The Warriors are among the NBA teams with the most buying power in the 2021 NBA Draft. While they don’t have the abundance of picks that the Thunder do, Golden State still possesses a couple of valuable draft assets.
Because the Timberwolves pick landed outside of the top three, the Warriors gained possession of it. As a result, they now have two lottery picks, Nos. 7 and 14 overall.
But the Warriors may not hold onto both if all goes according to plan.
John Hollinger of The Athletic reports the Warriors are looking to package some of their picks along with last year’s No. 2 pick, James Wiseman, to potentially upgrade their roster. And they could pursue a potential upgrade from the Raptors.
There is a widespread expectation that the Warriors will use No. 7 and Wiseman, in particular, to seek more immediate upgrades to the roster. One name to watch: Pascal Siakam.
Certainly, Pascal Siakam would be a big get for Golden State. The 27-year-old averaged 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for Toronto and would be a nice interior complement to Stephen Curry. Siakam could provide the strong low-post presence that the Warriors were hoping to get when they drafted Wiseman. Siakam may miss the beginning of next season after recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum on June 11. He is expected to be out five months.
Of course, getting the Raptors to deal Siakam may be easier said than done. He is Toronto’s best player and with another of the team’s best players, 35-year-old Kyle Lowry, set to be a free agent, the Raptors may not want to dive into a full rebuild.
After all, though the Raptors posted a 27-45 record last season and missed the playoffs, they are just a couple of years removed from winning an NBA title. And Toronto still nearly made the Eastern Conference finals in 2020 despite the departure of Kawhi Leonard.
Maybe the Raptors would be willing to move on from Siakam for the right price. Perhaps a package involving Wiseman — who averaged 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 39 games as a rookie before a knee injury forced him out for the season — would pique their interest.
But it doesn’t seem overly likely, even with the Raptors facing an offseason of uncertainty.
That won’t stop the Warriors from pursuing Siakam, but they may have to look elsewhere to accomplish their goal of adding more talent around the 33-year-old Curry to keep their championship window open.