This has been one of the worst seasons for the Golden State Warriors. They went from playing in the NBA Finals last season, to owning the worst record in the league this year. This is hardly ever seen because usually teams will gradually fall, rarely will a team plummet so hard. What lead to this sudden fall was injuries. Klay Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6 of the Finals, Stephen Curry Broke his hand on Oct. 30, 2019, Draymond has dealt with minor injuries where he has seen less minutes and has had a down season and Kevon Looney has dealt with various injuries. Andre Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies over this past offseason, Shaun Livingston retired, Kevin Durant exercised his right as a free agent and teamed up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklynn on the Nets, Damion Jones was dealt to the Atlanta Hawks, Alfonzo McKinnie was waived and later he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers, Quinn Cook signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, Jordan Bell was dealt to the Minesotta Timberwolves, and Demarcus Cousins signed with the Lakers as well. As you can see, the Warriors entire roster, was either dealt, or they left over the offseason.
The fact of the matter is that the Warriors are going to have a high draft pick this season. They are projected at the number one pick in the draft. This leaves the Warriors in a good/challenging spot. Do you select the best player available, who might not fit your current roster, do you trade back to get a player that would be a theoretical better fit or do you reach on a player. This will be just one of the many difficult decisions the Warriors will have to make this offseason. As of right now, the Warriors have 11 guaranteed contracts for next season. They can add three more contracts to have a full roster, four players to have a full 15. They will also be able to add two, two-way players as well. The Brooklynn Nets do own the Warriors pick, but it is top-20 protected, so the Warriors will definitely retain their own pick this season. So we will go over a three different players that the Warriors could pick in the upcoming draft.
Anthony Edwards G – 6-5, 225, Georgia, Freshman
This draft seems to be top heavy in terms of talent. Anthony Edwards has a slight edge on the top pick honors because he has been playing very well in his first season at Georgia. He is averaging 19.5 points per game on 41.3% from the field and he has been able to grab 5.4 rebounds a game. Although his team has not been good, as Georgia’s record is 14-14, he still has been able to effectively display his abilities night in and night out. He has his fair share of flaws, a big one seems to be his reliance on taking “hero-ball jump shots”. Which is just another name for a heavily contested jump shot. He also could improve on defense as well. Even with these flaws, the Warriors could elect to go best-available player and select Edwards. His fit would not be entirely ideal as they still have Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as their lead guards. There would be a lot of questions with this pick, and this could also lead to Andrew Wiggins being dealt for a big instead.
LaMelo Ball G – 6-8, 180, International
LaMelo Ball is arguably the biggest name in the draft because of his ties to Lonzo Ball and LaVar Ball. LaMelo has been playing internationally since the end of his Junior season in high school. He played in Lithuania on the team Prienai. Then he played in the Junior Basketball Association, which was a league created by his father. This past season, he has played for the Illawarra Hawks. The Hawks were the worst team in the league as their record was 5-23. Melo played in just 17 games this season. In these games, he averaged 17 points per game on 37% from the field, he shot 24% from behind the three point line, 7 assists a game, 7.5 rebounds a game and he was able to get 1.67 steals a game. Without the percentages, Melo’s stats are very impressive. To be able to average 17 points as a teenager is rare. He does need to get his shooting percentages up as a guard, especially his three point percentage. He was taking 6.83 threes a game, and to shoot 24% on threes is really bad. In terms of his fit on the Warriors, it is a similar Edwards situation. The thing that Melo has on his side, is his height. Melo has a unique body for the NBA. He plays the guard position but he has the height to play as a forward as well; however, he does not have the weight to play defense against bigger forwards like LeBron James, or Kawhi Leonard. Among weight as a flaw, a big question mark is his shot IQ. This is something that many scouts will have to look at.
James Wiseman C – 7-1, 235, Memphis, Freshman
James Wiseman played three games for the Memphis Tigers this season. He was then flung guilty for taking money from his coach Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. Penny was paying for Wiseman’s family’s moving expenses back in 2017. Unfortunately, he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA, which then prevented him from playing any further in the NCAA. There is a lot of uncertainty with drafting the big man from Memphis. First, traditional big men are becoming less and less necessary. Second, more teams are switching to big men that can space the floor. In his three games, Wiseman averaged 19.7 points per game on 76.9% from the field, he grabbed 10.7 rebounds a game, and he blocked 3 shots a game. Obviously, this was a really small sample size but many teams are still very interested. It will be very interesting to see where he ends up in the draft. He would be the best fit on paper for the Warriors. The Warriors glaring need is a center when they are completely healthy. Even with the emergence of Marquese Chriss, the Warriors may be too enticed by the possibilities of drafting Wiseman.
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