The Golden State Warriors are in a bit of an odd position as they approach the draft since they do not have an obvious need. How should they approach this?
The Golden State Warriors will likely end the season with the worst overall record in basketball meaning they will draft no lower than the fifth overall pick.
Injuries have played a role in this gap year as Klay Thompson has been out all season while he recovers from an ACL tear and Stephen Curry has missed substantial time with a broken hand. However, the Warriors’ core remains very much intact.
Golden State will look add to the core through the draft, but they are in a bit of an odd position. Next year’s starting lineup is projected to consist of Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins.
There is not an obvious need. They could use a center, or look to bolster the bench, but are they going to do that with a top pick? They certainly could, but that seems beneath the value of where they are selecting.
In addition to this, Golden State does not appear to be targeting the top center in the draft.
Wiseman appeared in only three games this season after serving a 12-game ban for accepting a donation from University of Memphis head coach Penny Hardway. In these three games, Wiseman posted 19.7 PPG, 10.7 RBG, and an absurdly-high 76.9 percent field goal percentage.
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After his brief display, the 7-foot-1 center decided that was enough for his collegiate career and he declared for the NBA draft.
Despite his impressive performance, the Warriors appear to be looking elsewhere
As a center, Wiseman could fill the void in the Warriors starting lineup, but perhaps the team is comfortable with Kevon Looney or Marquese Chriss at the position. In all likelihood, Golden State will bring in another center through free agency to either start or push Looney and Chriss for minutes.
As appealing as that sounds, there is not enough substance yet to that idea.
Though, if the Warriors are unable to swing a trade, they could move the pieces they currently have around. In particular, Golden State already knows what Curry, Thompson, and Green can do on the court together.
The addition of Wiggins is a bit of a wild card. With that being said, the 25-year-old already appears to be a better fit than D’Angelo Russell.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr could try the same strategy that he used with Andre Iguodala by moving Wiggins to the bench. Iguodala and Wiggins have different skill sets, but a move like this would add a much-needed scorer to the second unit.
With that being said, it would also give the team some flexibility as it approaches the draft. By moving Wiggins to the bench, Golden State could target a player such as Georgie shooting guard Anthony Edwards, Maccabi Tel Aviv small forward Deni Avdija, or New Zealand Breakers guard R.J. Hampton.
Essentially, this would allow the team to scout a wider array of players that they could immediately slot into the starting lineup alongside Curry, Thompson, and Green.
In terms of development, there really is not a better scenario for a collegiate prospect than to learn the NBA landscape from these three players.
All options should be on the table as the Warriors approach the draft.
They should avoid drafting based on needs, but if they are unable to swing a trade, the team could get a little creative with the lineup to expand their draft pool options and extend their championship run.