With 17 games left, the Dubs are well out of the playoff picture and are focusing on a big offseason where general manager Bob Myers will have options to turn the team back into a title contender.
The Warriors will have a high pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and there have been plenty of rumors on who they might select.
Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher added fuel to the fire with his recent piece looking at how Golden State will perform over the coming seasons. In it, Bucher writes that the Dubs have Memphis center James Wiseman at the top of their draft board:
“A league source said the Warriors have Wiseman at the top of their draft board; understandable considering forward Dragan Bender, a late-season addition via two 10-day contracts, is the only 7-footer on the roster and 6’9” Kevon Looney is the only listed center.”
The big omission from the quote is Marquese Chriss, who should be a part of the roster next season, given the development and potential he showed throughout the season.
Getting back to Wiseman, I don’t see it. Bucher has been wrong on more than one occasion, so I am taking this with a grain of salt. Wiseman has all the physical tools you can ask for. He is long, can run the floor, and has the frame to be a very good NBA center after averaging 19.7 points and 10.7 boards during his short three-game stint with Memphis.
The issue with Wiseman is his competitiveness. He has a reputation for coasting at times on the defensive end, something that will not fly with this veteran group. He also bailed on Memphis team after the NCAA announced it was investigating an $11,500 payment Wiseman and his mother received from Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway before he took over the role.
Connor Letorneau of the SF Chronicle said he heard the Warriors wouldn’t pick Wiseman if they had the No. 1 overall pick.
“According to multiple league sources The Chronicle contacted in the past few days, the Warriors — contrary to what mock drafts might suggest — aren’t believed to be high on two of the three players being mentioned as possibilities at the No. 1 pick: former Memphis center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball, who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League. As one source put it, “I think they’d only take one of those two if they were trading down in the draft and taking them for another team.”
Myers can look at trading back and adding a veteran player for the bench, while still selecting in the top 10. I have said before, I like USC’s Onyeka Okongwu better than Wiseman. He doesn’t take plays off and has the ability to be a very good pick-and-roll option on the offensive end.
If Golden State wants to get younger, it doesn’t have to commit to selecting a player with its 2020 pick. The Warriors also have the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 20201 top 3 protected pick, plus their own, so they can look to package those, or take two players to add some youth.
What do you think of Wiseman? Is there another big man that will be available you have your eyes on?