It was not long ago when the Golden State Warriors had a stranglehold on the entire NBA. The road to the top goes through the Bay Area, where championship dreams of other teams die. Today, Stephen Curry and the Warriors are still a potent team, but the rest of the league has seemingly caught up and titles are not as guaranteed as before. That being said, these Warriors could be one bold move away from regaining control of the NBA and that could take in the form of a trade for Houston Rockets center Christian Wood.
But first, a look back.
The Warriors are coming off yet another disappointing season. Expected to make a grand recovery from a 15-50 2019-20 season, Golden State took a punch to the gut before the 2020-21 campaign when Klay Thompson suffered a serious Achilles Tendon injury that shelved him for another year. Curry tried to carry the Warriors but the load was just too heavy for him, and the best they could muster was an appearance in the Play-In Tournament.
The Warriors’ core of Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green probably has at least a couple of good years left in it. Golden State can’t plan long-term around those three, given that all of them are past 30 now, with the leader of the band, Curry, having just turned 33 last March. In a win-now situation, the Warriors could concoct a trade package using their picks in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft and James Wiseman and offer it to the Rockets for Christian Wood.
Zach Harper of The Athletic thinks that the Warriors have some other plans for their picks in the 2021 NBA Draft:
“I still think we have to be aware of the Warriors’ aggressive approach to finding more stars. With No. 7, No. 14 and even James Wiseman, they have a great trade package to throw at someone if they believe they can grab another star next to their champions. I’m not convinced the Warriors keep these picks.”
The Rockets did a masterful job of extricating Wood out of the Detroit Pistons. They took a relatively unheralded player casual fans didn’t pay much attention to but was perceived like a glossy hipster album by experts. Eventually, that record became a mainstream hit, with Wood playing sweet music for the Rockets. Parlaying Woods into Wiseman plus a pick would be a brilliant move for Houston.
On one hand, the Warriors are trying to make the last push to recapture their former glory with the same core that made them a generational team. On the other hand, the Rockets are rebuilding, making them an ideal trade partner for Golden State. Those first-round picks and Wiseman can be very tempting for Houston.
Wiseman isn’t a bust, but he’s going to take some time to develop. The Warriors simply can’t waste the remaining years of Curry and co. waiting for their full return of investment on the former Memphis Tiger. Adding Wood to Golden State would immediately provide the Warriors the efficient, talented two-way big it didn’t have last season.