Rival center available in trade talks after previous Golden State Warriors’ interest

Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors
Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Speculation is rife on who the Golden State Warriors may acquire before the February 8 deadline, with the franchise spluttering at a 18-22 record and 12th in the Western Conference.

The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami lifted the lid last week on who the Warriors may target, revealing that "there has been some talk about maybe just go get a seven-footer who can score."

With the Golden State Warriors having held interest over three years ago, Wendell Carter Jr. is reportedly available again on the trade market

While he may not be quite a seven-footer nor the perfectly skilled scorer Golden State could desire, the franchise has held previous interest in reportedly available Orlando Magic big man Wendell Carter Jr.

According to NBA Insider Marc Stein, Carter and teammate Markelle Fultz are available in trade talks as the Magic try to improve their roster and secure a first playoff berth since 2020.

"Along with Wendell Carter Jr., Orlando is said to be exploring the trade market for guard Markelle Fultz, who is playing on a $17 million expiring contract."

Marc Stein
Wendell Carter Jr.
Wendell Carter Jr. dunks against the Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Golden State’s previous interest in Carter came prior to the 2020 NBA Draft when he was a member of the Chicago Bulls. According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, the Warriors and Bulls discussed a trade centered around the number two overall pick in exchange for Carter and the fourth overall pick.

In hindsight that would have been a good trade for the Warriors, having fatefully taken James Wiseman second overall. Meanwhile, Carter has emerged as a quality starting center after being moved to the Magic for Nikola Vucevic in March 2021.

Although Patrick Williams hasn’t set the world on fire as the fourth overall pick, perhaps Golden State would have been more inclined to take Tyrese Haliburton with that selection. Regardless, might they have interest in Carter again before this deadline?

Injury have limited the 24-year-old to just 8.1 points and 6.4 rebounds this season, though he averaged at least 15 points and 8.7 rebounds in each of the last two years. The Injury issues have kept Carter grounded to just 71 appearances in the last two seasons, largely contributing to his availability in trade discussion.

Carter would present a more offensive-minded option in comparison to Kevon Looney, and even Trayce Jackson-Davis for that matter despite the rookie’s impressive production in recent weeks. He wouldn’t necessarily be a major upgrade though, which combined with the injury history suggests the Warriors would be hesitant to give up anything of value in order to acquire him.