The Golden State Warriors will be one of the focuses of the offseason leading up to the 2021 NBA Draft. The Dubs own two lottery picks (Nos. 7 and 14) and will certainly be among the teams at the forefront of the rumor mill.
General manager Bob Myers will be working the phones leading up to July 29. The Warriors are reportedly exploring trade options involving both of their selections and could move one or both to add an established veteran.
With Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and a healthy Klay Thompson on the roster, Myers will try and fill out the roster around the core group to bring the Warriors back into title contention.
If Myers doesn’t find a package he likes, he could use both picks in hopes of finding short and long-term help.
Last week, we looked back at the history of the No. 7 pick. Let’s take a look at what type of value the Warriors could be looking at with their second pick of the draft.
2020 Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt - Boston Celtics
2019 Romeo Langford, Indiana – Boston Celtics
2018 Michael Porter, University of Missouri – Denver Nuggets
2017 Bam Adebayo, Kentucky – Miami Heat
2016 Denzel Valentine, Michigan State – Chicago Bulls
2015 Cameron Payne, Murray State – Oklahoma City Thunder
2014 TJ Warren, NC State – Phoenix Suns
2013 Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA – Utah Jazz
2012 John Henson, UNC – Milwaukee Bucks
2011 Marcus Morris, Kansas – Houston Rockets
As you can see from the list above, the Warriors could find a gem at No. 14. Adebayo is a former All-Star who has become one of the leaders in Miami. He was instrumental in helping the Heat make it to the 2020 NBA Finals.
Porter fell down the draft board due to injury concerns coming out of Missouri but has turned into a very efficient scorer at the NBA level after missing his first pro season. Porter has stayed relatively healthy over the past two seasons and has turned into a valuable piece for the Nuggets. He averaged 19 points and 7.3 rebounds last season while shooting a tidy 44.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Warren is another No. 14 selection who has outperformed some of the players taken before him on draft night. He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Suns before being traded to the Indiana Pacers. Warren is averaging 15.5 points for his career and will likely be in the league for years to come.
Morris has carved himself out a nice NBA career and has been a double-digit scorer for the past seven seasons. The 31-year-old played a big role for the L.A. Clippers in the playoffs and has been a reliable NBA player for most of his time in the league.
Henson played eight full seasons in the league before hitting the wall. This past season, he signed a 10-day contract with the New York Knicks but never got onto the court.
Muhammad is the player who brought the least value as the 14th selection over the previous 10 drafts. He averaged a career-high 13.5 points for a bad Minnesota Timberwolves team his second season but failed to reach those heights since. Muhammad was out of the league following the 2017-18 season and is currently playing in China.
The Celtics held the No. 14 selection the past two years. Neither Langford nor Nesmith made a significant impact with the team, but each averaged more than 10 minutes per game during their rookie seasons.
Looking at the previous 10 No. 14 picks, one thing that stands out is that none of them averaged more than 20 minutes per game during their rookie year. Only one (Adebayo) played more than 18 minutes per contest in Year 1. Porter’s first year in the league was an injury-related redshirt season. During his rookie campaign, Morris played the least out of any of the previous 10 No. 14 picks, averaging 7.4 minutes per game while with the Houston Rockets.
Discounting Langford and Nesmith (because they’re such recent picks) and Porter (who looks like a long-term piece for the Nuggets), only Payne and Morris didn’t spend at least four seasons with the team that drafted them. But both players found success after being moved.
It’s an interesting conundrum for Myers. The Warriors need to add some meaningful veterans to help them get back into contention, but with Curry, Thompson and Green all over the age of 31, the Dubs will need to bring in some young talent.
It remains to be seen what Myers does with the pair of selections but looking at recent history, the Warriors have a shot at getting a good player at No. 14.