Golden State Warriors draft picks in the annual 2021 NBA Draft consist of the seventh and 14th selections. They acquired that top pick in the now-lopsided deal that sent D’Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins.
How Golden State navigates through the draft will tell us a lot about the team’s future, both in the short term and the long term. Below, we preview the Warriors’ 2021 draft.
Golden State Warriors 2021 NBA Draft picks
- First round, 7th pick
- First round, 14th pick
Golden State Warriors mock draft: Pick No. 7
- 6. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jonathan Kuminga, forward, NBA G-League
- 7. Golden State Warriors: James Bouknight, guard, Connecticut
- 8. Orlando Magic: Keon Johnson, guard, Tennessee
Golden State Warriors mock draft: Pick No. 14
- 13. Indiana Pacers: Corey Kispert, forward, Gonzaga
- 14. Golden State Warriors: Davion Mitchell, guard, Baylor
- 15. Washington Wizards: Usman Garuba, forward/center, Spain
Golden State Warriors draft James Bouknight with seventh pick
As for analyzing top NBA Draft prospects, Bouknight is an interesting case-study. He was among the best scorers in college basketball a season ago. He averaged 18.7 points on 45% shooting from the field for the Huskies. The former Huskies star could very well end up being a tremendous backup option in the backcourt with Jordan Poole. He touched on that possibility, too, after working out with the Warriors.
“I worked out with the Warriors, it was actually a great workout,” Bouknight said recently. “I got to meet with a bunch of people from the front office, there’s a lot of great people in that organization. But I think I would fit right in.”
Golden State Warriors draft Corey Kispert with the seventh pick
Perhaps, the Warriors look for another wing to team up with with an impressive Andrew Wiggins. Kispert and his 6-foot-7 frame would make a whole lot of sense for Golden State. We’re talking about a high-level three-point shooter (44% last season) and someone who simply doesn’t merely spot up outside of the three-point line.
“We should also talk about some of the upside here as a scorer. I realize Gonzaga didn’t play a tough schedule, but Kispert’s game wasn’t just 3s. He scored 33 points per 100 and shot 64 percent inside the arc; he’s actually a really good finisher off straight-line drives because of his size and strength, and he’s pretty good in transition, too,” The Athletic’s John Hollinger opined about Kispert’s game.
A pro-ready asset, Kispert would make a ton of sense for the Warriors off the bench to team up with the likes of Jordan Poole, Juan Toscano-Anderson and either Kevon Looney or James Wiseman.
Golden State Warriors draft Davion Mitchell with 14th pick
There’s a good chance that Golden State will not be making this pick. Rumors suggest that the team could look to flip it with other capital for a proven starter to team up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins. In fact, they are being extremely aggressive in flipping both first-round picks for proven veterans.
If the Warriors do keep this pick and the top-13 picks go according to plan, Mitchell would make a ton of sense. The former Baylor star led his team to the national title this past season and projects well in the NBA on both ends of the court.
“At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds of what appears to be all muscle, the 22-year-old guard has a case as the best perimeter defender in this draft class,” Kyle Irving of NBA.com noted in his scouting report. “His in-your-face defence pairs well with his quickness and physicality to make life as difficult as possible for opposing ball-handlers.”
Mitchell is also more of your traditional point guard to work behind Stephen Curry off the bench — creating much-needed depth. He shot 51% from the field, including a 45% mark from distance last season. Who better for Mitchell to learn behind than Curry?
Golden State Warriors draft Josh Giddey with the 14th pick
Think Ben Simmons with a big more versatility and a better mid-range game. Golden State has been linked to Simmons in trade rumors over the past several weeks. I just don’t see that happening. Rather, the Warriors take a chance on this high-upside point forward option in the middle of the first round.
Giddey, 18, stands at 6-foot-8 and has already played professional basketball overseas. In fact, the Aussie averaged 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game for the Adelaide 36ers of the NBL. Those are similar numbers to what we saw from reigning NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball when he played in Australia.
What makes Giddey such an interesting prospect for the Golden State Warriors is the fact that he can play three different positions. He’s also added weight to a previously lean frame and is looking more pro-ready by the week. This would be a selection for both 2021-22 and the future.
Golden State Warriors NBA Draft trade scenarios
There’s a ton of speculation that Golden State could move off one or both of its lottery picks for a proven talent. The team might want to build for the future, but it’s in win-now mode with Stephen Curry playing at an otherworldly level and Klay Thompson returning from injury.
A lot of this will depend on just how much money the Warriors’ ownership group is willing to spend and what the value might be for these selections. Co-owner Joe Lacob has already indicated that money isn’t an issue. He’s also growing a bit impatient after the Warriors missed out on the playoffs two consecutive seasons following a move to the San Francisco waterfront. In terms of potential trade targets, there’s a few names that come to mind.
- Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers: It’s been bandied about a whole lot. Golden State moving the seventh pick, 14th pick, Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman for Mr. Simmons. This might not make a whole lot of sense with Simmons being seen as a non-traditional fit next to fellow NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist Draymond Green. Both remain extremely limited on offense. With that said, Simmons playing a more natural power forward position rather than point guard could help the multi-time All-Star up his game after struggles in this year’s playoffs.
- Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers: Would Portland even consider trading Lillard to its Western Conference foe? Yes. It would be all about compensation if the future Hall of Famer demands a trade. It’s also in this that the Warriors have a ton to offer up. That includes Wiggins, Wiseman and Jordan Poole. In terms of draft compensation, the seventh and 14th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft as well as future draft pick swaps/compensation heading to Portland. At the very least, Golden State has discussed this possibility internally.
- Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards: Golden State has been bandied about as being one of the teams favored to land Beal in a trade. Whether he requests a trade remains to be seen. What I do know is that he’d be a scary addition to go with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. In terms of compensation, the bounty heading back to D.C. would have to be massive. Just start with Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Jordan Poole and both 2021 first-round picks.
- Collin Sexton: There’s another scenario in play here that suggests the Warriors keep their first lottery selection while leveraging the 14th pick for a rotational piece. We’re not 100% sure what Sexton’s trade value is. He also doesn’t seem to be a natural fit in Golden State with Curry and Thompson. In no way does that mean a player that averaged 24.3 points on 48% shooting with the Cavaliers can’t fit in San Francisco. Perhaps, the 14th pick and someone like Eric Paschall can get this done.
Golden State Warriors draft preview: Finding a mix between short term and long term
Fresh off a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the play-in tournament, Golden State finds itself entering an extremely important draft. It’s not an overreaction to say that the Warriors dropped the ball by selecting Wiseman over the aforementioned Ball last year. They can’t repeat that same mistake in 2021.
The backdrop here is a real possibility that general manager Bob Myers will attempt to pull off some sort of a trade during the draft for a proven veteran. Perhaps, the Warriors go big-game hunting. Either way, they are one of the teams to watch once the draft gets going in late July.