The 2020 NBA Draft was supposed to be a celebratory night for the Warriors. But it turned somber after news of Klay Thompson's injury hit hours before Golden State went on the clock at No. 2 overall.
But the Warriors stayed the course and drafted Memphis center James Wiseman, adding the best player on the team's board and giving them potentially their next franchise center. In the second round, the Warriors saw electric guard Nico Mannion fall to them at No. 48 overall, much to the shock of rival execs.
It's hard to grade the Warriors' draft class without Thompson's injury leading the way. The two are intertwined. But as far as the picks of Wiseman, Mannion and Justinian Jessup, the Warriors were given solid grades for their draft class.
Here's how experts graded the Warriors' 2020 draft class.
Brian Witt, NBC Sports Bay Area: A What they had to say: "Golden State has set out to get bigger, younger and more athletic, and Wiseman checks all three boxes. He arguably has the highest ceiling of any prospect in the draft, and if he fulfills his potential, the Warriors just landed another star."
Colin Ward-Henninger and Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: B What they had to say: "After all the discussion about trading the No. 2 pick, the Warriors went with Wiseman, who fills an immediate need as a lob threat and rim protector but has All-NBA upside. Mannion, a promising point guard, and Jessup, one of the best shooters in the draft, need some time to develop, but the Warriors have had great success cultivating talent through the G League."
Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY: B What they had to say: "The news of Klay Thompson injuring his leg certainly shakes things up, but securing 7-footer James Wiseman at No. 2 was a solid move for the franchise looking to rebound in 2020-21. Wiseman provided a small sample size in his few games at Memphis, but he’s got 20-and-10 capability and All-Star potential."
Michael Shapiro, Sports Illustrated: B-plus What they had to say: "Golden State was wise to hold its pick considering there was no true star available, and James Wiseman provides both a short-term and long-term benefit. The Memphis product should bring a legitimate impact as a shot-blocker and rim-runner as a rookie, and he has the skill set to potentially emerge as a future franchise building block. It’s hard to shake the feeling that Wiseman would have been the top pick if he logged a normal college season. He could very well end up the best player in this draft."
Ricky O'Donnell, SB Nation: C What they had to say: "Wiseman entered college as the No. 1 recruit in the class and has long been identified as a possible top overall draft pick. He has great size and length for a center, and has shown incredible end-to-end speed running the open floor. His game is going to be protecting the rim on defense, catching lobs, and getting putbacks on offense. Wiseman should be a good player, but his limited versatility makes him feel like an underwhelming No. 2 overall pick. He isn’t a polished shooter or passer on offense and defensively lacks lateral quickness and quick jumping ability. Despite having a relatively narrow skill set, Wiseman should be ready to handle minutes as a rookie just based on his elite frame and ability to run the floor. We would have Onyeka Okongwu as the top big man prospect, but Wiseman certainly should have a long and productive career even if it doesn’t feel like he has all that much upside."