Golden State Warriors

Warriors select 18-year-old pro from Australia at No. 7 in NBA Mock Draft by The Athletic

With most basketball insiders at a consensus regarding the top five or six prospects available in the upcoming NBA Draft — and the Golden State Warriors selecting at No. 7 — league observers are starting to get more creative in choosing a player for the Warriors, as they compile mock drafts from now until the actual selection meeting on July 29.

Case in point: the first NBA Mock Draft from The Athletic’s Zach Harper. After he mocked the consensus top-6 players into the top-6 draft slots, he started his section on the Warriors by claiming “This is where the draft could go any way possible.”

Then, he selected 18-year-old Australian guard/forward Josh Giddey for Golden State. He’s a young veteran of Australia’s premier professional league, the NBL.

Here’s a portion of what Harper said about Giddey.

Giddey is a tall, playmaking wing at 6-foot-8 who can find a teammate in any situation with either hand. I’m not sure there’s a pass he can’t make, and he seems to know the play a couple steps ahead. Where the Warriors will really have to develop him is shooting the ball and playing on-ball defense. The shooting is pretty ugly with his motion, so we’re looking at a likely teardown of the mechanics. But he can keep the offense flowing, and the Warriors may not feel confident he’ll be around at No. 14 when they pick again.

Zach Harper/The Athletic

I mean, I’ll be blunt. Judging from Harper’s comments, this selection would likely be a disaster for the Warriors. The issues with Giddey’s jumpshot are obviously the most concerning. Paired with his pass-first habits, Giddey sounds like a smaller version of struggling 76ers guard Ben Simmons.

Simmons is skilled, but he can’t shoot well at all. And in Golden State, adding more shooters to space the floor is a main objective this offseason. In the NBL, Giddey shot 43 percent from the field and just 29 percent from 3-point land.

Plus, Giddey doesn’t vibe with another Warriors’ need: maturity. Giddy won’t turn 19 years old until October, and he’ll be a long-term project, in all likelihood. General manager Bob Myers has stated that he’s not interested in developing players if it comes at the expense of winning ballgames.

Furthermore, Golden state already has a prospect from last year’s draft performing well in the NBL. Second-round pick Justinian Jessup had a fantastic year down under after four years at Boise State. Though he also struggled a bit from the field, shooting 42 percent, he shot an impressive 34 percent from distance.

But as Harper says in completing his comments about the Warriors’ draft situation, everything is on the table for Golden State, including trading each of it’s lottery picks (Nos. 7 and 14) along with second-year center James Wiseman and forward Andrew Wiggins for a disgruntled superstar.

I’m not a fan of that scenario, but it does sound better than selecting Giddey, at the least. Giddey is a top prospect for sure, but he’s simply not a good option for the Warriors at this crucial moment in franchise history.

(Photo courtesy nikk_la)

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