Warriors Rumors: No. 2 Pick, Wiseman, Tax, Aldridge

The Warriors‘ No. 2 pick is “turning into a circus,” according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who suggests that the team has put out multiple smokescreens while simultaneously engaging in some seemingly genuine internal debate about the choice.

Just days after The San Francisco Chronicle suggested Golden State would likely draft Anthony Edwards if he’s on the board at No. 2 (and if the Dubs keep the pick), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (video link) provides a conflicting perspective. Appearing on The Jump on Monday, Windhorst said he keeps hearing that James Wiseman will be the Warriors’ guy if they keep their pick and he’s still available.

It has been virtually impossible to tell which way the Warriors are leaning, given all the rumors out there, but Hollinger suspects the club will ultimately keep the pick and select Wiseman with it. As the former Grizzlies executive argues, Wiseman helps Golden State most in the short term and would have the most trade value later.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • The Warriors will benefit from the tweak the NBA has made to luxury tax penalties for the 2020/21 season, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. The penalties for taxpaying teams will be reduced by the same percentage as a basketball related income (BRI) decrease, which means that if the league falls 25% short of its BRI projection, Golden State’s tax bill would be trimmed by 25%.
  • Some rival teams are already annoyed by the Warriors benefiting from another luxury tax anomaly, tweets ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The club, of course, was able to sign Kevin Durant in 2016 due to an unprecedented cap increase that summer.
  • Now that the Warriors are in position to receive a bit of a break on their 2021 tax bill, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area argues that the team should be more inclined to make use its $17MM trade exception to upgrade its roster around Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
  • On a recent episode of his Lowe Post podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said he heard from someone within the league that there’s been buzz about a potential trade involving the Warriors’ No. 2 pick, LaMarcus Aldridge, and the Spurs‘ No. 11 pick (hat tip to HoopsHype). Lowe sounded skeptical about that possibility, and I share that skepticism. But if there’s anything to it, Andrew Wiggins would presumably have to be involved for salary-matching purposes, since Aldridge’s 2020/21 salary ($24MM) won’t fit in Golden State’s trade exception.
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