Now that the drama of where the Golden State Warriors will be picking at the 2020 NBA Draft is over, we can start focusing on how general manager Bob Myers will fill out the roster around Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
The Dubs landed the second-overall pick, which could be used as part of a package to acquire some proven veterans to help the franchise chase another championship. The Warriors also have a $17.2 million trade exception, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2021 top-three-protected pick, and their own 2020 first-rounder.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says Golden State is already shopping the pick to gauge interest around the league. Although there is no clear-cut No. 1 prospect, some of the players available at the draft have the tools to become future NBA All-Stars.
Would that be enough to entice a team that is looking to re-tool to make a move? Patrick Murray of Forbes did a nice job breaking down how the Dubs can maneuver over the coming months to put together a package to deal for either Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks or Joel Embiid from the Philadelphia 76ers. Murray suggests Myers selects big man James Wiseman if he is available, and try to trade for a veteran like Rudy Gay or Thaddeus Young with the trade exception. If the Warriors can do that, here is what they could offer at next year’s trade deadline:
Wiseman, now signed to his rookie contract, which would pay $8,730,240 in 20/21 if the salary cap remains flat
Gay’s $14.5m expiring contract
Kevon Looney who will earn $4,821,429 next season
Eric Paschall who is due to be paid $1,517,981
Minnesota’s 2021 top-3 protected pick and 2021 second-round pick
The Warriors’ own 2021 draft pick
The path to Antetokounmpo is much harder than Embiid. For starters, we have had no indication that he plans on leaving the Bucks after his contract expires in 2021. Milwaukee is set up to be a contender for years to come, and he is eligible to sign a max extension with the club in the offseason. If the Bucks stumble in the playoffs and fail to make it to the NBA Finals, it may open the door for him to leave. The issue with a potential Antetokounmpo trade is that Golden State would have to trade pretty much everyone on the roster outside of the core three. But, veterans would be chomping at the bit to join the Warriors if they got Antetokounmpo, so filling out the roster shouldn’t be too difficult.
Embiid is an interesting case. The 76ers were swept in the first-round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, and it’s clear something has to give in Philadelphia. The fit between Embiid and Ben Simmons hasn’t gone as planned, and with expensive vets Tobias Harris and Al Horford still on the books, the team could look to shed some salary going into next season.
The 26-year-old Embiid is due just over $29 million next season. He would be an ideal fit for the Warriors at the center spot due to his passing acumen and rim-protecting abilities. The Sixers will most likely let head coach Brett Brown go after the disappointing postseason, so management may want to run it back again for one more year.
Myers has shown the ability to make some magic happen. The Dubs got Kevin Durant in 2016 and proceeded to run roughshod over the entire NBA for three years. You can never say never when it comes to the Warriors. The allure of playing alongside one of the best backcourts in NBA history, and living in the Bay Area is enticing to almost every player in the league.
Who do you think is the more realistic target out of Antetokounmpo and Embiid? Do you think the Warriors have enough assets to get a deal done?
On to some links:
Dubs legend Chris Mullin says Golden State should target one of the players mentioned above. He favors the Warriors trying to make a pitch to acquire Embiid. (NBC Bay Area)
There will be plenty of mock drafts between now and Oct. 16 and expect a lot of differing opinions on how things will play out. Fansided’s Tony Pesta looks at ESPN’s latest mock that has Golden State landing Georgia guard Anthony Edwards.
The Warriors have three picks in the 2020 NBA Draft. Tommy Call III from Warriors Wire breaks down the history of each slot where the Dubs will be picking.
Myers will make the ultimate call on what Golden State does with the second pick, but he will get plenty of input from people around the organization. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Didion writes that Myers will work closely with head coach Steve Kerr before making his final decision.