Warriors Score Big in NBA Draft Lottery

Terrence Allen, Contributor

Warriors secure second overall pick in 2020 NBA Draft
The Golden State Warriors may have only won 15 games in the 2019-20 season, but they scored a huge win on Aug. 20. The team secured the second overall pick in the 2020 National Basketball Association Draft. This result will have a major effect on the Warriors and the league as a whole.
The NBA Draft Lottery is an annual event where each team’s draft order is revealed. The three teams with the worst regular-season records each receive a 14 percent chance of obtaining the number-one pick, according to the NBA. The remaining teams, then, have decreasing odds of gaining this pick.
The Warriors finished this shortened season with the league’s worst record of 15-50, earning them a 14 percent chance of receiving the first pick. They ended up with the second pick in the draft, slated for Oct. 16, but that was not a loss at all.
The team will do something next year that they were unable to accomplish this year, and that is have their core players start the season healthy. Guard Klay Thompson, sat out the entire season because of a torn ACL suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals. Stephen Curry suffered a broken hand in the team’s fourth game of the season. He only managed to play one more game the rest of the season.
Draymond Green was in and out of the lineup this season due to injury. With a championship core coming back, holding the number two pick affords the Warriors many options to move forward.
The Warriors can use the draft pick to select one of this year’s top young prospects. The projected top three picks are Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, and James Wiseman.
Anthony Edwards is a 6-foot-5-inch guard from the University of Georgia. Edwards is a shot-creating guard who has a talent for scoring, averaging 19.1 points per game in his only college season. The Warriors don’t have a need for another scorer at the guard position, so it is unlikely that they will select him.
LaMelo Ball is a 6-foot-8-inch point guard who skipped college and played in Australia’s National Basketball League last season. He is big for his position, which gives him an advantage over smaller guards and allows him to play multiple positions. He averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game in his lone season in Australia for the Illawarra Hawks.
His size allows him to rebound and push the tempo. Ball is a willing passer, so he will undoubtedly get his teammates involved, but he will need to improve his shooting as he only made 25 percent of his three point attempts last season. His 6-foot-8-inch stature would allow him to play alongside Curry and Thompson, but with the team currently holding Andrew Wiggins on a bad contract, it will make trading the forward much harder. The team will most likely need to trade Wiggins to make space for Ball in the lineup.
James Wiseman makes the most sense for the Warriors. He is a 7-foot-1-inch, 235 pound center who is a dominant force on the defensive end and a solid player on the offensive end. In three games at Memphis last season, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3 blocks per game on 76.9 percent shooting.
He likes to run the floor which fits right into what the Warriors do as a team. He also fills a positional need right now and for the future. With the core of the Warriors coming back healthy next season, the Warriors are in need of a center who can play defense, rebound, and run the floor.
With Kevon Looney having a history of injuries, and Marquese Chriss being a good role player but not reliable starter for the long term, it makes the most sense for the Warriors to draft Wiseman with the number two pick. This will help them now and allow them to have a centerpiece for the future.
The number two pick is a valuable pick, so it also gives the Warriors the option to trade it and get another superstar as well. There have been rumors for a couple of years now that the Warriors could try to acquire reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Warriors have the second pick and Andrew Wiggins to offer as the centerpiece to that trade. That may not be enough to land a player as good as Antetokounmpo, but with him entering the last year of his contract next season, it is something the Bucks may have to look at.
All of this, of course, is assuming that there will be a next season. Restrictions due to COVID-19 may be one of the things standing in between the fans and a new NBA season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver plans to end the current season no later than October 13 according to the NBA.
Silver originally planned for the new NBA season to start Dec. 1, but has since retracted those plans.
“Dec. 1 feels a little bit early to me,” Silver said in an interview with ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols. “Our number one goal is to get fans back in the arena.”
There currently is not a set start date for the next NBA season due to uncertainty of restrictions because of the pandemic. With no vaccine, COVID-19 has an unpredictable longevity.
However, the pandemic is just one of the concerns potentially halting a new season. The NBA and its players have been increasingly vocal and active about the social justice issues that plague our country. On Aug. 26, the Milwaukee Bucks did not show up to the court for their game against the Orlando Magic in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting. Blake was shot in the back by officers in Kenosha, WI on Aug. 23.
The rest of the NBA and most other sports followed suit in boycotting games. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers went as far as voting against continuing the season further due to the political climate of the country according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The season ultimately continued on Aug. 29 after multiple emotional meetings between players, coaches, and owners about what more they can do to affect change. The NBA as a whole will continue to voice their opinions on social justice issues and attempt to generate change in the communities that need it.