The 2020 NBA Draft should be eventful. Even though there are no clear-cut No. 1 pick among the prospects, teams from around the league will have to jockey around a projected flat salary cap next season.
There could be plenty of deals involving picks and some veteran players moved on draft night. The Golden State Warriors are one of the most talked about teams heading into the offseason because the franchise is in the unique situation of having the No. 2 pick while also projecting to be a contender in 2021.
General manager Bob Myers has a bunch of tools to improve the team, including this year’s first-round selection and a pair of 2021 first-rounders, plus the $17.2 million trade exception. The Dubs will look to add some veteran pieces in free agency as well to join Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
This year’s No. 2 pick will be a great opportunity for Myers to acquire a player who can contribute immediately while also netting a future asset. Wes Goldberg of The Mercury News says the Chicago Bulls have their sights set on James Wiseman and Killian Hayes at the draft and suggests that they could be looking to move up from No. 4.
“If rumors that Chicago is interested in former Memphis center James Wiseman or German guard Killian Hayes are true, the Bulls could be motivated to leap Charlotte at No. 3 (also a possible landing spot for Wiseman and Hayes) and move up to No. 2.
Trades this high in the draft usually involve a swap of picks, plus a future first-rounder. Think of when the Celtics traded the No. 1 pick in 2017 to the 76ers for the No. 3 pick a future first-round pick. In this case, the No. 2 pick and a protected first-round pick in 2022 from Chicago could be enough to sway the Warriors to move down to No. 4 — if their target is still available.
Keep in mind: Deals like this can be agreed to after the picks are made by swapping the draft rights to the players.”
Unless Golden State is enamored with a specific player at No. 2 — which reports indicate hasn’t been the case — trading down makes the most sense. The Warriors would add a young cost-controlled piece who can be a part of the rotation in 2021 and add a future asset that could be used to acquire another superstar as the Big 3 get older.
Getting a protected 2022 pick from the Bulls will be a huge get. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is aiming to end the one-and-done rule, so the 2022 class should be loaded with the top college players as well as high schoolers.
The rumors should start to heat up once the league settles on the official dates for the start of the offseason.
Golden State needs to add some size to its frontcourt if it wants to contend with the rest of the top teams in the NBA. One player who could be available is former No. 1 pick Blake Griffin. ESPN’s Zach Lowe had Bill Simmons of The Ringer on his latest podcast and the two had this exchange (h/t NBC Bay Area’s Drew Shiller):
Simmons: ”This is my favorite dumb trade I’ve made up in at least two years: Andrew Wiggins and the No. 2 (pick) — with (Jordan) Poole to make the contracts work — to (the) Detroit (Pistons) for Blake Griffin and (the) No. 7 (overall pick).
“If you’re Golden State — his contract is up a year sooner than (Andrew) Wiggins, it’s just more expensive — that’s kind of like the home run trade. Plus you’re only moving down five spots, so you’re still getting somebody you really like at No. 7.
“Rolling the dice on, ‘Can you get two healthy years out of Blake?’ And if you do, what do you look like defensively and from a ball-movement standpoint if you throw him into the mix?”
Lowe: ”Enough people have asked me what I’ve heard about Blake Griffin and how he’s looking, that I think Detroit is gonna have a market for him. I don’t think it’s gonna be strong, but I think there is still interest in what he can do to help you win.”
Griffin has a history of knee injuries and only played in 18 games last season before getting surgery in December. The 31-year-old is due $36.6 million next season and as Shiller points out, Griffin will almost certainly use his player option for 2021-222 at $39 million.
The Warriors seem to be high on how Andrew Wiggins fits with the team and expect him to play a significant role next season.
On to some links:
Another interesting tidbit from Lowe’s podcast is that one free-agent big man could be looking to sign elsewhere. Lowe says the Warriors are the type of team that can entice Marc Gasol to play for one year. (NBC Bay Area)
The Dubs have so many options on what they can do with the second pick of the 2020 NBA Draft. Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo does have a deep dive on all of Golden State’s options.