James Wiseman

Warriors on hand to see Anthony Edwards make case for top NBA draft pick

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AP

Warriors on hand to see Anthony Edwards make case for top NBA draft pick

It's pretty obvious that the Warriors are going to have a very, very high draft pick. At 3-15, they sit alone at the bottom of the NBA standings.

With the collegiate season underway, we're beginning to get a closer look at some of the prospects rumored to be in the mix for the top of the draft. Memphis center James Wiseman entered the season as the prohibitive favorite and still might be, but the competition is heating up.

Warriors GM Bob Myers reportedly will scout both R.J. Hampton and LaMelo Ball during an upcoming trip to Australia. NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh recently argued that Hampton would make better sense for Golden State than Ball, but there might be a different wing prospect who trumps both.

If you happened to watch Monday's Maui Invitational game between Michigan State and Georgia, you already know of whom I speak.

The Bulldogs might have ended up on the losing side, but that certainly wasn't for a lack of trying on freshman Anthony Edwards' part. Just watch these clips:

In case you were wondering, the Warriors had a presence to see Edwards' standout performance firsthand:

Edwards scored 33 of his game-high 37 points in the second half alone to bring Georgia back from a 28-point deficit against the No. 3 team in the country. Listed at 6-foot-5, 225 lbs. with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, he has the size and length to play either shooting guard or small forward at the NBA level. Much like Wiseman, he would fit in perfectly with what Golden State already has:

The Warriors intend to jump back into contention following this very down year, and Edwards could be a big part of that if he's available with the Warriors' top selection.

But will he be available?

In years past, the team with the worst record in the league would have been guaranteed no worse than the No. 4 overall pick in the draft and had a 25-percent chance of receiving the first overall selection. However, that's no longer the case. With the lottery reform instituted last season, the team with the worst record is guaranteed no worse than the No. 5 overall pick, and the teams with the three worst records have an equal 14-percent chance of receiving the top selection. 

Golden State is on pace for a 14-win season right now. Yes, when All-Stars like Steph Curry and D'Angelo Russell return to the lineup, one would expect that win rate to improve ... a tad. But unless something absolutely insane happens, it's awfully difficult to envision a scenario in which the Warriors don't finish with a bottom-three record.

[RELATED: Warriors, resigned to their fate, smart to be looking ahead]

So, since there is no difference in odds to win the lottery among the teams with the worst three records, it favors Golden State if there are multiple prospects worthy of the top overall selection. Even if they don't pick at No. 1 overall, they should still end up with a premium prospect like Edwards, Wiseman or Hampton.

NBA rumors: Warriors GM Bob Myers to scout R.J. Hampton, LaMelo Ball

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USATSI

NBA rumors: Warriors GM Bob Myers to scout R.J. Hampton, LaMelo Ball

With the Warriors likely looking at a lottery pick by the time the 2020 NBA Draft rolls around, Golden State’s front office has been scouting some of college basketball’s top talent early in the season, including now-suspended Memphis center James Wiseman.

It appears team executives might be taking a much longer trip for the next talent-evaluating expedition.

General manager Bob Myers reportedly is planning a trip to Australia to scout potential NBA lottery picks R.J. Hampton and LaMelo Ball -- who both currently play in the country’s National Basketball League -- The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported Friday night.

Myers would be making a pretty strong statement of interest by flying all the way down there just to get an in-person look at these two phenoms.

[RELATED: Top NBA draft prospect LaMelo Ball is a big fan of Steph]

Hampton hails from Dallas but chose to forego college basketball in favor of a professional season abroad, as he now competes for the New Zealand Breakers.

Ball, from the infamous Ball family, is spending the year with the Illawarra Hawks while he prepares to join his brother Lonzo -- a guard for the Pelicans -- in the NBA.

NCAA to rule potential Warriors draft target James Wiseman eligible

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AP

NCAA to rule potential Warriors draft target James Wiseman eligible

The NCAA is stupid, but you already knew that.

After ruling Memphis center James Wiseman -- the presumptive No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft -- ineligible for the current collegiate season for accepting $11,500 in moving expenses, the governing body has reversed course ... sort of.

On Wednesday, the NCAA ruled Wiseman re-eligible before suspending him for 12 games, and mandated that he donate the same sum to a charity of his choice before being cleared to play.

This is where the NCAA's hypocrisy truly shines through. Wiseman was ruled ineligible for accepting money -- money he and his family didn't have -- to move to Memphis in high school, back when current Tigers coach Penny Hardaway coached Wiseman at East High School. Now, in order to get back on the court, the NCAA is making him dig up $11,500, even though the responsibilities and obligations required to fulfill his collegiate basketball scholarship make it all but impossible to hold down an additional job.

But we can't pay college athletes. No, that would be un-American.

Baloney.

[RELATED: Bowman has been Warriors' bright spot, looks like a keeper]

Hypocrisy aside, the NCAA coming to its senses is good news for Wiseman -- and for any team picking near the top of the upcoming draft.

That includes the Warriors, who have already scouted Wiseman up close and currently occupy the worst record in the NBA. Once he returns to action on Jan. 12, Wiseman will have an opportunity to play in as many as 16 games before any conference tournaments and March Madness. That should provide ample tape for NBA teams to evaluate someone who is widely regarded as the best big man available in the draft.