Golden State Warriors 2020 Draft Preview

What to Keep in Mind Before the Dubs Go on The Clock During Wednesday’s Draft

After months of trails, tribulations and extraordinary preparations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-21 NBA season will get underway with the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday.

The Warriors head into this year’s draft with three picks: the second overall selection that they received in August’s Draft Lottery, and the 48th and 51st picks.

After five straight visits to the NBA Finals and winning three from 2015 through 2019, the squad went 15-50 last season while dealing with a number of injuries and two-way contract limitations. Heading into this year’s draft, the question has been which route President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Bob Myers will go: pick up an immediate contributor, or look for a top prospect the team can develop long term?

“The easy answer is both,” said Myers in a video call with media on Wednesday, “but ideally if there was a player that you could draft now that you knew would win you a championship or something you could forego maybe the future, but it's hard to even say -- it's not so clear.”

We have been following mock drafts written by members of the media, and even their opinions vary on the issue. Though 19-year-old center James Wiseman has been a favorite selection by the “experts,” some see trades shaking up the draft while others see some young forwards in the draft who may fit the Dubs’ style of play.

And all may not be fully resolved on Wednesday evening.

At 3 p.m. on the Friday after the draft, the NBA’s free agency period will open; between then and 9 a.m. on Sunday, teams and free agents are allowed to have contract negotiations. Contracts can then be signed on Sunday at 9:01 a.m. and thereafter. The Dubs will have the opportunity to seek additional reinforcements for their roster during this time as well.

Myers says he feels no pressure to make these critical decisions until the time comes: “Somebody gave me good advice. I don't know who it was. I think somebody that worked with President Obama told me one of his things is never make a decision until you have to. So we'll make it on Wednesday night when they call our name.”

Also to keep in mind as you debate what direction the Warriors could go in: the team has a $17.2 million trade exception. The Warriors received this tool after trading Andre Iguodala and a 2024 first round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies last summer for Julian Washburn, who the Warriors later waived. The simplest way to think about it: the Dubs can acquire players whose contracts are valued up to the difference between Iguodala and Washburn’s salaries, plus an additional amount more per the collective bargaining agreement, which in this case comes to roughly $17.2 million.

The trade exception will expire Nov. 23, so the window during which the Warriors can use this opportunity is coming to a close.

With many potentially seismic decisions looming for Myers and the Basketball Operations team, will they look to Warriors veterans for input?

“Klay (Thompson) doesn’t care,” Myers said in an interview Oct. 14. “He’ll show up by training camp and be like: ‘Is that the guy right there? That the guy we drafted there?’”

“Draymond (Green) cares,” he continued. “Draymond loves it, he’s a junky. And Steph (Curry) is different. He’s almost like ‘I trust you to do what you do if you think it’s right.’ If I call Steph and ask him, he’ll give an opinion… But Draymond is the uninvited commentary. He’ll do it no matter what you say or what you think.”

“So it’s a good blend,” Myers said of the trio of NBA Champions.

Besides the assets at the fingertips of Myers and his team right now, the Dubs also have a number of picks headed into the future. Below is a complete breakdown of those draft picks by year, including the protections* and which team they came from should Dub Nation want to start scouting.

2020: Golden State’s first round pick (2nd overall), Utah Jazz’s second round pick (48th overall), Dallas Mavericks’ second round pick (51st overall)
Golden State’s second round pick traded to Dallas Mavericks in July 2016, along with Andrew Bogut for future draft considerations

2021: Golden State’s first round pick, Minnesota Timberwolves’ first round pick (top-3 protected), Minnesota’s second round pick, Denver Nuggets’ second round pick
Golden State’s second round pick traded to New Orleans Pelicans during 2019 NBA Draft for Alen Smailagic

2022: Golden State’s first-round pick, Golden State’s second-round pick, Toronto Raptors’ second-round pick

2023: Golden State’s first-round pick
Golden State’s second round pick traded to New Orleans Pelicans during 2019 NBA Draft for Alen Smailagic

2024: None
Golden State’s first round pick (top-4 protected) traded to Memphis Grizzlies in July 2019 along with Andre Iguodala for Julian Washburn; a traded player exception available to Warriors as part of the trade. Golden State’s second round pick traded to Atlanta Hawks morning of 2019 NBA Draft for 41st overall pick (Eric Paschall)

2025: Golden State’s first-round pick
Golden State’s second round pick traded to Brooklyn Nets in July 2019 along with Kevin Durant for D’Angelo Russell

2026: Golden State’s first-round pick
Golden State’s second round pick traded to Atlanta Hawks in July 2019 along with Damian Jones for Omari Spellman

With a number of options and opportunities headed into the NBA Draft and free agency, things can go any number of ways this next week. Be sure to stay tuned to and @warriors on social media for updates.

*Some picks are dealt with conditions as part of the trade. Using this past summer’s Kevin Durant-D’Angelo Russell trade as an example, the deal with the Brooklyn Nets included the Dubs’ 2020 first round pick which became top-20 protected. In other words, the deal included the stipulation that if the Warriors finished the 2019-20 season with a record that placed them in the first 20 teams in the in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Warriors would not need to include that pick in the trade and instead send a future second round pick (in 2025).

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