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The Golden Choice, Part 8: Why Melvin Frazier could fit with the Warriors

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Golden State kept six centers on their bench throughout the playoffs. Tulane’s Melvin Frazier is one of many wing options the Warriors should consider in the 2018 NBA Draft.

North Carolina v Tulane Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

If we learned anything in the latter part of the 2017-2018 season, it’s that the Warriors’ roster is unbalanced. Six of their sixteen rostered players are centers. This past season, Andre Iguodala, Patrick McCaw and Nick Young were the only wing players on the bench while Shaun Livingston and Quinn Cook were available to back up Stephen Curry at point guard.

Young may not be on the team next year and Livingston and Iguodala are entering the twilight stages of their careers. Quinn Cook and McCaw will likely return, but questions still loom about their potential moving forward.

Stockpiling wings is an increasingly successful strategy as the NBA becomes more of a position-less league. Versatility is a virtue (i.e., Draymond Green, Klay Thompson). Players with the ability to navigate three positions bring value to teams with free-flowing offenses.

Over the past six months, the Golden Choice has featured a handful of point guards and big men who the Warriors might draft. Upon reflection, it might behoove the Warriors to select a wing with the ability to shoot and switch on defense.

Enter, Melvin Frazier, a 21-year-old guard from Tulane University, who declared for the NBA draft after a strong junior season in New Orleans. He might be exactly what the Warriors need.

The pros and cons of Melvin Frazier

The buzzword consistent across mock drafts and scouting reports to describe Frazier is versatile. He is 6-6 with a 7-2 wingspan. While he played guard at Tulane, he is also positioned to play small forward in the NBA. Frazier is an impressive scorer off the dribble and recently developed a reliable three-point shot.

Sam Vecenie of the Athletic points out that Frazier’s size and skill set are perfect for the Warriors’ switch-heavy defense. Vecenie also adds that Frazier’s agent is Thad Foucher who works for Wasserman. Bob Myers, general manager of the Warriors, is a former Wasserman agent. Whether or not you believe such things matter, it’s a safe bet that Myers has watched plenty of tape on Melvin Frazier.

The only knock on Frazier is that he’s a “late bloomer.” His shooting percentages during his freshman and sophomore years left much to be desire, but his impressive junior season catapulted him into the NBA Draft conversation. His college team, Tulane, was also bad. Last season, Frazier played three games against top-25 teams and Tulane got blown out in two of them.

Given the construction of the Warriors’ roster and their future, a wing player like Frazier might be exactly what the Warriors are looking for. At the end of first round, a handful of wings should be left for the choosing.

Power Rankings: Who should the Warriors draft?

For each draft piece, these rankings will be updated with new additions.

1. Melvin Frazier- Tulane, junior, guard/forward

2. Keita Bates-Diop- Ohio State, junior, forward (will likely be drafted before the 28th pick)

3. Jalen Brunson- Villanova, junior, point guard

4. Shake Milton- SMU- junior, point guard

5. Moritz Wagner- Michigan, junior, power forward

6. Devonte’ Graham- Kansas, senior, point guard

7. Landry Shamet-Wichita State, sophomore, guard

8. Bonzie Colson- Notre Dame, senior, forward