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Warriors draft plans might hinge on the Timberwolves

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Whether or not Golden State trades down might depend on if Minnesota does.

NBA: All Star Game-Team Stephen Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have the No. 2 pick in tonight’s 2020 NBA Draft, and the good news about that is that their decision making is only impacted by the actions of one other team. The bad news about that is ... well ... there’s still that one other team.

The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the first pick in the draft, and it’s becoming increasingly likely that how Minny plays their cards will strongly influence how the Warriors play theirs.

As the draft approaches, the hot name has become Memphis center James Wiseman. There are a lot of rumors pointing towards the Warriors selecting the 7’1” center, and even more rumors pointing towards other teams wanting to jump up to grab him.

Seemingly the only team not linked to Wiseman is the team at the top of the draft. The Timberwolves already have a young, foundational, All-Star center in Karl-Anthony Towns, and really have no need for Wiseman. It seems clear they’ll either draft Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball, or trade out of the slot.

And that’s where the Warriors come in.

As I wrote about earlier today, it was recently reported by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau that the Warriors had been in discussions to trade the No. 2 pick to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the No. 4 pick and third-year center Wendell Carter Jr. Given that the Bulls are willing to dangle their 21-year old lottery pick center in the trade, it would seem that they have their sights set on Wiseman.

Which means they probably don’t want to move forward with the trade if Wiseman isn’t there to be taken.

In other words, if the Timberwolves keep their pick, and select Edwards or Ball, the Warriors likely have a handful of suitors blowing up their phone trying to get the second pick. But if the Wolves trade the pick — the Charlotte Hornets are rumored to be trying very hard to move up from No. 3 and select Wiseman — then Golden State might find their trade options dry.

In fact, it could even be that the Warriors and Bulls have already agreed on a trade, contingent on Wiseman actually being available at the No. 2 slot, which really means it’s contingent on the Timberwolves keeping their pick.

The Warriors future was already tied to the Wolves on account of Golden State having Minnesota’s 2021 first-round pick. Now the Warriors future is tied to the Wolves a little bit more.