Not too many teams picking at the second spot in the NBA Draft are NBA Championship contenders, but that’s where the Golden State Warriors find themselves in 2020.
The chaotic 2019-20 NBA season wasn’t one to remember for the Warriors and it feels like decades ago we were talking about the “Curry Era” and the Golden State Dynasty.
So, it’s crazy to think the Warriors could be a draft pick away from taking back the top spot in the league.
While, as of today, there is still talk of the Warriors looking to move the second pick in the 2020 draft and while that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, I feel there is significant production available at that spot via the draft itself.
As long as Minnesota doesn’t do anything crazy, it seems the Timberwolves will take LaMelo Ball at number one meaning the Warriors would have maybe the most impactful player in this year’s draft fall right into their lap.
That player is Memphis center James Wiseman.
Wiseman didn’t play much at Memphis due to some recruiting issues, but in three games, we were able to see some glimpses of his potential including his 28 point, 11 rebound performance against South Carolina State.
In high school and on the traveling circuit, Wiseman had all the intangibles to be a straight-to-the-league player if that was still available.
Nonetheless, Wiseman has drawn comparisons to players like DeAndre Jordan, Chris Bosh, or even a Kevin Garnett in terms of what he’s able to do on the floor both on offense and defense.
Of course, the big issue with Wiseman in this year’s draft is how little everyone has actually seen him play. Again, Wiseman hasn’t played an actual basketball game since November of last year.
That’s where Golden State comes in.
Wiseman is the perfect fit for the Warriors as he wouldn’t be option one, two or even three in his first season with Golden State.
He would be able to adapt to the NBA speed and style at his own pace while still doing the things he does well: rebound, play defense, and create inside-out opportunities for the sharpshooting Warriors.
Those three skills alone make Wiseman, in my opinion, the obvious choice for the Warriors at the two-spot in this year’s draft. Even trading away the pick doesn’t bring in as much value as Wiseman does in year one.
Now, as usual, the Warriors will shop around and may land a few veteran players to fill their roster, but the one good thing about the struggles of last year is the Warriors have had a bunch of time to recover from injuries and rest before the start of the next season while many playoff teams have had less than four months of an offseason.
With a healthy Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green plus the option of not trading away Andrew Wiggins and keeping Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole, Marquese Chriss, and Ky Bowman under contract with the addition of Wiseman make the Warriors the team to beat in the NBA in 2020.
Whether the Warriors have plans to pursue a big name in the free agent market next season or not, drafting Wiseman this year make Golden State yet again the elite of the NBA.
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