Now that the Golden State Warriors own the seventh and 14th picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, the team can get down to business and make some big decisions regarding a highly-anticipated season, one which figures to see the Warriors compete for an NBA title once again.
The known draft order also means it’s time for those that report on the Warriors to make their own draft-pick suggestions for Golden State general manager Bob Myers. As in: it’s mock draft season.
The Athletic took a crack at selecting players for all 14 lottery picks, including the Warriors at No. 7, of course. Warriors beat writer Anthony Slater did the honors and selected Michigan forward Franz Wagner. Here’s part of what Slater said about the 6-foot-9 sophomore.
He’s a longer wing with perimeter agility. He should be able to switch and, if his potential is realized, be part of versatile small-ball lineups that are needed to survive in the postseason.
Wagner doesn’t seem to have a high offensive ceiling. The Warriors do need more playmaking juice around Steph Curry to better make defenses pay when they swarm him. Wagner, particularly early in his career, wouldn’t solve that. But he shot it a passable 34 percent from 3 as a sophomore at Michigan and the jumper looks like it’ll translate enough to make him a capable floor-spacer. Plus — Steve Kerr alert — he has a nice feel for the game, passing and moving with fluidity. I think it’s a nice fit.Anthony Slater/The Athletic
This selection reflects Golden State’s circumstances nicely. The club wants to add players that can help aging superstars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson win now, and Slater believes Wagner’s feel for the game and “perimeter agility” can be an immediate benefit.
Of course, Myers can trade the pick, since the club is in need of veteran players. The problem, however, is that the Warriors select outside the top-5 spots; this NBA Draft has five consensus “can’t miss” players, giving those top draft slots excessive value.
So would Wagner fulfill all needs? A young player with a veteran-like presence? It’s just crazy enough to work. But it’s also crazy enough to leave the Warriors with a complimentary player at No. 7. The process is just beginning however, and The BASH will watch Myers’ every move (within reason).
(Photo courtesy Marc-Gregor Campredon)