Fresh off a 2022 NBA championship win over the Boston Celtics, the Golden State Warriors further reloaded their youth core by selecting three rookies in the 2022 NBA Draft. In fact, they even acquired a pick (no. 44 from the Atlanta Hawks) and used it to draft guard Ryan Rollins. The Warriors picked swingman Patrick Baldwin Jr., a top-10 recruit out of high school that had a sub-par and injury-riddled campaign, with the no. 28 pick. Finally, Golden State went with Brazilian forward Gui Santos with their own second-rounder at no. 55.
As you can see with their picks, Golden State went with two wings and a guard to add to their deep cast of young perimeter prospects. You’d think that with their lack of size, the defending champs will use at least one of their picks to draft a big man. That should continue to be the biggest need the Warriors still must address this offseason after the 2022 NBA Draft.
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Biggest Warriors Need After 2022 NBA Draft
As in their previous runs, Golden State relied on their small-ball unit to propel them to the NBA championship. Still, it is better for the Warriors to have that insurance big they can plug in on those veteran rest days that Steve Kerr will continue to give his aging core moving forward.
The Warriors only really had Kevon Looney as their one true center the entire 2021-22 campaign. And at 6-foot-9, even he was undersized at that position.
Golden State banked on the notion that it would get 2020 no. 2 overall pick James Wiseman back at some point during the campaign after he suffered a meniscus tear in his rookie season. The 21-year-old had already geared for a return, appearing in a couple of G-League games for the Santa Cruz Warriors. But the 7-footer experienced complications with his ailing knee and the Warriors made a decision to hold him out for the entire season.
Gerard Samillano ·
Much kudos needs to go to Looney for holding the fort — and doing so in all of Golden State’s 104 games this past season. And he was a huge part of the Warriors championship run with his tenacious rebounding and solid defensive presence. His terrific play, especially during the postseason, caught the eyes of some teams around the league. Golden State will do everything it can to retain his services. But other teams could look to pry away the Warriors lifer away from the Bay Area.
There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to Golden State’s big man situation. With three championships and a potential bag in the books, Looney could walk away for more dollars. Meanwhile, Wiseman hasn’t been able to prove that he could stay on the floor. And even he is a project that may need time to re-acclimate himself in the NBA after being out for so long.
With that said, Golden State should address their need for a big man. The Warriors could fill one of their two-way spots with a big body. He won’t need to be this game-changing type of piece that will be tasked to guard the likes of Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, or whoever other elite big men are there out in the Western Conference. The Warriors will really only need someone who can hold his own in the regular season to make sure Draymond Green gets through the grind of the postseason.