The silver lining in what was a horrendous 2019-20 campaign for the Warriors is that they have now placed themselves in a position to do really well in the upcoming draft. After finishing the season with a league-worst 15-50 record, the Dubs have the best odds of securing the first overall pick in the draft.
The Warriors will have some competition, though, with the both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves also in possession of a 14% chance of winning the top pick in the lottery — the exact same odds the Warriors have.
Be that as it may, the Dubs are guaranteed to get a top-five pick in the upcoming draft. While there’s no surefire stud in this draft, the Warriors will have a fair amount of options to choose from, including trade possibilities.
Below we present the top five names the Dubs should seriously consider for the draft.
5. LaMelo Ball
There’s no denying that LaMelo Ball is one of the more polarizing prospects in this draft class, and his father is just one of the reasons why that’s the case. LaVar Ball has already made comments about how LaMelo wouldn’t be a good fit with Golden State. Still, another thing that cannot be denied is the fact that LaMelo also stands out as arguably the best guard in this year’s class.
If Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is willing to commit to playing a third guard alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, they could do much worse than LaMelo. This was something that they at least intended to do when they signed D’Angelo Russell last summer, and with LaMelo in the mix, Kerr might just be able to finally see how this rather unconventional system could benefit his team in the long run.
4. Obi Toppin
If the Dubs wanted to add a bit of flare to their aging roster, National Player of the Year winner Obi Toppin should be the way to go. The 22-year-old forward would look to make an instant impact for the Warriors as a tremendous scorer. Toppin’s high-flying, above-the-rim style of play coupled with his formidable range would make for a great addition to Golden State’s staring lineup.
Alternatively, Toppin would be outstanding for the Dubs coming off the bench, and he would instantly provide the second unit with some much-needed firepower.
3. Onyeka Okongwu
Despite his love for small-ball lineups, Steve Kerr still requires a legitimate big man on his roster. This is exactly why they signed DeMarcus Cousins a couple of years ago, but injuries got in the way of the veteran center really finding his groove in Oakland. Should the Warriors look to use their lottery pick in acquiring a new big, then USC center Onyeka Okongwu should definitely be on their radar.
Aside from being an athletic big who has a knack for finishing around the rim, one of Okongwu’s traits that would put him in Kerr’s good graces is his ability to defend multiple positions. Despite having one of the best offensive lineups in the history of the NBA, the Warriors still pride themselves with their outstanding defense. Okongwu fits the bill in this respect.
2. James Wiseman
It’s pretty much the same argument with Okongwu above, except that Wiseman is considered the better prospect. If the Warriors want a big-time center, they should certainly jump on this tremendous opportunity.
The undersized Kevon Looney has proven to be rather injury-prone, and Marquese Chriss is not exactly the most reliable option. The Warriors need some help in their frontcourt, and Wiseman is the most talented big man in the draft. For what it’s worth, Wiseman has a 7-foot-6 wingspan, so just imagine how his length would be able to help the Dubs on both ends of the floor. Wiseman has the makings of being Golden State’s premier big man of the future.
1. Anthony Edwards
If the Warriors end up securing the first overall pick, it would be in their best interest to take Georgia guard Anthony Edwards. Some might think that adding another guard should not be at the very top of Golden State’s priority list, but this young man is just too good to pass up.
The Splash Brothers are not getting any younger, and what Edwards presents is a potential future cornerstone superstar. Playing under the tutelage of a Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson would only help Edwards in reaching his full potential.
In the end, this should be a no-brainer for the Warriors should they acquire the first overall pick … unless of course they want to make a trade for a more proven talent.