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NBA Rumors: Trade Speculation Surrounding Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2020

Golden State Warriors guard Andrew Wiggins (22) against the Toronto Raptors during an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Thursday, March 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Though a date hasn't been set in stone, the 2020 NBA offseason looms on the not-too-distant horizon. When it begins, teams will begin pursuing players on the open market and those who may be available via trade.

One player who could spark some intrigue is Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins. The first overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft, Wiggins hasn't quite lived up to his draft status. However, he has shown flashes and is just 25.

During the 2019-20 season, Wiggins has averaged 21.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in roughly 34 minutes of action per game.

The Warriors were intrigued enough by Wiggins' potential to acquire him before the 2020 trade deadline. They gave up shooting guard D'Angelo Russell as part of the deal. Of course, many believe Golden State only acquired Russell—part of a sign-and-trade deal involving Kevin Durant—as a future trade chip.

"This is all about the future," Marc Stein of the New York Times told the Dan Patrick Show last summer. "D'Angelo Russell doesn't fit there whatsoever

Might the Warriors have acquired Wiggins for the same reason? Not according to The Athletic's Anthony Slater:

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"Ask anyone in the organization—during their private or public moments—they got Wiggins with the expectation that he'll be their starting small forward next season, not just a matching contract to flip (like they did with Russell."

It appears that Golden State is prepared to make Wiggins a part of its 2020 core—one that could also include Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, Draymond Green and a draft lottery selection. It also appears that teams looking to make their own gambles on Wiggins' future may be out of luck.

                       

Are the Knicks Interested in Chris Paul?

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

While Wiggins is a promising young player with untapped potential, veteran point guard Chris Paul is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The 35-year-old is far closer to the end of his career, though he remains a productive player.

This season, Paul has averaged 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.8 assists.

The New York Knicks are undoubtedly looking to make a splash this offseason after missing out on the likes of Durant last year. If they cannot get a young up-and-comer like Wiggins, perhaps they can land a player like Paul.

Such a move wouldn't have happened under former president Steve Mills, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. It appears much more likely under Leon Rose.

"Trading for 35-year-old point guard Chris Paul became a thing the moment Rose inked his Knicks contract," Berman wrote. "Paul is Rose's favorite client, was in the midst of a throwback/All-Star season and mans the Knicks' weakest position. Mills was dead-set against adding a player of Paul's age and contract."

While adding Paul wouldn't turn the Knicks into a contender, it would inch them closer to relevancy. A backcourt of the 10-time All-Star and RJ Barrett would at least be entertaining and something for the fans to embrace.

If the Oklahoma City Thunder are willing to deal, expect New York to look into acquiring Paul this offseason.

                         

Knicks Likely to Move Up or Out of Round 1

Part of a potential trade package for Paul would likely include one or both of New York's first-round draft picks. The Knicks have their own first-rounder, plus the Los Angeles Clippers' Round 1 selection—acquired in the pre-deadline Marcus Morris deal.

The Knicks may not be willing to trade their own selection if they think they can land a starting-caliber player with the pick. However, they are more likely to deal the second than to try acquiring a third first-rounder, according to SNY's Ian Begley.

Why? According to Begley, NBA insiders don't view this as a deep draft class:

"Anything's possible but I'd assume it's more likely that the Knicks use their late first-round pick in a trade for another player -- or to move up in the draft -- rather than making a trade to acquire a third first-round pick. People who follow the draft closely don't see this draft as incredibly deep. So if the Knicks traded assets to acquire a third first-round pick in this draft, it would be a bit surprising."

If the Knicks do identify a prime draft target early in Round 1, packaging both picks in a move up to get him appears likely. Alternatively, New York may look to trade out of the bottom of Round 1 for a veteran or a future draft consideration. Landing an impact player late in the first round of this year's draft is unlikely.

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