Welcome Golden State Warriors fans, I bet you didn't expect to be reading an article like this so soon. While some of you might be depressed with the recent season Dub Nation had...we would like to kindly remind you that you have a healthy backcourt returning next year that is the best in the entire NBA...
Moving on. Basketball fans around the world should be potentially terrified about what might happen if the Warriors can hit a home run in this draft. This is literally the recipe for the 1997 Spurs and it's happening all over again. If you remember, the Spurs had their franchise center go down early in the season with a broken leg, which led to the team finishing the season with one of the worst records in the league. That player was David Robinson. The Spurs would then win the lottery that year and select a talented big man from Wake Forest. That talented big man? Timothy Theodore Duncan.
Fast forward to this previous season and the Warriors had their two stars miss the majority of the season recovering from injuries. Now, Bob Meyers and the Warriors office are a lottery win away from having an important decision on their hands. Do the Warriors keep the pick? Do they try to trade it away for a veteran who could gel "quickly" with this team? Do the Warriors trade down and acquire future assets? All questions we plan to tackle one by one in this article.
For the sake of this article, let's predict that the Warriors win the first overall selection in the lottery.
OPTION A: WARRIORS KEEP THE PICK
The most likely scenario when it comes to the Warriors landing the number one overall selection in this year's class. It's not a common thing to have a team with so much talent already land a potential number one overall selection. The problem is, this is an extremely strange Draft Class to be in the lottery this year. This year's class is deep in point guards, a position in which the Golden State Warriors might just be satisfied with. (That was a joke about Steph Curry being their point guard and they don't need to draft one...I sincerely hope that your humor is that advanced). Let's break down the options the Dubs have if they stay at number one overall.
The most likely option and the number one prospect on our 2020 NBA Draft Board. Edwards is a bulldog of a wing with a blossoming offensive game and some serious potential as a defender. Yes, Klay Thompson exists. I am very much aware of that. With Edwards, you would be taking the best player available in the draft and open up the potential for lineups in which you slide Klay to the three and Edwards at the 2. Worst case scenario, Edwards is brought along slowly...providing a serious punch off of the bench until he's ready for a bigger role. It puts the number one pick in a "little pressure, build your confidence" scenario which is crucial to a career full of success. The former Georgia Bulldog, Edwards reclassified before the season, and he will also be one of the youngest players in this year's class.
Now, this is where things are going to start to get tricky. Yes, we are aware of the numerous amounts of draft experts that believe that the Warriors should take LaMelo and let the team flourish in transition. But the fit really doesn't make a lot of sense. Ball would be an exciting potential playmaker to add to the Warriors arsenal, but other than that...what area is going to make this Warriors team take a big step forward? LaMelo's not known for his outside shooting, as he finished the year posting a three-point percentage of 25%. So are you permanently going to move Steph to the 2 and have him play off of the ball the majority of the time? If you do that you're also moving Klay to the three permanently. Yes, we stated above that if the Warriors took a player like Edwards you'd have to move Klay to the three, but those types of wings could rotate positions theoretically. I don't believe the Warriors would have possessions in which Steph was running a set for LaMelo coming off of a screen. Now the Dubs could think just the exact opposite. If the Warriors believe that LaMelo is the best player in this draft, they could simply just take Ball and figure out the rest later. But, didn't the team just try that with a worse shooter in D'Angelo Russell?
JAMES WISEMAN or ONYEKA OKONGWU
The most logical idea here is for the Warriors to add a big man to the arsenal, an idea they have been infatuated with since the Dubs tried to add DeAndre Jordan via an offer sheet in 2011, and when they tried to sign Dwight Howard before signing Andre Iguodala in 2013. James Wiseman was projected to be this year's number one overall selection before a roller coaster of an experience at the University of Memphis which led to Wiseman leaving after just 3 games. While Wiseman is the physical freak of this year's draft at 7'1" with pogo stick like athleticism, there are still way too many questions to be answered. Wiseman will most likely earn himself the "wildcard" tag as the draft gets closer, but there's no denying the potential. If the Warriors were to add a player like Wiseman, they'd be betting on the big man's presence to open up things on both sides of the floor. If management believes that Wiseman could become an elite rim protector, the Warriors defense in full would take a huge step forward. The other big man to consider would be USC freshman Onyeka Okongwu, who would seem more likely of a trade down candidate for the Warriors but still would be a fantastic addition.
This is the option that NO ONE is talking about and I feel like the Joker saying "introduce a little anarchy." So while some might consider this just absolutely nuts (thank you), let's just play devil's advocate here. Say the Warriors decide that Avdija is the best player in this draft class. Imagine the possibilities. Avdija has been utilized as a point-forward during his time playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel). He's at his best when he's in transition and is able to use his playmaking skills. A phenomenal passer with a fantastic feel for the game at 6'9", the idea of adding that type of skillset with Curry and Klay running the wings in transition makes for an intriguing idea. The difference in this idea between the idea of adding a similar skillset of LaMelo Ball is that with Avdija you can roll out a small ball lineup featuring Curry, Klay, Wiggins, Avdija, and Draymond. Avdija is also going to be a prospect that simply needs to be brought along slowly. But if you believe that Avdija could be the real deal in this draft class, what better fit for a young prospect to build some confidence.
OPTION B: WARRIORS TRADE THE PICK
Personally, this option wouldn't surprise me in the least. The only curveball with this option...is how does the rest of the NBA weigh the value of the top selection. That might seem like an obvious question, but leaguewide there's a lot of "disappointment" about the overall strength of this class. It's a shaky lottery and there doesn't look to be a lot of "star" power in this class. Now, I'm not saying that this isn't a good class, because I personally believe there's a lot of really intriguing talent to add to the fold for certain franchises...but there are some questions about the Top 5. If the Warriors Front Office isn't sold on anyone, they could look to move the selection to another team and acquire additional draft capital as well as a veteran to add to the mix. While previous years might have attracted a larger haul when it came to a potential trade, it would be interesting to see what teams would give up in this class. The Warriors are going to be in win-now mode, so the team might value specifically adding the right piece to the puzzle compared to waiting for a rookie to develop over the prime years of their incredible backcourt.
OPTION C: WARRIORS TRADE DOWN
If the Warriors could sell another team on coming up to 1 in order to get a player the opposing team is smitten by, that could be a fantastic move as well. Let's say the Warriors want to add a big man but they prefer Onyeka Okongwu to James Wiseman at this point. Well, odds are the Warriors could move down a couple of slots, and add some capital while getting their guy. With how things are going in the NBA due to the coronavirus pandemic, it could make it more difficult for a trade of such magnitude to successfully go down, as teams will have less time to be around players in person. Still, with Curry (32), Thompson (30), and Draymond (30), you would think the Warriors might be intrigued by the idea of adding a veteran who could come in and become a factor immediately.
Time will tell what the Golden State Warriors want to do when it comes to their draft selection. It proves to be a huge decision for Dub Nation, as hitting this selection correctly could be a huge step forward for the organization towards getting back to dominance in the Western Conference. There will be a debate to what way the team should go moving forward...but the first hurdle? Winning the lottery. After that, things are sure to pick up in a hurry.