Warriors

Report: Warriors could struggle to find draft trade-up partner

Warriors

The Warriors have a pair of lottery picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, but there reportedly isn't much interest from the top few selections in trading down.

In an NBA draft column Monday, The Athletic's John Hollinger reported that the Detroit Pistons aren't keen on trading out of the No. 1 overall pick, and neither are the Houston Rockets at No. 2 or the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 3.

"Regardless, the Pistons will pick somebody. The chances of Detroit trading down seem minimal, and my spies were equally skeptical of Houston (at No. 2) and Cleveland (at No. 3) looking to move back in return for multiple picks," Hollinger wrote.

General manager Bob Myers and CEO Joe Lacob both have publicly asserted in recent weeks that the Warriors would like to utilize their two first-round picks on prospects, but they also didn't close the door on a potential offseason trade.

Along with the three teams listed above, the Toronto Raptors (No. 4), Orlando Magic (No. 5), and Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 6) also currently sit ahead of the Warriors in the draft order.

The Raptors fell back to earth in 2020-21, just two years after beating the Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals with Kawhi Leonard.

Pascal Siakam was mentioned by Hollinger as a "player to watch" with the Warriors reportedly shopping 2020 No. 2 pick James Wiseman and the No. 7 overall pick in 2021 for "immediate upgrades" to the roster.

 

The clear preference given the current roster construction would be to use their top assets to bring in a player like Siakam, Ben Simmons or another star player to pair with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

But if the front office isn't able to convince a team to part with a proven star, trying to package the No. 7 and No. 14 picks to move up into the top five of what is considered a very top-heavy draft class might be the best course of action.

RELATED: Siakam trade would be Warriors' dream, but it's complicated

Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley and Jalen Green are the top three picks in NBC Sports California Kings Insider James Ham's latest 2021 NBA Mock Draft, so let's assume for this context that those three guys are off the board to those top three teams.

Being able to pair Gonzaga superstar Jalen Suggs or G League Ignite product Jonathan Kuminga with the Warriors' current roster would be quite the consolation prize for the Warriors' lottery picks.

Suggs absolutely dominated the college game in leading Gonzaga to the Final Four, and Kuminga cut his teeth against grown men in the G League bubble and showcased a lot of potential at either forward spot.

Either of those players could serve an important reserve role right away for the Warriors, as well as bridge the gap toward the future of the franchise as the careers of the current Big 3 wind down.

If the Warriors aren't able to turn their top assets into another star this summer, moving up into the top five would give the organization a chance to snag an extremely talented rookie from the handful of elite prospects at the top of this year's class.

The top three could be out, but discussions with Toronto or Orlando about a trade up should be Plan B for the Warriors.

Myers and the Warriors' front office have a lot of options as the draft sits just over a month away.

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