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Warriors mailbag: Bradley Beal, lottery pick trades, and more

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We fielded your questions on all things Dubs.

Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Just like that, another Golden State Warriors season is right around the corner. The 2020 NBA Draft is on Nov. 18, with free agency just a few days later, and the start of the season on Dec. 22.

So with all of that rapidly approaching, I thought it was time for a Warriors mailbag. Thanks to everyone who offered up some great questions.

Free agent pickups?

Kelly Oubre Jr. is still under contract with the Phoenix Suns, and won’t be a free agent until next offseason. He’d be a great fit on the Warriors, though he fills less of a hole now that Andrew Wiggins is in town. He’s been a popular name when looking for Warriors trades over the last year, but I’m not sure how interested they are in a rental.

I’m a huge Marc Gasol fan and would love him on the Warriors. However, between his pedigree and the rumors that he’ll play in Europe next year, I’m not convinced he’ll be available at a price point the Warriors can afford.

It seems likely that the Warriors will spend a few million on a veteran center and Aron Baynes would be a great fit. Isn’t it weird that we’ve never seen Stephen Curry play alongside a stretch 5? How fun would that be?

Trade time?

Truthfully, it’s getting increasingly hard to find any trades for the Warriors with their pick. Now that a few players have established themselves at the top of the draft, it seems less likely that the Dubs would be willing to just trade their pick away for a role player as we once projected. I think the only options are packaging the pick with Andrew Wiggins for a star, or trading down a few slots in the draft if they’re not as high on the projected top three (LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman) as other teams.

So...

  1. Pick + future pick + Andrew Wiggins for Ben Simmons
  2. Pick + Andrew Wiggins for Bradley Beal
  3. Pick for Charlotte Hornets pick (#3) + protected future pick

Closing lineup

I think a lot depends on how Eric Paschall’s jumper looks. With the way Paschall shot last year (28.7% from deep) it’s really hard to put him and Draymond Green on the court at the same time, especially with Paschall’s defensive limitations.

If his jumper can be in the 35% range, then a closing lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, and Draymond Green seems to be money. Otherwise, I’d expect Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green, and Kevon Looney.

But that’s without knowing who they get in free agency or trades. There may be an impact sixth man who slides into the closing lineup like Andre Iguodala used to.

What about Killian Hayes?

Killian Hayes remains one of the more interesting names in the draft. While LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman are the established top three projections, many people are still higher on Hayes than some or all of them. In fact, Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer has Hayes as the No. 1 player on his big board, even though he has Hayes slipping to No. 8 in his mock draft.

The Warriors are not one to groupthink. If they view Hayes as the best player in the draft, they’ll take him and deal with any potential meltdowns from fans on Twitter. They might not take him second though; if they have reliable intel on who other teams will draft, they’ll trade back a few slots and bank some future assets while still getting their guy.

Fit wise I love Hayes on the Warriors. That said, he probably isn’t as ready to contribute immediately as, say, Edwards or Wiseman, and that has to factor into the Warriors thinking given that they intend to be title contenders this year.

Beal to the Dubs?

Sure, the Warriors already have great scorers and All-Stars. But when have you ever seen an NBA team say, “No, that’s OK, we have enough great scorers and All-Stars, we don’t need anymore?”

You can never have too much talent, as the recent championship Warriors teams proved.

That said, I’m not convinced that Beal is a great fit for the Warriors, unless they think that Klay Thompson’s injury is going to force him to play the 3 going forward. Beal is a shooting guard, and while he used to be a strong defender, he’s been utterly horrendous on that side of the ball in the last two seasons.

Now, maybe that’s just because he’s been stuck on a bad team and hasn’t been committed. If he can get back that defense, then I’m sure the Dubs would be stoked to land a player coming off a 30.5 points per game season who’s a career 38.0% shooter from deep.

But Curry and Thompson aren’t getting any younger or better defensively, so if Beal is still weak on that side of the ball, Golden State might be better off pursuing a better positional fit, or a younger star.

Thanks for sending in your mailbag questions! Maybe we’ll make this a regular feature.