Given how the Golden State Warriors‘ current wing duo of Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. doesn’t appear to be clicking as expected, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey suggested on Saturday that the team could potentially shake things up prior to the March 25 trade deadline by sending Wiggins to the Magic for forwards Aaron Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu.
As explained by Bailey, Wiggins and Oubre aren’t gelling as the Warriors’ starting shooting guard and small forward, though it might also be better to wait a little longer before making any moves. However, he noted that neither of those players are “locked in” as part of Golden State’s core. He added that Wiggins is on a rather expensive contract that will pay him a guaranteed $33.6 million in the 2022-23 season, which could force the Warriors to consider unloading him if the opportunity presents itself.
“Last season, he came as close as he ever has to posting an average box plus/minus,” the Bleacher Report writer added. “As a 25-year-old, it’s reasonable to think he might still be improving, but there’s also a chance he’s just a high-volume scorer who provides little else.”
Despite Wiggins’ multiple need for improvement outside of his scoring, Bailey pointed out that the Magic might need someone with his skill set. For the past eight seasons, Orlando has ranked in the bottom half of the league in offensive rating, while Wiggins has always played for teams that have enjoyed an uptick in points per 100 possessions whenever he’s on the floor.
Furthermore, his style of play might make him a good fit alongside center Nikola Vucevic — a strong outside shooter and passer who could create enough spacing to help the former No. 1 overall pick become more effective while driving to the hoop.
As for the Warriors, Bailey wrote that the deal would be an “offense-for-defense” swap, one where Gordon could excel as a player who can defend up to four different positions. While he’s not yet considered a “lockdown” defender, he could turn out to be more capable on that end than Wiggins. Furthermore, his passing ability was cited as another reason why he could be a more ideal starter alongside Oubre, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, and James Wiseman.
While Aminu was mostly included in the hypothetical trade for salary-matching purposes, his defensive versatility could possibly allow him to thrive as a solid bench player for Golden State. However, it was also noted that he could “at least [offer] a shot at a little financial flexibility” due to the fact he is on the second year of a comparatively affordable three-year, $29.2 million deal, per Spotrac.