The Golden State Warriors hold the No. 7 and 14 picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, which is just a few weeks away. With the Dubs seeking to return to contention status in the upcoming season, there’s been a lot of speculation as to what they’ll do with their pairing of lottery picks.
They’re not shy on options, which range from merely keeping both picks to packaging them with Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman to make a run at a star.
It’s easy to sit here, from our respective couches, and come up with hypothetical trades that we like. It’s harder to come up with ones that are actually realistic.
So to try and gauge the actual value of the Warriors picks, I looked through the last five drafts to find all the trades involving picks near No. 7 or No. 14, so we can get a feel for what might actually be on the table as the Warriors explore their options.
In the wise words of Stephen A. Smith, TAke a look, y’all:
2020 No. 16
Outgoing (from Portland): No. 16 pick (Isaiah Stewart), protected 2021 first-round pick, Trevor Ariza
Incoming (from Houston): Robert Covington
The Blazers had to attach some more assets to Stewart (who was promptly traded to the Pistons as part of the Christian Wood deal), but got back a high quality role player in Covington. The Warriors probably aren’t looking to trade a future first unless it is highly protected or they get back someone closer to a star.
2020 No. 17
Outgoing (from Minnesota): No. 17 pick (Aleksej Pokuševski), 2024 second-round pick, James Johnson
Incoming (from Oklahoma City): No. 28 pick (Jaden McDaniels), Ricky Rubio
It wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Warriors go this route. At No. 14, they’re unlikely to get a player who can contribute immediately. If they can trade down and still swing for a prospect (they’ve had some success late in the first round with players like Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney), while also grabbing a win-now veteran, they could check multiple boxes.
2019 No. 6
Outgoing (from Phoenix): No. 6 pick (Jarrett Culver)
Incoming (from Minnesota): No. 11 pick (Cameron Johnson), Dario Šarić
I remember panning this trade for Phoenix, which serves as a reminder as to why I’m a blogger and not a GM, as Johnson is now playing a pivotal role on a Suns team that is in the NBA Finals.
Similar to the Poku/Rubio trade, I can see the Warriors swinging for something like this: move down, still get a rookie, but also get a proven vet.
2019 No. 8
Outgoing (from Atlanta): No. 8 pick (Jaxson Hayes), No. 17 pick (Nickeil Alexander-Walker), No. 35 pick (Didi Louzada), protected 2020 second-round pick
Incoming (from New Orleans): No. 4 pick (De’Andre Hunter), No. 57 pick (Jordan Bone), protected 2023 second-round pick, Solomon Hill
I’m sure the Warriors would love to pull off a trade like this to move into the top four in a draft where a player with star potential will be available at No. 4. But, with all due respect to Atlanta’s second-year player, these moves are a lot easier to pull off when it’s De’Andre Hunter on the board at No. 4 than when it’s Jalen Suggs.
2019 No. 17
Outgoing (from Brooklyn): No. 17 pick (Nickeil Alexander-Walker), 2020 protected first-round pick, Allen Crabbe
Incoming (from Atlanta): 2021 second-round pick, Taurean Prince
Before the No. 17 pick was included as part of the bigger draft-day trade listed above, it was part of a pre-draft trade that sent Prince to Brooklyn. The framework here is definitely something the Dubs could work with, though they’d likely be chasing someone more proven.
2018 No. 10
Outgoing (from Philadelphia): No. 10 pick (Mikal Bridges)
Incoming (from Phoenix): No. 16 pick (Zhaire Smith), Miami’s 2021 first-round pick
The Warriors could slot into either side of this trade in 2021. Yet while Phoenix got the better end of the deal, with Bridges already proving to be a key starter on a team competing for a ring, it’s Philly’s framework — moving back a few picks, while adding a future first-round pick — that better fits what the Dubs are likely to do in the draft. Golden State already has two picks, and is in win-now mode — I don’t see them giving up a future asset just to move up in the draft, unless it gets them into the top four.
2018 No. 11
Outgoing (from Charlotte): No. 11 pick (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander)
Incoming (from LA Clippers): No. 12 pick (Miles Bridges), two future second-round picks
As good as Bridges is, this is an extremely lopsided trade in hindsight, given the star potential that SGA has already shown. But hindsight is 20/20, and if the Warriors think the best player available would still be available a pick or two down the road, they could definitely move back a short distance for some future assets. An inexpensive move up to get someone they have their eye on is on the table as well.
2017 No. 7
Outgoing (from Minnesota): No. 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen), Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine
Incoming (from Chicago): No. 16 pick (Justin Patton), Jimmy Butler
Now we’ve stumbled across something interesting. The No. 7 pick — which, remember, the Warriors have — plus an athletic young wing for a proven All-Star veteran. It’s a bit harder to pull off for the Warriors, since Andrew Wiggins is not as exciting of a piece as 21-year old LaVine was, and he’s on a max contract. But it’s certainly the same framework that the Dubs would be looking at if they try and make a run for a player like Pascal Siakam, Bradley Beal, or Ben Simmons.
2017 No. 10
Outgoing (from Sacramento): No. 10 pick (Zach Collins)
Incoming (from Portland): No. 15 pick (Justin Jackson), No. 20 pick (Harry Giles)
Hard to find too much here for the Warriors to work with. With two lottery picks already in their pocket, they’re unlikely to trade back for multiple first-rounders, unless that then gets parlayed into a bigger trade. As previously mentioned, they could take the Portland side here — albeit with better picks — and try and move up.
2017 No. 13
Outgoing (from Denver): No. 13 pick (Donovan Mitchell)
Incoming (from Utah): No. 24 pick (Tyler Lydon), Trey Lyles
Let’s hope the Warriors don’t follow this blueprint and trade a future All-Star for ... that. Even without the benefit of hindsight, it’s not really a trade I see the Warriors doing. Moving back to acquire a veteran is definitely something that will be on the radar, but it has to at least be a needle-moving veteran.
2016 No. 8
Outgoing (from Sacramento): No. 8 pick (Marquese Chriss)
Incoming (from Phoenix): No. 13 pick (Georgios Papagiannis), No. 28 pick (Skal Labissière), 2020 second-round pick, draft rights to Bogdan Bogdanović
This is a fun trade, but probably not very applicable to the Warriors. There’s a lot of value in the No. 7 pick, and I doubt the Warriors are looking to move back for multiple later first-round picks. The trade looks awesome for Sacramento in hindsight, now that we know what Bogdanović became, but unless someone who is proven is available there, it’s unlikely.
2016 No. 11
Outgoing (from Orlando): No. 11 pick (Domantas Sabonis), Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova
Incoming (from Oklahoma City): Serge Ibaka
It’s these kinds of trades that are the reason Warriors fans scream at me every time I mention trading picks or James Wiseman. At the time, this was an OK trade, at least in a vacuum: Oladipo looked like a mini-bust, the No. 11 pick isn’t the most exciting, and Ibaka was a high quality starting big.
Of course, Oladipo and Sabonis turned into All-Stars, and Orlando did nothing. The important thing to remember here is that the Warriors are title contenders, so this type of a move is more defensible than it was for Orlando, which was coming off of a 35-win season.
2016 No. 12
Outgoing (from Utah): No. 12 pick (Taurean Prince)
Incoming (from Indiana): George Hill
This was a three team trade, with Atlanta receiving the pick and sending Jeff Teague to the Pacers. Hill was coming off of a season where he averaged 12.1 points and 3.5 assists per game, while shooting 40.8% from beyond the arc. It’s feasible that the Warriors could do something similar with the No. 14 pick.
One thing is clear: there will be a lot of options for the Warriors. It’s just a matter of seeing if any of them actually pique Bob Myers’ interest.