The Golden State Warriors just landed the second overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. The NBA’s most recent dynastic power went from five straight NBA Finals appearances to having the worst record in the league this season.
It might have been good for their fan base for the season to be cut short due to COVID-19 so they wouldn’t have to sit back and watch Golden State lose even more games. Yet, the Warriors seem to be on their way back to glory because of what’s next: This season’s dismal display propelled them to the second overall pick in this year’s draft. The results emerged in the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery on Thursday.
The lottery has put the franchise in a good position to reshape its squad. With the championship core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green intact, a lot of pundits are weighing in on whether the Warriors should move their number two pick elsewhere in the hopes of signing a huge name to form a new superteam, something that has worked quite well for them in the past. With that said, whom can the Warriors trade for with this coveted lottery pick?
Bradley Beal has been in trade rumors for the past few years now. The Washington Wizards star swingman has been with the Wizards since 2012 as he was drafted by the franchise as their third overall pick. Though Beal has flourished in DC and built one of the most elite backcourt tandems in the league today with John Wall, it’s no surprise that Washington could potentially move him to focus on Wall and build a young core around the five-time All-Star.
Beal was first linked to the Warriors when they tried to move D’Angelo Russel earlier this season. Trade talks between Golden State and Washington didn’t pull through and Russell was sent to Minnesota instead for Andrew Wiggins and a few draft picks. With a new ace up on their sleeves in this year’s no. 2 pick, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Warriors go back on the negotiation table with the Wizards. If Beal ends up in the Bay Area, he will form a very scary 1-2-3 combination with Curry and Thompson and will definitely boost the Warriors already-potent offense.
It’s no question that Joel Embiid isn’t happy with his current situation over at the City of Brotherly Love. The Cameroonian seems to have quite the love-hate relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers which has resulted to a ton of trade rumors over the past year. With another imminent playoff exit this season against the Boston Celtics, it won’t be surprising if the Sixers make key moves this offseason to help them rebuild the franchise. The tandem of Embiid and Ben Simmons hasn’t quite worked out as well as they’d want to for Philadelphia so a possibility to grab a young prospect in this year’s draft should definitely be worth a look. This is something the Warriors would want to take full advantage.
Though a small-ball lineup with Draymond Green playing the five spot has worked marvelously for Golden State, the potential of adding a high-caliber center to anchor their offense and defense would be add an interesting dimension to the new-look Warriors.
As absurd as it sounds, the possibility of the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo switching teams and leaving the Milwaukee Bucks has gained some traction. And if there’s one team that’s capable of making such a move, its Bob Myers and the rest of the Warriors front office. And securing this year’s no. 2 pick only helps the Warriors’ chances to make a blockbuster move.
Antetokounmpo’s current contract with the Bucks is only good until 2021. Even if both his camp and the Bucks’ executives being firm in wanting to extend his contract long-term, now would be the best time for Milwaukee to see what they can get for their prized superstar. The Warriors might have to throw more than this year’s pick for the trade to even be considered by the Bucks. Even with top prospects like LaMelo Ball, Obi Toppin and James Wiseman all potentially available at the second slot this year, you’d be crazy to think that the Bucks would settle for a new project in exchange for a proven, franchise-changing superstar in Giannis. The Warriors would have to include players like Andrew Wiggins as well as future draft picks and tie a shiny red bow on a trade package for the Bucks to even spend a millisecond in exploring.
But if this move ends up happening, the possibility of having a Steph-Giannis tandem would virtually give the Warriors the Larry O’Brien trophy for years to come. Look for Golden State to move mountains to make sure they have a decent chance of landing The Greek Freak – a move that could potentially reshape the league.