The Golden State Warriors are infamous for building a dynasty organically in a time when superteams reigned supreme, relying on the NBA Draft to build up their roster, going against the grain of the rest of the league.
For this reason and more, the 2023 NBA Draft is an incredibly important event for the Warriors, even without them having a lottery pick. That said, with a mid-first round pick, Golden State is going to have a great chance to find a future rotation player.
Who that player may be is, of course, up to debate. As one of the premier teams in the league and already having multiple young pieces that could find themselves playing a larger role in the future, there are arguably no immediate needs for Golden State.
However, there is one player that the Warriors arguably need more than any that will be available when they're on the clock at No. 19: Houston Cougars guard Marcus Sasser.
Over the course of his career, Sasser averaged 14.8 points and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 37.2 percent from 3-point range.
His best skill is their favorite
Marcus Sasser is a high-level 3-point shooter that 38.4 percent of his 3-point attempts last season and has made 36.9 percent of his 3s over the course of his collegiate career. In his last two seasons with the Cougars, Sasser shot 39.9 percent from distance on 7.4 3-point attempts per game.
As the Golden State Warriors franchise has become synonymous with the 3-point era, Sasser being one of the truly great shooters in the 2023 NBA Draft should garner plenty of attention from the prestigious organization.
Especially as, in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, only two rotation players shot over 35 percent from 3; the Splash Brothers.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has typically struggled to develop young players or to trust them, making Sasser's potential impact in Golden State questionable. However, like all teams, Golden State must keep replacing cogs to keep their machine going. Whether he'll be given a proper chance or not, Sasser's skillset helps the Warriors do just that.
One of the biggest questions for the Golden State Warriors moving forward is what to do about guards Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson, both of whom are coming off of a forgettable playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Poole's laissez-faire style of play came under fire nationally, leading to questions about his future with the Warriors. Thompson underwhelmed with 34.3 percent shooting from the field, largely while being chased around by Lakers breakout star Austin Reaves.
Furthermore, Thompson's once vaunted defense slipping due to multiple major injuries as he approaches the final season of his contract in 2023-24 at 33-years-old.
Then there's shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo, expected to become a free agent this offseason after shooting just 37.5 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from 3 in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Fellow shooting guard Moses Moody in position to get a contract extension but has had an inconsistent role, affecting his contract value and potentially his desire to remain in Golden State.
It's clear that Golden State needs to address their backcourt depth, even if they don't make any major moves.
With the Golden State Warriors projected to be $80 million over the 2023-24 salary cap, there are limited ways for them to add talent this offseason outside of the draft.
They'll have a $1.3 million trade exception that expires Feb. 2024, and the ability to sign players to minimum contracts. However, due to the new CBA rules, the Warriors will likely forfeit their ability to sign players with the taxpayer's mid-level exception, valued at $5 million.
Consequently, as Golden State looks for ways to improve moving forward, the NBA Draft provides them with the best option of doing so.
It also increases the importance of their approach to player development, and thus the importance of drafting a player that's entered the NBA with either plenty of upside or experience. Sasser, a four-year starter under an elite head coach at Houston in Kelvin Sampson, certainly has the latter.