The Golden State Warriors entered Thursday’s NBA Draft Lottery with a 14% chance of earning the No. 1 overall pick after five consecutive trips to the Finals.
In the end, Golden State ultimately received the No. 2 pick in October’s draft. It’s going to be a tremendous asset for general manager Bob Myers as the Warriors look to move forward following an injury-plagued 2019-20 season.
Talking with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski ahead of the lottery Thursday evening, Myers noted that the second pick will be up for auction ahead of the annual draft.
In no way should this be considered too much of a surprise. Despite boasting a 15-50 record this past season, Golden State will still be viewed as a championship contender during the 2020-21 campaign. Remember, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson played a combined five games this past season. Fellow three-time NBA champion Draymond Green missed 22 games himself.
Here’s a look at potential trades the Warriors could pull off with the valuable No. 2 overall pick.
Acquire No. 8 pick, Julius Randle and 2021 first-round pick from the New York Knicks
It’s becoming apparent that Knicks president Leon Rose wants to make a splash in his first offseason as the head of the team’s front office. Unfortunately for the long-downtrodden organization, they fell to the eighth pick during the lottery.
Could this force New York into a situation where it trades up for a target player such as Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball? It’s more than possible.
This scenario includes Golden State using the trade exception it acquired in the Andre Iguodala deal last year to take Randle’s contract off the Knicks’ hands. In turn, New York gets a potential franchise cornerstone while the Warriors add more draft assets after acquiring the Timberwolves’ unprotected first-round pick in the 2021 draft.
Acquire Thaddeus Young, fourth pick and 2021 first-round pick from the Chicago Bulls
This would be a way for Golden State to add a rotation piece in that of Young while continuing to build for the future. Moving down two spots while picking up the veteran forward and a protected 2021 NBA Draft pick would be a coup for Myers and Co.
From Chicago’s perspective, it would be all about finding that transcendent star to team up with Zach LaVine and Wendell Carter Jr. This is especially true should LaMelo Ball be available with the second pick. The idea of him manning the point with Coby White moving to the two and LaVine playing small forward would be appealing in the Windy City. Add in Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen, and this would be a nice starting five.
Acquire J.J. Redick, 13th pick and 2021 first-round pick from the New Orleans Pelicans
One of the top three-point shooters of his generation, the 36-year-old Redick hit on 45% of his shots from distance with the Pelicans in 2019-20. Just imagine how filthy he would be on the same roster as Thompson and Curry. That’s scary. Golden State moves down 11 spots in the draft while adding an unprotected 2021 first-round pick to make this happen.
In return, the Pelicans move on from a player in Redick who doesn’t have a future with the team. They also move up in the draft as a way to find another star to team up with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Two guard Anthony Edwards from Georgia would be the target here.
Acquire Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers for Andrew Wiggins and 2021 first-round pick
At this point, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Simmons will be back in Philadelphia next season. Head coach Brett Brown is firmly on the hot seat. The Sixers themselves are finishing up what has been a disastrous 2019-20 campaign that just recently culminated in an injury to Simmons. It would not be a shock if the former No. 1 pick were traded.
It’s in this that Golden State makes sense. Simmons’ inability to shoot from the outside wouldn’t have much of an impact with the Splash Brothers in San Francisco. In return, Philadelphia picks up a still-young Wiggins as well as two valuable picks. That includes the No. 2 selection in October’s draft and the Wolves unprotected first-round pick next year. It’s a mighty high bounty.