Just one season after making the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors finished 15th in the West with the league’s worst record at 15-50. Considering the obstacles they faced this season (which included injuries and offseason losses), their poor performance isn’t exactly shocking — and it likely won’t last very long.
With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green set to return at full strength by the start of the next campaign, there is nothing holding them back from returning to the title-contending state they’ve been used to since 2015.
Moreover, with the pieces in place to make a significant move, we can expect the Warriors to be on the hunt for opportunities to improve their roster. In one particular scenario pointed out by Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area, they could use Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, and a few picks to bring in Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.
“But just as the Giannis dreams are extinguished, a new hope will arrive in the form of the Philadelphia 76ers’ dysfunction. After getting bounced from the playoffs in the second round the 76ers fire coach Brett Brown and make it known that the Joel Embiid-Ben Simmons partnership isn’t in their long-term plans. With Giannis locked up in Milwaukee, Bob Myers turns his attention to acquiring Embiid, sending Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall and two first-round picks and a future pick swap to Philadelphia for Embiid. The Warriors reconstruction is complete, and they enter the 2020-21 season as one of the favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy.”
Wiggins, who celebrated his 25th birthday this past February, is one of the brightest young stars in the league. In 12 games with the Dubs, he averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists on 45.7% shooting. As a scoring wing, he’d be an ideal fit next to Ben Simmons, who likes to score on drives. Paschall and the attached picks would help give Philadelphia additional pieces to work with, which they can either flip for another trade or use to build up their stock of young players.
For Golden State, Embiid is exactly the type of big man they’ve been looking for. He’s a guy who can play both in the post and on the perimeter. Add that to his rebounding and shot-blocking abilities, and you’re looking at an acquisition that may make the Warriors favorites to win it all.
It’s a long shot for sure, especially considering the Sixers have expressed no interest in trading Embiid. But depending on how these next few weeks turn out for Philly, they might consider new options if it means getting their team to the top.