The Obvious Answer
No. 2 — Golden State Warriors
Potential Targets: Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, Killian Hayes, Isaac Okoro
This is the most talked-about deal among Orlando Magic fans.
The Golden State Warriors seem like they are ripe to trade this pick to go get some more reinforcements for their roster. They want to compete for championships and they should be able to with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson coming back from injury.
Waiting for a rookie to develop is not going to help them — unless that rookie is a star which no one seems to think is a sure thing in this draft.
The Warriors have been right to be pretty quiet. And the Magic are going to be near the back of the line. Golden State will push for a bigger star — Jrue Holiday coming on the market probably does not fit Golden State, but the team should ask. But the Magic will always be there to pick things up.
Aaron Gordon has long been connected to Golden State as a potential trade target. That never made much sense to me. Gordon’s struggles to shoot would make him a poor fit at small forward even with the Warriors’ stellar guard duo. And he is a worse version of Draymond Green in a lot of ways.
Golden State Warriors
The guy the Warriors should be interested in is Nikola Vucevic. He would fill a major need at center and would fit perfectly into that offense as someone who could pass from the high post, shoot from the perimeter and rebound.
Early indications are that Warriors fans, at least, are not super enamored with the prospect. And Vucevic’s shortcomings would probably get exposed in the playoffs. The Warriors know their formula works better with a center who protects the paint and rim better. The offense from that spot is a bonus.
Magic fans again should probably press pause too. Unless the Warriors want to use their $17 million trade exception to take on Evan Fournier (Aaron Gordon’s contract is too big), they would have to give up something of value too. That would probably mean taking on Andrew Wiggins and the two years and $65.2 million left on his contract.
If the Magic are not planning on doing a whole lot this season, then taking on Wiggins’ contract for two years while their young player develops might make sense. Considering Wiggins would then have been traded twice in two years suggests the team could still move him — or just reap the cap savings.
But there would need to be a lot of work to get there.
And, like with the first pick, the Magic need to be sold that whoever they are drafting is a player they can truly build around. As I have said throughout this process, I am skeptical that this player is there.