Former Pitt standout Brad Wanamaker was traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Charlotte Hornets ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Tuesday. The move was first reported by Shams Charania of Stadium and later confirmed by the Warriors.
In exchange for Wanamaker, the Warriors got cash from the Hornets. And in Charlotte, Wanamaker will provide the Hornets with depth at the point guard position behind Devonte Graham. Graham is the team’s current starter, as LaMelo Ball, a rookie point guard in the midst of a breakout year in Charlotte, suffered a fractured wrist that may end his season.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expressed optimism that the trade would positively impact Wanamaker and praised him for his professionalism and contributions.
“I’m happy for Brad,” Kerr told reporters on Thursday night. “I think it’s a great opportunity for him, he’ll be closer to his family. There should be minutes for him, presumably in Charlotte that weren’t there for him here. So I think it’s a really good move. I talked to him, and he’s happy about the opportunity. And I really appreciated Brad’s professionalism, the way he handled himself day after day. The kind of teammate he is, he’s a real pro. So sad to see him go, but happy for him.”
Charlotte will be Wanamaker’s third stop since signing his first NBA contract in 2018. The 6’3”, 210-pound point guard spent two years with the Boston Celtics before entering free agency and subsequently heading to San Francisco in November. However, his stint on the West Coast was brief, lasting just four months.
The move will see Wanamaker join a team with better playoff prospects than the Warriors, as the Hornets are 22-21 this season. That places them fourth in the Eastern Conference, which currently has just five franchises with winning records. Meanwhile, the Warriors are 22-23 on the season and currently rank 10th in the more competitive Western Conference.
During his stay in the Bay Area, Wanamaker played 16.0 minutes per game and averaged 4.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.7 rebounds. That represented a slight step down in production from his last season in Boston, where he played 19.3 minutes per game and averaged 6.9 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds. However, the key difference was a dropoff in shooting, as the Philadelphia native made a career-low 35.3 percent of his field goals over a span of 39 games with the Warriors.
Given the unceremonious nature of his departure from the Warriors organization, it seems Wanamaker will have much to prove at his next destination. But with Charlotte dealing with limited depth at his position, Wanamaker should at least get an opportunity to prove that he still belongs in the league.