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Hungry and healthy, Warriors enter draft day with eyes on bigger prize

Don’t you just hate when the popular kids get everything? Land the best job? Get the best car?

Well, that’s life for opposing GMs of the Golden State Warriors as they sit back and watch the Warriors dynasty retool with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA draft Wednesday.

Golden State Warriors

After an injury-riddled season and the worst record (15-50) in basketball, the Warriors find themselves in a unique spot in the draft. They currently hold three selections (2, 48, and 51) and, unlike most teams selecting this high, the Warriors have their eyes on a championship this season. 

The NBA announced Tuesday a 72-game regular season starting December 22. Split into two halves, teams will play conference opponents three times each and opposing conference teams twice. For the first time, a play-in tournament will give four teams a shot at the final two playoff spots in May 2021.

Golden State will return in December with its championship core fully healthy, something fans haven’t seen since Kevin Durant was donning the yellow and blue. Expectations are high for a healthy Stephen CurryKlay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Not to mention what young talent like Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall, and Marquese Chriss was able to develop with extra minutes last season, which could be vital to their player development and growth. 

The X-factor is Andrew Wiggins. What will the Warriors do with him? Package him in a late deal with the No. 2 pick to land a star? Hold on and hope for peak potential? Wiggins is a career 19.7 scorer and talented athlete. If motivated by playing with two hall of fame guards and the possibility of winning a title, Wiggins could be set for his best pro season yet.

No. 2 and beyond

If the Warriors decide to keep the No. 2 overall pick, they can go in a few different directions. The Warriors worked out top prospects James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Deni Avdija and Auburn’s Isaac Okoro.

Wiseman is thought to be the favorite for this selection. The Memphis big man stands 7 feet tall and would fill a positional need in the front court while providing a much-needed jolt of athleticism to Kerr’s rotation. His rim-protecting ability could potentially allow the Warriors to continue to play small ball.

General manager Bob Myers has shown he is not afraid of doing things unconventionally. So drafting a guard is not out of the realm of possibility, even with Curry and Thompson in the backcourt. 

Edwards, guard out of University of Georgia, is a talented three-level scorer who can immediately step into the NBA and put the ball into the hoop.  His athletic profile projects for him to be a solid NBA defender if he puts in the effort. Edwards does have questionable shot selection at times, but his talent is undeniable.  

Haliburton of Iowa State is another intriguing prospect with an impresive athletic profile. He’s a long, athletic point guard at 6-foot-5 and can guard multiple positions. Haliburton is a savvy playmaker and could allow the Warriors to run Curry and Thompson off screens and play off-ball more.

Golden State could also look to add to their wing depth by selecting Auburn defensive forward Okoro, although that would be a shock to see him tken that high since he is currently being project late lottery.

Deni Avadiji was also worked out by the team, he is a 19-year-old, 6-foot-9 prospect who played in the Euroleague last season and projected as a high first-rounder.

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