It’s not often that an NBA team has championship aspirations while owning the second-pick at the NBA Draft. With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green all healthy once again, the Golden State Warriors will try and get back into the championship picture during the 2020-21 season.
The Dubs finished a league-worst 15-50, and will the opportunity to add a long-term piece with the No. 2 selection at the draft. Armed with a $17.2 million trade exception, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ top-three protected 2021 first-rounder, and the mid-level exception/veterans minimum this offseason, general manager Bob Myers will have a ton of options to fill-out the roster.
But, Wes Goldberg of the Mercury News says league sources tell him that Golden State is preparing use the selection:
“Of course. The Warriors will listen to pitches for the No. 2 pick, but league sources indicate they are prepared to select a player no matter what the Timberwolves do at No. 1.”
If Minnesota goes with Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, the Warriors will have their choice of players. With James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball, Deni Avdija, Obi Toppin and Onyeka Okongwu being talked about as some of the top prospects available, Myers can either go BPA or try and fill the need at center by taking either Wiseman or Okongwu.
Using the pick makes financial sense for the Dubs. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the NBA will push back the NBA Draft —which is currently scheduled for Oct. 16— and move the start of free agency to later in the year as the league and NBPA hammer out details related to the salary cap prior to the start of next season. Woj adds that the NBA will almost certainly delay the start of the 2020-21 season, which the league was aiming to kick-off on Dec. 1.
NBA is moving toward pushing back this year's draft, scheduled for Oct. 16, along with Oct. 18 start of free agency, partly because of likelihood that the tentative opening of the 2020-21 season will be delayed from Dec. 1, per sources. Also allows more time to set a salary cap. https://t.co/Sv2i5EqAsp— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 25, 2020
The NBA and players union have a deadline of Oct. 16 to negotiate the salary cap and luxury tax threshold as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world. The league is aiming to limit the economic fallout of dealing with COVID-19 by smoothing out the cap over the next few seasons.
This will have a big impact on the Dubs. Woj points out that Golden State would owe a tax penalty of $45 million before the start of free agency, but under the new agreement, that would jump up to $160 million, something that might be tough for ownership to swallow without fans in the stands.
By using the 2020 first-round selection, the Warriors will be able to add a player with star-potential who will be under cost control for the next few seasons. If Myers and co. feel a certain prospect can come in and contribute to a contender right way, while also projecting to be a long-term fit, then keeping the pick makes a ton of sense.
On to some links:
Head coach Steve Kerr’s arrival coincided with a historic five-year run for the Dubs. The Ringer’s Logan Murdock talked to Kerr about some of the team’s most memorable playoff moments since 2015.
The Warriors would have finished off the three-peat if Kevin Durant doesn’t get hurt during the 2019 NBA Finals. The former Dubs superstar says he was playing some of his basketball of his life before tearing his Achilles. (NBC Bay Area)