Warriors ambition to trade veteran forward remains far easier said than done

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors
Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Andrew Wiggins has had a rugged two-year period. From flying high at the peak of the NBA summit after being the second-best player on a Golden State Warriors championship team, the Canadian has since seen a free fall impacted by untimely injuries and unfortunate personal issues.

The last six months have seen his future come seriously under the microscope. First it was at February's mid-season deadline -- he remained and to his credit, played better over the second half of the season. Now, the same reports are emerging again. The Ringer's Logan Murdock stated on Wednesday that the Warriors, citing league sources, will aggressively dangle Wiggins in trade talks.

While the Golden State Warriors may theoretically hope for an upgrade from Andrew Wiggins, completing that ideal is far more difficult in reality

Golden State are in the business of trying to upgrade the roster, as The Athletic's Anthony Slater outlined on Saturday. The Warriors may hold the ambition to go and find a far better, more consistent player than Wiggins, and yet that would take significant assets in the way of young player/s and draft picks to make it happen.

The Warriors already have that issue with Chris Paul. Neither he or Wiggins have contracts that rival teams are going to throw themselves at -- they're salary filler in trades. Golden State should also view Paul as such -- they don't want a $30 million back up point guard for a second consecutive season. But to them, Wiggins should be so much than the salary filler label.

Last month The Athletic's Tim Kawakami referenced the 29-year-old's value as the team's primary perimeter defender, also stating that if "Wiggins was going to be traded, it probably would’ve already happened."

If Wiggins is traded without the addition of young players or picks, it's almost assuredly going to be a downgrade for the Warriors. But who knows? Maybe the experience of watching Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum lead the Boston Celtics to the title, and Mikal Bridges getting traded for a boatload of draft assets, has reinvigorated the value of 6'7" wings capable of producing on both ends of the floor. Perhaps Golden State can thread a needle where they actually get something helpful in return, though that's an extremely optimistic outlook.

Given how far his stock has fallen over the past year, it's simply difficult to envisage Wiggins getting traded, at least for a return that the majority of fans feel comfortable with. Reports can continue to state that the Warriors are aggressively trading him, but there's a reason nothing has happened to this point.