Joe Lacob’s trusted consensus on James Wiseman’s Trade Warriors might regret it
Lacob would not override Dub’s braintrust on “very hard” Wiseman trade, which originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Warriors owner Joe Lacob didn’t want to give up former No. 2 draft pick James Wiseman, but he ended up trusting his basketball people.
In an interview with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, Lacob said trading the 7-foot-1 center to the Detroit Pistons was “very difficult,” even revealing he thinks it could come back to bite the Warriors .
“You know, we could very well regret that, in the longer term or even in the medium term,” Lacob told Kawakami after Thursday’s Warriors win over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Chase Center. “But as much as I love the guy, I can’t override what our basketball ops, our coaches and our players thought was right.
“So it’s a consensus thing. We are ‘we’, we are not ‘I’. And we’re going to do what’s best, and we felt like that would make our team better in the short term, and it was kind of about that for Gary [Payton II].”
Lacob said the trade took some convincing on his part, but he understood the circumstances.
“I think James is a really good young player and we won’t get many opportunities to sign a young man like that again,” said Lacob. “And he really didn’t… let’s face it, he didn’t really stand a chance; it’s partly his fault, partly bad luck, partly our fault that we didn’t play him enough.
“But we don’t often get the opportunity to get such a big talent with size. I mean it was a very tough decision for the organization to be honest with you.”
Wiseman was sent to the Pistons as part of a four-team trade that allowed the Warriors to recapture Payton from the Portland Trail Blazers. Bringing Payton back to the bay wasn’t the reason the Warriors traded Wiseman, however.
“I do not think so [when] To be honest we thought he was available,” Lacob said. “Last year it was expensive, this contract, we couldn’t really afford it. But given what we did with Wiseman, we took some money off the books. Our greatest weakness, one could argue, was in defence. So we thought it was a good move.”
Warriors general manager Bob Myers called the trade “tough”, coach Steve Kerr said he was “all in” at Wiseman, and players like Donte DiVincenzo, Draymond Green and Steph Curry sent well wishes to their former teammate after the deal was done. But apparently the team consensus was to part ways with the big man.
Lacob developed a close relationship with Wiseman over the years. While Wiseman was sent to the Warriors’ G League branch in Santa Cruz, Lacob stood on the sidelines to show his support.
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Wiseman averaged 9.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 60 games during his three seasons with the Warriors, and those numbers jumped to 11.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in his first five games with the Pistons.
Kawakami asked Lacob if he was watching Wiseman’s boxing results in Detroit and his response was revealing.
“Sure I am,” he said.
That probably won’t change any time soon.
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