Still have a week before draft day, meaning still a lot of time for things to change. Here is what I’m hearing regarding the Warriors.
Per the NBA rumor mill, the Chicago Bulls are entertaining giving up Luol Deng to get into the NBA draft lottery. According to sources, Golden State hasn’t talked with Chicago about Deng yet. But Deng is on the Warriors’ short list of veteran small forwards they’d be interested in.
Chicago would have to take some of the Warriors’ baggage in return, such as Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins, along with the No. 7 pick. The Bulls may get better offers. Trade talks, from the Warriors end, have been fairly slow. But things won’t pick up in earnest anyway until next week, as the June 28 draft nears.
Here is a couple name to throw into the mix for the No. 7 pick: Syracuse SG Dion Waiters and Washington SG/SF Terrence Ross.
According to sources, Waiters is high on the Warriors’ draft board. The 6-foot-4, 221-pound guard has impressed several teams and appears to be one of the hot names. He impresses the Warriors because of his ability to score, create offense and also play point guard. He’s got good size for a point guard. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Waiters’ game reminds him of Dwayne Wade.
Ross is more of a sleeper pick. At 6-foot-7, 197 pounds, is in many ways a more athletic Klay Thompson. He can shoot it, and his game is based on his shot. Ross, because of his quickness and hops, was a good college defender with the potential to be a good NBA defender. He rebounds well (6.4 per game last season), too. Like Thompson, Ross needs work on his ability to create for others and needs to get better at getting to the rim and drawing fouls. He also needs to bulk up.
Yes, Golden State already has a starting shooting guard in Thompson. But that doesn’t matter, according to sources. The Warriors are looking for the best available player no matter the position, especially since the early favorites (Baylor’s Perry Jones III and Kentucky’s Terrence Jones) didn’t impress. Going best available leaves the field wide open for the Warriors. Ross, if Portland snatches up Waiters, could feasibly play SF because his athleticism figures to help him guard the position.
Expect the Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami to talk when the Finals ends. Both teams, according to NBA whispers, are looking at possibly trading out of the first round (and therefore not having a guaranteed contract). The Thunder (No. 27) and Heat (No. 28), and even Chicago at No. 29, might be just as happy with the No. 35 pick, which the Warriors can offer along with No. 52.
Why would the Warriors do this? It would give them three first-round picks. That would allow them trade two, to move up or get a veteran they like, and still draft a first-rounder. With Charlotte reportedly dangling No. 2 and maybe the Kings dangling No. 5, Golden State could have some options to move up. Is there anyone up there they really love?
It’s still too early with too many options on the board for the Warriors to hone in on a player. The likelihood is one of the top players could fall given the elite of the draft isn’t that much better than the second tier. The only thing that seems certain at this point is Anthony Davis at No. 1 and maybe Bradley Beal at No. 3 to Washington. (The Wizards acquiring Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, along with Nene and John Wall, gives them a nice looking starting five. They could snatch up Andre Drummond considering Okafor and Nene’s injury history. But Beal fills Washington’s need for backcourt help and is one of the most ready talents. He’ll be hard to pass up). Its’ looking more and more unlikely that Harrison Barnes gets past Cleveland and Sacramento.
The Warriors could have a shot at Andre Drummond. He’s a sexy project, but still a project. He may be too risky for the top five teams, all which immediate help, to select. So if Portland loves Damian Lillard as much as reports say they do, Drummond could be there at No. 7. I’ve heard mixed reviews on Drummond though. Golden State doesn’t want a project. But he is physically a beast and the Warriors desperately need athleticism.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes could possibly drop if Drummond does go top 5. MKG hasn’t been stellar in workouts. Barnes has impressed, and he’s NBA ready, so the gap has closed between the two SFs. If Charlotte gambles and takes Drummond at No. 2, and the Wizards take Beal at No. 3, that leaves Thomas Robinson, MKG and Barnes on the board for Cleveland (No. 4) and Sacramento (No. 5). If Portland isn’t high on MKG (do they need him with Nicolas Batum there) and selects Lillard or even Waiters, Golden State would have a crack at one of the three.
Or, if Charlotte takes Barnes at No. 2 (Reportedly, Michael Jordan loves Barnes and the North Carolina kid figures to sell tickets in Charlotte), and Cleveland takes Drummond at No. 4. The Kings would probably be juiced to see Thomas Robinson available leaving MKG available (assuming Portland doesn’t want another SF).
If Barnes or MKG fall to No. 7, I think the Warriors swoop either up happily. If not, Golden State will have to choose from one of four or five less-than-impressive-but-good-options. Those options include trading down, selecting Meyers Leonard, Tyler Zeller, Waiters, Ross and even Lillard. And don’t completely rule out Perry Jones III and Terrence Jones.