The NBA Draft is coming up on October 16, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and projected targets. Today, the Golden State Warriors will be evaluated.
In a shocking, but maybe fortuitous, turn of events the Golden State Warriors went from their fifth-straight NBA Finals appearance in 2019 to having the NBA’s worst record in 2020.
In last year’s finals, the Warriors saw Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant miss time due to serious injuries. After losing those finals, Golden State lost Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins to free agency. Thompson was not able to return to play this year due to his ACL injury, then Curry missed all but five games of the season due to a metacarpal injury/surgery.
All of this was the perfect storm to tank and reload for next season. Thus, they went from first (in the West) to worst. This gives the Warriors the highest possible odds of getting a top-five pick.
Notable players returning next season include Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins. Pair those with a top-five selection in the 2020 draft, and the Warriors will almost certainly be right back in the playoffs next season.
The Warriors have three picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No. 2
Second Round: Picks No. 48, 51
Combo forward- The Warriors built their dynasty on shooting the ball well, and after losing Kevin Durant they have some big shoes to fill in that area. But, they also need front court help as well. A combo forward could fill both of these roles.
Center- As mentioned above, the Warriors need a rework in their front court. They have mostly played small ball since their dynasty began, but imagine what a truly effective and athletic center could open up for this team.
Guard depth- Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are still great, make no mistake. But with Thompson coming off of an ACL tear and Steph Curry’s nagging (but not necessarily debilitating) injuries, some good, young depth at the guard position could make the “Splash Bros.” even more effective late in the season.
First Round, Pick No. 2: James Wiseman, C
The basketball world does not quite know what they have when it comes to James Wiseman. After being ruled as ineligible to play at Memphis by the NCAA, he immediately announced he would prepare for the 2020 NBA Draft.
The 7-foot-1 center played three games for Memphis before leaving, averaging 23 minutes, 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds. He shot 76.9 percent from the field, also.
That is an incredibly small sample size, but it seems Wiseman’s height and athleticism mask most of questions that teams may have about him. And if any team can take such raw talent and get the most out of it, it is the Golden State Warriors.
Despite their dominance over the past six or seven seasons, the Warriors have never been able to utilize a true center. David Lee, David West and Andrew Bogut were all serviceable, but the team never had a star in the middle.
Wiseman could be that guy, and the NBA should be extremely scared that the Warriors could reload in that specific way.
Second Round, Pick No. 48: Grant Riller, PG/SG (Charleston)
As mentioned above, after losing D’Angelo Russell in a trade, the Warriors need some depth at the guard positions. Klay Thompson will be coming off a major injury, and Stephen Curry’s litany of small injuries could limit his minutes as well.
A combo guard like Grant Riller could fill two of those holes at once. If one star needs to rest, pair Riller with the other to maximize value. While his scoring is fine and his rebounding is above what one would expect from a guard, his assist numbers need to grow. But where better to do that than a team with some of the best shooters in the NBA?
Riller’s competition was not top-tier at Charleston, but that does not mean he is not ready to play with the NBA’s best. With the coaching of Steve Kerr, he could soar in the Golden State system.
Second Round, Pick No. 50: Lamar Stevens, SF/PF (Penn St.)
A two-way player with rebounding potential, Lamar Stevens is a sure-fire pick for Golden State. His size also allows him to play both the small and power forward positions. This is the key to this pick.
Stevens has averages over 1.0 in blocks, steals and assists. He also averaged 17.6 points and almost seven rebounds, which are not numbers to sneeze at, especially since he can play two positions. That will fit perfectly in any lineup the Warriors can put on the floor.
The only question here is whether or not Stevens will be available at the 50th pick. If he is, this is a no-brainer.
Featured Image courtesy of Golden State Warriors
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