With the NBA Draft 2020 approaching, a lot of speculation around the Golden State Warriors' second pick has emerged. The Warriors 5-year reign came to an end after a slew of long-term injuries to key players. With the off-season underway, the front offices of teams are busy in trying to bring in the right players to bolster their rosters.
Top 5 prospects the Golden State Warriors could target in NBA Draft 2020
If you started following the NBA anytime after 2014, you will know that there was only one team dominating and making other teams fear them; that team was the Golden State Warriors. Led by the Splash Brothers, this team holds the record for the best regular season with 73 wins and have won three NBA Championship in the last five seasons.
The Bay Area fans didn't see their team win the NBA Championship since 1975. That was no longer the case when Stephen Curry was drafted in 2009 as the seventh overall pick, who went to change the face of the game as we know it.
It is safe to say that the Warriors' front office knows how to recognize talent. On that note, let us take a look at the top five players in the NBA Draft 2020 that could fit the Warriors system.
#1 Anthony Edwards (Freshman out of Georgia)
19.1 PPG | 2.8 APG | 5.2 RPG | 0.6 BPG | 1.3 SPG | 29.4 3P% | 77.2 FT%
Anthony Edwards has been projected to be a top 5 overall pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft. If the Timberwolves don't pick him at first pick, the 6' 5", 225-pound guard could find himself playing in the Bay Area.
Edwards is a versatile scorer and has good athleticism. Edwards, along with Wiseman, worked out with the Warriors last week. According to a report by The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II, both were 'beasts 'in the workout.
Edwards has a defensive upside and could develop good offensive skills playing alongside champion players at the Warriors.
Scout Reports have said that he is a good passer, can read open cutters and shooters and is a versatile defender, but he lacks playmaking.
However, since playmaking isn't a worry for the Warriors as they rely on off-the-ball rotation and getting a good look from behind the 3-point line, a strong and agile passer with rebounding and defensive ability might just be a good fit for the team.
#2 James Wiseman (Freshman out of Memphis)
19.7 PPG | 0.3 APG | 10.7 RPG | 3.0 BPG | 0.3 SPG | 76.9 FG% | 70.4 FT%
James Wiseman, according to many reports, is the likely pick for the Golden State Warriors. The Timberwolves with the first pick are unlikely to draft a big man as their center is Karl Anthony-Towns.
Wiseman is an athletic and active rebounder. He has shown great instincts to track the trajectories of missed shots in the offensive glass. At 7' 1" and with a 7' 6" wingspan, Wiseman, who averages almost three blocks per game, is clearly the best rim protector in the upcoming NBA Draft 2020.
The 19-year old has shown great potential as a screener and has shown the ability to finish lobs. He has a soft touch and has the skill to finish with either hand besides having a great post-up game.
Considering that Wiseman could come off the screen a lot, he needs to improve his assists and passing ability as he will find himself passing the ball to the 'Splash Brothers' more often than not. Nevertheless, James Wiseman seems to fit perfectly with the Warriors as he possesses skills missing in the Warriors' roster and could help Steph and Klay in their goal of winning another NBA title.
#3 Onyeka Okongwu (Freshman out of USC)
16.2 PPG | 1.1 APG | 8.6 RPG | 2.7 BPG | 1.2 SPG | 61.6 FG% | 72.0 FT%
Onyeka Okungwu is clearly the second-best shot-blocker in the NBA Draft 2020 behind James Wiseman. He posts up well, has great interior scoring and an incredibly soft touch and can make flashy and slick passes to teammates out of the post.
Okungwu comes up for screens and hustles and has great versatility as a defender. He is an excellent pick-and-roll defender and is said to have a higher IQ than most of the players in the Draft. He is called 'NBA-ready' by many.
He has many clutch plays in his arsenal and played in the Pac-12 with USC, where he led the Conference in field-goal percentage with 61%.
Okungwu rebounds all over the floor and has decent handles with occasional crossovers and rip-throughs. He is usually found in the right spot at the right time, and his positioning, timing and instincts lead to efficient shots.
#4 Deni Avdija (Forward out of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel)
7.7 PPG | 0.9 APG | 4.1 RPG | 0.2 BPG | 0.3 SPG | 33.6 3P% | 60.0 FT%
With speculation regarding Andrew Wiggins' future at the Warriors, many have predicted an addition of a wing player by the team. A Warriors group featuring Golden State General Manager Bob Myers and Head Coach Steve Kerr were reportedly 'blown away' by a workout with Avdija in Atlanta.
Avdija is said to be savvy in pick-and-roll situations and attentively locates cutters and shooters. His impressive playmaking skills and finishing prowess pushes him ahead of most forwards in the NBA Draft 2020. He has versatile offense and has multiple tricks in his arsenal along with the ability to score with either hand.
According to Kevin O'Connor from The Ringer:
"He’s an active on-ball defender and excellent team defender who rotates well and typically finds himself in the right position".
Everyone expects the Warriors to draft a big man with rim-protecting abilities, but considering Bob Myers' excellent off-season moves in the past, one shouldn't be too surprised if the Golden State Warriors pick Avdija in the draft and train a future NBA star.
#5 Obi Toppin (Sophomore out of Dayton)
20.0 PPG | 2.2 APG | 7.5 RPG | 1.2 BPG | 0.8 SPG | 63.3 FG% | 70.8 FT%
Another potential big man for the Warriors could be Obi Toppin out of Dayton, Ohio. Toppin reminds people of the Pheonix Suns legend Amar'e Stoudemire. One can't help but visualize a Steve Nash-Amar'e Stoudemire type relationship between Stephen Curry and Obi Toppin.
Toppin has brilliant athleticism and jumps with explosive power for ferocious dunks. He has a decent 3-point shot but isn't too keen on using it. That shouldn't be a problem for the Warriors, though, as they seldom asks their centers to shoot threes. Rather, they would prefer them to aid in the off-the-ball movement of the guards.
According to The Ringer's Mock Draft:
"He can attack from the perimeter, and he’ll be a weapon in fake dribble handoffs since he can facilitate, shoot or get to the basket."
With a height of 6' 9" and a wingspan of 6' 11", Obi Toppin's athleticism, leaping ability and quickness could theoretically be a good mix for a shot blocker. Although he hasn't shown much interest in blocks, training from accomplished Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr might lead him to develop that skill set.