Warriors

Warriors' ideal combinations for No. 7, No. 14 draft picks

Warriors
Scottie Barnes, Franz Wagner

While there's still plenty of time for things to change, we have a pretty good idea of which prospects are likely to be available to the Warriors with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. And while there's naturally more mystery surrounding which prospects still will be on the board when they select for a second time in the lottery at pick No. 14, the developments of last week's NBA Draft Combine in Chicago should have Golden State feeling increasingly optimistic about its draft position.

Sure, the Warriors could make a trade or two that alters their draft outlook, but no matter how many picks they have and no matter where they land in the order, their goals generally will remain the same. There are insufficiencies on the current roster that must be addressed, and the draft arguably provides the best way to do that. Specifically, the Warriors are likely to prioritize shooting, playmaking and at least passable defense, and ideally all in the same ready-to-play-right-away package.

It's going to be tough for Golden State to find a prospect who excels in all of those areas with either of its current selections, but assuming the Warriors do indeed pick two prospects, whoever they pick at seven inevitably will have some influence on who they pick at 14. And depending on the combination of those two selections, perhaps that's how the Warriors will best accomplish their goals.

With that in mind, here's a look at which draft prospects potentially available at the 14th pick would make for the most ideal combination with each of the players likely to be in the mix for the Warriors at seven.

 

7th pick: Jonathan Kuminga

14th pick: Corey Kispert, Davion Mitchell

Kuminga is an athletic wing who could help the Warriors address multiple areas of needed improvement. Capable of playing more than one position, he already has an NBA body and spent the last year playing against G League competition. He has all the characteristics and tools of a future All-NBA defender, and is a talented driver, capable of creating for himself and others. That said, he has a long way to go as a shooter. That's where the 14th pick comes in.

Kispert might be the ideal combination with Kuminga. He is widely regarded as the best shooter in the draft, and he would balance out Kuminga's youth while providing plenty of experience. He also opened some eyes in the athletic testing portion of the combine, suggesting he has potential to improve as a defender. It's easy to see how Kuminga and Kispert could share the court together.

Mitchell also would help address Golden State's need for shooting, having shot 44.7 percent from beyond the arc as a junior at Baylor, and the reigning NCAA Defensive Player of the Year is a phenomenal on-ball defender. He has an extremely quick first step, and has proven to be an adept playmaker. Like Kispert, he'd bring plenty of experience to the table and would immediately slot into the rotation.

7th pick: Scottie Barnes

14th pick: Corey Kispert, Franz Wagner

In many ways, Barnes is similar to Kuminga, but he's a better playmaker, so if the Warriors pick him at seven, perhaps they can place more of an emphasis on other attributes at 14. Shooting will remain a top priority, hence Kispert, but Wagner would also make a lot of sense.

Listed at 6-foot-9, Wagner is an intriguing 3-and-D prospect who has an advanced understanding of the game. Though he can be streaky, Wagner has a good-looking shot, and would provide Golden State with another lanky two-way wing.

7th pick: Moses Moody

14th pick: Josh Giddey, Franz Wagner

Moody is a 3-and-D prototype with a freakishly long wingspan. He’s a proficient shooter with plenty of wiggle, who ranked third in the SEC in scoring as a freshman and second in points produced. Really, he offers a bit of everything that the Warriors are looking for. If they take him at seven, they could go in several directions at 14.

Moody is a shooting guard, so Kispert -- who plays the same position -- probably wouldn't make the most sense. But perhaps a larger player at a different position who complements Moody’s skillset would.

You can never have enough wings in the modern NBA, so doubling down on 3-and-D prospects with a selection of Wagner could be the way to go. Or, with Moody addressing the shooting, Golden State could bet on upside with Giddey, the Australian phenom who is on the shortlist of the best playmakers in the entire draft. 

 

7th pick: James Bouknight

14th pick: Franz Wagner, Josh Giddey

Bouknight is a different player than Moody. He’s a bit smaller, not as long, not as strong of a shooter and more of a combo guard. But, boy, can he score. He has every move in his bag, and he excels at getting to the rack. He’s extremely athletic and a proficient shot creator. 

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If the Warriors take Bouknight at seven, it seems very unlikely that they’d go with another guard at 14. Consequently, the ideal pairings for Bouknight are the same as for Moody.

Wagner’s solid all-around game would pair well with Bouknight’s, as the two combined could come pretty close to fulfilling everything the Warriors are looking for in the draft. Or if Golden State is determined to add not one, but two skilled offensive creators, it would be hard to do much better than Bouknight and Giddey.

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