Warriors

2020 NBA mock draft 8.0: Projecting Warriors, Kings' first-round picks

2020 NBA mock draft 8.0: Projecting Warriors, Kings' first-round picks

It’s mock draft time!

We are getting closer and closer to a potential return of NBA basketball. That means we will eventually have final standings, followed by a lottery and sometime later this summer, an actual draft.  

There is still a lot that can change between now and draft night. Players will either help or hurt themselves during a modified interview process and there is still a sliver of hope that there will be a combine and draft visits down the road as the league attempts to work under the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic.

To add a more realistic spin to the mock, we’ve turned to the draft simulator on Tankathon.com to randomize the lottery order. Here is a look at NBC Sports California’s 2020 Mock Draft 8.0.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MOCK DRAFT 8.0

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Why Rex Chapman drafts Klay Thompson No. 6 among all-time shooting guards

Why Rex Chapman drafts Klay Thompson No. 6 among all-time shooting guards

Who are the greatest shooting guards in NBA history?

On the most recent episode of "The JJ Redick Podcast," the New Orleans Pelicans guard, his co-host Tommy Alter and Rex Chapman -- the No. 8 overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft and current Twitter star -- conducted a draft.

Obviously, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant went No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. With the third and fourth picks, Redick selected Dwyane Wade and Manu Ginobili.

Allen Iverson was the choice at No. 5, followed by ...

... Klay Thompson at No. 6.

"I love me some Klay, man," Chapman said after making the pick. "He plays both ends, shoots the s--t out of it, got a perfect demeanor -- doesn't give a f--k. I love him. He's big enough. Current, modern-day guy."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Hey Mr. Redick -- what are your thoughts on the Warriors' star shooting guard?

"I love the pick," he said. "I didn't think Klay was gonna go this high. I had him a little lower on my board, and I would have liked to have ended up with him. He is one of my favorite current players, absolutely. Everything you said about him is so true.

"He's a competitor, man. Low maintenance, 'I'm gonna go out and bust your a-- on both ends.' He's unbelievable."

Klay is a three-time NBA champion, five-time All-Star and two-time Third-Team All-NBA selection, who was named Second-Team All-Defense in 2018-19.

[RELATED: What Klay repeatedly told Damion Lee during injury rehab]

And at 30 years old, he still has plenty of time to add to his résumé and legacy.

Lastly, it's important to note that the trio acknowledged the difficulty in ranking players across different eras, and debated whether guys like James Harden and Jerry West should be considered point guards or shooting guards.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Full representation in sports ownership is next barrier to break down

Full representation in sports ownership is next barrier to break down

Derek Jeter got a small piece, but Reggie Jackson was denied.

Magic Johnson got a smaller piece, but Joe Morgan was sent away.

Michael Jordan got a small piece and eventually was approved to have the largest piece of a pie typically unavailable to Black men and women, regardless of wealth or fame.

There are 92 major American sports franchises -- 32 in the NFL, 30 in each the NBA and MLB -- and Jordan is the only African American to achieve majority ownership. Jeter owns four percent of the Marlins, Johnson 2.3 percent of the Dodgers.

Morgan and Jackson each were members of separate groups attempting to buy the A’s before Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann decided to sell to John Fisher and Lew Wolff, who had a 50-year friendship with then-commissioner Bud Selig

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

Black athletes, retired and active, are determined to change that. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James, among others, have expressed an interest in sports ownership; Durant last month bought a five-percent share of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union.

As panelists on “Race In America: A Candid Conversation,” Friday night at 8 on NBC Sports Bay Area, retired players Caron Butler (NBA) and Donte Whitner (NFL) discussed the need for representation beyond the player level. Specifically, ownership and management.

“We get to that point by continuing to shine a light on the problem, right?” Butler says.

“Michael Jordan has done a remarkable job with his stance and his endowment to social injustice, speaking out for the first time,” Butler added. “A lot of said it was a huge joke, but at the same time it was a hell of a point. Michael Jordan don’t speak out on a lot of things, but when he comes to the forefront and gets on the front line and says, ‘Look, this is a problem. This is a real issue,” that should let everyone, all these institutions, these equity firms, and all these people out there know that, look, this is a problem in America.”

Pointing out that money is the biggest impediment to ownership, Whitner implies that some of this is up to the players to fix while also alleging those at the top of the NFL create barriers by engaging in subtle forms of oppression.

“It starts with education,” he says. “There are guys in the NFL and NBA that don’t really understand what public and private equity are, what public markets are and what the private markets are.

“Until we educate the players on what these things actually mean, and they sit down and understand, we’ll be a long way away from there. That’s one of the reasons why you never see the NFLPA and NFL link up and have a private equity event. I don’t think they really want one of the athletes to realize what private equity is, be able to invest in it and then come with enough capital one day to be able to buy one of your teams. We’re a long, long ways from that.”

All Jordan had to do to join the club was, first, become the most globally famous player in the history of his sport and, second, polish his status as a cultural icon to such a shine that he became a billionaire – and, according to Forbes, the richest retired athlete on earth.

If anyone deserved a fat slice of the NBA’s ownership pie, it’s MJ. He is one of 91 (The Green Bay Packers are publicly owned, with more than 300,000 shareholders, including Sir Paul McCartney).

One level below ownership are the executive offices, which are sparsely populated with Black faces. The percentage of Black representation at that level -- president, vice president, general manager, manager, head coach etc. -- is modest in the NBA, abysmal in the NFL and beyond embarrassing in MLB.

Though it takes big dollars to enter the owner’s club, the executive level should be more accessible. But no. Only 6.7 percent of MLB GMs are Black, according to the annual Racial and Gender Report issued by Dr. Richard Lapchick at The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). In the NFL, with African Americans accounting for nearly 70 percent of the rosters, the GM percentage is at 10 percent.

“These institutions have to be held accountable,” says Butler, a voting advocate and vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter. “You have to talk about it. It has to be, ‘Look, this is the problem. Systemically, this has been the problem.’ And let’s face it: We have brothers out here that are way more qualified that a lot of people that are in those positions.

“So, all they need is the opportunity. And I’m telling you, they’re going to run with it.”

[RELATED: Jackson's anti-Semitic rhetoric shows importantce of Holocaust education]

Among the three sports, the NBA has been the best listener and the most inclusive, increasing from three Black GMs in 2017-18 to nine this week with the official hiring of Calvin Booth by the Denver Nuggets.

The NBA seems to realize best that there are benefits to having management that at least attempts to resemble the makeup of its most valuable assets.

The brutal death of George Floyd started a movement, one in which it is fashionable for white individuals to publicly support long-denied equality for Black people. To be determined is whether it’s a trend, a spasm of humanity or an actual desire for equality and representation at all levels of America’s changing demographics.