11.5 points on 51.9-percent shooting as a rookie this past season) and the seventh overall pick in a blockbuster trade. Oakland native Damian Lillard (who has reportedly given the Trail Blazers an ultimatum, urging them to either upgrade the roster or trade him) could be someone the Warriors target this summer, though Hollinger specifically mentioned Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam as a “name to watch.”
An All-NBA performer in 2020, the 6’9” Siakam has averaged an impressive 22.2 points per game the past two seasons, contributing on both ends of the floor as one of the league’s top two-way players. A proven postseason performer (he was part of the Raptors team that defeated Golden State in the 2019 Finals) with tremendous length and athleticism, the 27-year-old from Cameroon is precisely the type of gritty overachiever Warriors coach Steve Kerr tends to covet. However, he’s no bargain at his $34.23 million-a-year salary, an amount that would further bury a team already mired in the depths of salary cap hell.
After building a new state-of-the-art $1.4-billion arena in San Francisco (only to have Kevin Durant skip town before the venue even opened), the best way for the Warriors to see a return on their investment would be to fill the Chase Center on a nightly basis. Whether it’s trading for Siakam, Lillard, Ben Simmons or even perpetually disgruntled Kyrie Irving, bolstering Golden State’s roster by surrounding Curry and Thompson with as many stars as possible would go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.