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2019 Warriors Draft Preview: Latest mock drafts, prospect rankings, and draft board

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The NBA Draft is today at 4 p.m. PST. and the Warriors have three picks to use to fill out their roster after Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson suffered devastating injuries in the NBA Finals.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Maryland vs Belmont John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

After acquiring the 41st pick this morning, the Golden State Warriors will have three selections in the 2019 NBA Draft today.

In addition to the most recently acquired pick, the Warriors have the 28th pick overall in the first round and the 58th pick overall near the end of the second round. With a restrictive cap situation and injuries to two of their star players, the Warriors are in a position where it would behoove them to nail all three of those picks.

As we’ve discussed a couple of times previously, finding additional shooters with those picks would be ideal with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both suffering injuries during the 2019 NBA Finals that will keep them out for most of the 2019-20 season. And based on the reporting currently available, that’s what most people expect the Warriors to pursue in tonight’s draft. However, with the uncertainty around what the market will offer big men DeMarcus Cousins and Kevon Looney, there’s also some sense that the Warriors might lean toward a big man in this draft.

What follows is a look at the latest mock drafts, which prospects fit the Warriors best, and the Golden State of Mind community draft board.

What are the mock drafts saying about the Warriors?

The following is just a list summarizing who various mock drafts around the web have the Warriors selecting with the 28th pick.

Aggregated 2019 Warriors mock draft

Site Date Selection Position School Quote
Site Date Selection Position School Quote
The Ringer 6/20 Carsen Edwards G Purdue "Undersized with a knack for performing clutch moments; he projects as a classic sixth man scoring guard."
The Athletic 6/20 Dylan Windler G Belmont "Enter Windler, who would give the Warriors a high level shooter with size on the wing who could really help them space the floor."
NBC 6/19 Dylan Windler G Belmont "...he is better at doing the little things that he gets credit for. He can rebound, he can jump passing lanes, he makes the right reads. He was a superstar for Belmont in the OVC, but at his heart he’s built to be a complimentary."
The Sporting News 6/20 Dylan Windler G Belmont "The 22-year-old was a career 40.6 percent 3-point shooter in college and closed out his career shooting 84.7 percent from the foul line as a senior."
Basketball Insiders 6/20 Grant Williams F Tennessee
Yahoo 6/20 Luguentz Dort G Arizona State "... the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year would be a nice addition to the Warriors’ depth."
ESPN/Draftexpress 6/20 Matisse Thybulle G Washington "...Thybulle, arguably the best perimeter defender in college basketball, could fit well."
Bleacher Report 6/19 Matisse Thybulle G Washington "...He's being viewed as a potential defensive specialist with remarkable instincts and a three-ball that's just good enough."
CBS 6/20 Nicolas Claxton F Georgia "...it might be wise for the Warriors to add a frontcourt player who can do some of the things they need frontcourt players to do in their offense."
Netscouts 6/19 Nicolas Claxton F Georgia
SI 6/20 Ty Jerome G Virginia "...landing an experienced player who is mentally ready and savvy enough to help their team sooner than later would be a nice coup here."

What’s interesting is that there’s any consistency among these projections at all — this is widely considered to be a draft that is strong at the top, but quite possibly a crap shoot after the first few. Yet unlike last year’s draft, the Warriors’ obvious needs seems to be leading everyone in a similar direction.

As of right now, it looks like there’s a strong feeling around the web that Dylan Windler will be the Warriors pick — in addition to the three mock drafts above that have the Warriors selecting Windler, SI’s Jeremy Woo wrote at the end of his explanation for Jerome that, “Golden State is also thought to have interest in Belmont’s Dylan Windler for this spot.”

However, the aggregate projections about where Windler and Matisse Thybulle tell you a little bit more about how this draft could go: while Thybulle is expected to go somewhere in the 23-28 range, Windler is expected to go from anywhere to 28 to 37. Ty Jerome, who Golden State of Mind selected in the SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft just a week ago, is now projected to be gone before 28. So there are not only likely to be a lot of shooters around at the 28th pick, but it seems probable that someone will slip a little further down the draft board.

That’s why it makes sense that the Warriors went out and traded for the 41st pick.

What might the Warriors do with the 41st pick?

Shortly after the Warriors acquired that 41st pick, Jeremy Woo tweeted that there were rumors that the Hawks were going to trade the pick although the recipient was unclear. Along with that, he attached who he had being selected at 41st in his mock draft, which happens to be Tennessee’s Admiral SchofieldSchofield shot 41.8% from 3-point range in his senior season.

As an example of who could be available at 41 — just among the guys connected to the Warriors in mock drafts — Windler, Nicolas Claxton, Carsen Edwards and Grant Williams are all guys who are also projected to be around into the second round. So if the Warriors don’t get the guy you want at 28, stick around for the 41st pick.

Another possibility is Alen Smailagic, who DraftExpress updated their mock with earlier this morning. T.J. McBride has an insightful Twitter thread up about him as well.

What the stats say

Kevin Broom of Bullets Forever put together a really helpful analytics resource framed around the Wizards, but including a statistical framework for ranking prospects. What stands out is that Windler is rated really highly in that framework whereas Edwards, Jerome, Thybulle, and Schofield were all rated considerably lower.

The 538 Blog offers a bit of a different perspective, using their CARMELO projections to offer player comparisons in addition to their statistical rankings. In contrast to Broom’s ratings, they have Thybulle listed as a possibly underrated player and Williams is someone who we might want to keep an eye on as well as Chuma Okeke, who is projected to go anywhere from 27th to 57th depending on who you ask.

Who does the GSoM community want?

As of this moment, the GSoM community draft board on Ranker.com suggests that people are really high on Edwards, Thybulle, and Windler — all guys who have been regularly connected to the Warriors. But also in that mix is North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson, who is widely considered to be the best shooter in the draft and expected to be available in the late first to early second round.

What really makes a guy like Johnson intriguing is that he has the combination of shooting touch, size — he stands 6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan —and basketball IQ. As Akil Guruparan of Tar Heel Blog wrote, “Every bit of available information on Johnson says that he’s a hard worker, extremely smart, and scheme-versatile, and this will help him be a Day 1 contributor in the NBA.” Then again, 538 has his comparables as Matt Bonner and Steve Novak — specialists who were really little more than spot-up shooters. So as Brad Rowland of Peachtree Hoops wrote, “For teams with long-term aspirations, he wouldn’t serve as the same kind of priority but..Johnson could snugly fit a role if he were to slip to the No. 35 overall pick.”

And that’s the best shooter in the draft — there’s just a lot of wiggle room here as general managers try to juggle all this information available to them.

In other words, there’s no consensus about what the pecking order is in this draft and that could precipitate a number of trades as teams try to make sense of how various prospects’ value is shifting on the fly.

And that’s what makes the draft fun.

Join us throughout the day to share your thoughts about the draft with our community and feel free to contribute to our community draft board.