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James Wiseman trade: Grades for Warriors, Pistons, Hawks
Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman was traded to the Detroit Pistons before the NBA Trade Deadline. (Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

James Wiseman trade: Grades for Warriors, Pistons, Hawks

SAN FRANCISCO (BVM) – Since drafting James Wiseman two years ago with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors have been unable to fit the Memphis big man into their every day plans. With the window still wide open for the current group’s title run, a move away from Wiseman ended up being best for both sides.

The Golden State Warriors traded Wiseman before the NBA Trade Deadline to the Detroit Pistons, in a move that also sent Saddiq Bey to the Atlanta Hawks. The Warriors will receive five second-round picks and Kevin Knox in return for Wiseman while the Hawks will receive Bey.

With some cap space freed up for the Warriors and a new asset for both the Pistons and Hawks, here’s how that trade grades out for the teams involved:

Golden State Warriors: C

Wiseman has been on the outside of the rotation for most of the season, playing just 21 games and averaging 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds. The Warriors big man was sent to the G League for seven games back in November before missing another 15 games with an ankle injury. Wiseman ended up playing just 60 games with the Warriors making it difficult to blame the Warriors for moving on. 

Trading the former No. 2 overall pick for five secondround picks just two years later leaves a massive stain on the Warriors’ recent draft resume. While injuries are the main reason behind the draft miss, Wiseman never properly fit the team’s spacing on offense and had a hard time playing alongside Stephen Curry when on the floor. With him out of the picture, the Warriors rid themselves of finding playing time for the young center. The trade also allowed them to re-acquire Gary Payton II from the Portland Trail Blazers, helping save their original trade grade. With the trade now looked at as a Wiseman for Payton swap, the Warriors at least get a valuable asset for this season, as they pick up another guard who can help out defensively. 

Detroit Pistons: B-

The Pistons’ trade works out to Bey and Knox for Wiseman, after shipping out the two players in the three-way swap. Trading away Bey makes for an interesting conversation after the forward had shown an ability to score at the NBA level in the past three seasons. While Bey’s overall inconsistent play and somewhat awkward fit on the young roster became an issue this year, opting to move a young wing leaves the Pistons slim at the position heading forward. 

Wiseman will, however, add to the growing frontcourt depth the team has acquired throughout the past year. When fully healthy, the Pistons will add Wiseman in with rookie Jalen Duren, Marvin Bagley III, and Isaiah Stewart. The deep group may provide minutes issues later on, but the Pistons are still in search of young playmakers. Wiseman, on a team that won’t have championship aspirations, will at least be given the chance to develop in a more regular structure, if he stays healthy.

Atlanta Hawks: B+

While the Hawks have much bigger conversations that will likely need to be had in the future, the addition of another young wing gives the team some options moving forward. While Bey has shown inconsistencies throughout his career, the 23-year-old forward has become a regular double-digit scorer at the NBA level. With a chance to find a better role elsewhere, the bump to a playoff contender may be just what he needs to take the next step.

Bey is averaging 14.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season and is shooting 40% from the field. With De’Andre Hunter and AJ Griffin likely in front of him at the small forward position, finding time behind power forward John Collins will become his most likely spot. With the Hawks ability to space the floor with shooting, Bey will have a different role on the offensive end in Atlanta as he aims to be another one of the team’s young 3-and-D wings.