Golden State’s most likely scenario came to fruition, as the Warriors will have two picks in the top 14 of July 29’s NBA draft, including Minnesota’s first-round pick.
The annual draft lottery awarded Golden State with the seventh and 14th overall picks. Golden State held the 14th and last spot in the lottery after missing the playoffs by losing the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies in the play-in tournament. That gave the Warriors just a 2.4% chance of moving up.
Meanwhile, most of the intrigue pertained to the Timberwolves’ pick that the Warriors acquired in the 2020 trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins. That pick, which was slotted sixth in the lottery, was protected for selections 1-3. Minnesota would keep the pick only if it jumped into the top three.
So while the best-case scenario would have been Golden State’s own pick jumping to the top spot and Minnesota’s landing at No. 4, the far more probable scenario involved something along the lines of the Warriors’ own pick staying at 14 and Minnesota’s landing in the middle of the lottery.
The Pistons got the first overall pick, followed by the Rockets, Cavaliers, Raptors, Magic, Thunder, Warriors, Magic, Kings, Pelicans, Hornets, Spurs and Pacers.
THE NBA DRAFT ORDER IS OFFICIALLY SET pic.twitter.com/VB1HN2DzDh
— ESPN (@espn) June 23, 2021
With the seventh pick, the Warriors won’t likely have a chance to select one of the draft’s consensus top-five prospects: Oklahoma City’s Cade Cunningham, USC’s Evan Mobley, Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs and G League Ignite’s Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga. However, they will be in line to select from the next tier of prospects that includes Florida State’s Scottie Barnes, Baylor’s Davion Mitchell, Duke’s Jalen Johnson, Tennessee’s Keon Johnson, Michigan’s Franz Wagner and others.
At 14, players such as Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert, Australia’s Josh Giddey, Oregon’s Chris Duarte and Stanford’s Ziaire Williams and others could be available.
Golden State could try to trade one or both of these picks for more experienced help for Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, or package them to move up in the draft. However, the Warriors front office is comfortable with the notion of adding two more rookies to a roster topped by an aging core. While last year’s second-overall pick James Wiseman failed to make a consistently positive impact last season, management is betting that he and Golden State’s other young players can find ways to contribute.
Whatever the Warriors do with their picks, at least they know now where they will be selecting. The rest of the offseason starts now.
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Author: Wes Goldberg