According to a recently published list of trade ideas, the Golden State Warriors could fill a need at center by acquiring Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic in exchange for several players, including wingman Andrew Wiggins, and its first-round picks in the next two drafts.
On Tuesday, Bleacher Report noted that it was “fortuitous” that the Warriors, who dealt with injuries to top stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, finished the 2019-20 season with the worst record in the NBA. While they didn’t get the top pick in this year’s draft lottery, they ended up with the No. 2 selection to go alongside the 2021 first-round pick they got from the Minnesota Timberwolves when after trading D’Angelo Russell ahead of the February deadline.
Moving on to the Magic, Bleacher Report observed that the team has a “stuffed” frontcourt, with Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Jonathan Isaac among the many players who could play power forward and/or center. This, as pointed out, could allow them to trade Vucevic in the offseason, with the outlet suggesting a deal that would allow the Warriors to acquire the former All-Star along with forward/guard Terrence Ross and this year’s No. 15 draft pick. Orlando, meanwhile, would receive Wiggins, reserves Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole, and the aforementioned first-round choices.
Should the proposed trade push forward, Vucevic could potentially serve as a strong complementary scorer and playmaker while also helping ease the process as Curry and Thompson “regain their footing,” the publication predicted. During this year’s playoffs, the 29-year-old averaged 28 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. He also had a solid regular season for the Magic, posting averages of 19.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, according to Basketball-Reference.
Although Ross wasn’t as efficient this season as he was in 2018-19, Bleacher Report speculated that he could return to form if he gets traded to the Warriors, as the team’s system could free him for more open shots. The No. 15 selection was also described as a valuable asset that could be used to address their need for a reserve wing player.
As for the Magic, the outlet wrote that Wiggins could be the “high-volume” shooter they need to improve their offensive rating, especially since he showed good progress and played more effectively than usual in the 2019-20 campaign. The two first-rounders were also mentioned as valuable acquisitions if the hypothetical transaction pushes forward, as Orlando could use the No. 2 choice on top guard prospects Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball, thus allowing the organization to “embrace” a switch to more small-ball lineups.