Golden State Warriors

Draft-day options for Golden State Warriors if they select outside the top 5

The NBA Draft lottery will loom large for the Golden State Warriors this season. The franchise owns a top-three protected pick from the lowly Timberwolves, and the hope from general manager Bob Myers is that his team gets the No. 4 or No. 5 choice.

That’s because draft experts say there are five “can’t miss” prospects in the upcoming selection meeting.

If the Wolves end the season as the NBA’s worst team, which they have a legit shot at doing, Golden State will have a 60-percent chance of winning either that No. 4 or No. 5 draft slot.

But what if the Wolves crawl out of the cellar, ruining the Warriors’ odds? Minnesota is only tied for last in the league, so that is a possible scenario. What player not considered a top-5 pick could be a fit for Myers and coach Steve Kerr?

The Athletic recently dived into that question. NBA writer Sam Vecenie said that a trade could be in order since it’s anyone’s guess which player would be a wise choice. He also singled out an intriguing prospect, Florida State’s Scottie Barnes. What’s most interesting is that Vecenie says Barnes owns a game similar to Warriors forward Draymond Green.

Florida State’s Scottie Barnes still has yet to declare for the draft, but imagine him as something of a new-age Draymond who will profile best on the defensive end as a passer at 6 foot 9 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan or so. He’s switchable, he ran point guard for Florida State and has some real questions about how he scores the basketball. The best thing for his development would be getting Draymond to rub off some of that genius-level basketball IQ on his game.

Sam Vecenie/The Athletic

Other than having to wait and see if he declares, I’m intrigued. Though it is hilarious that Barnes’ offensive shortcomings remind Vecenie of Green. Here’s a highlight package of Barnes. What do you think?

His length is very obvious, and he appears to be an elite talent. As far as backup plans go, he looks good.

Vecenie also mentioned Baylor’s Davion Mitchell, Arkansas’ Moses Moody, Tennessee’s Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer, Connecticut’s James Bouknight, Texas’ Kai Jones and Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert.

Ultimately, however, the Warriors want that top-5 pick. But if that doesn’t happen and there’s no trade available, Myers has to be ready. Hopefully, he has plenty of front-office help because this will be an enormous draft for Golden State, with ramifications for years to come .

(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

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