Warriors

One draft prospect from each Final Four team Warriors should watch

Warriors
Johnny Juzang, Davion Mitchell

As the Warriors' season continues to slip away from them, their focus should subtly start to turn toward the 2021 NBA Draft and the search for more help to put around Steph Curry.

The Warriors, of course, own the rights to the Minnesota Timberwolves' first-round pick if it lands outside the top three, and it looks like they will keep their own first-round pick since they won't have one of the 10 best records in the NBA. With their first-round pick not conveying to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Warriors will send a second-round pick to OKC to complete the Kelly Oubre Jr. deal and be left with zero second-round picks in the cupboard, although they can easily acquire one should they feel the need.

On Saturday, the Warriors should be locked into the 2021 Final Four where a number of prospects who could be fits with Golden State will take the floor.

No. 2-seeded Houston will take on No. 1 seed Baylor first, with top-seeded Gonzaga facing No. 11-seeded UCLA in the nightcap. With a lot of potential NBA talent taking the floor in Indianapolis, here is one player from each Final Four team who the Warriors should be watching.

Johnny Juzang, F, UCLA

Let's start with Cinderella.

Juzang, 6-foot-6, has emerged as a legit NBA prospect over the past two months. With NBA teams clamoring to find long, athletic wings who can shoot the ball, Juzang's NCAA Tournament performance surely has put him on a number of team's draft boards.

Over the last 16 games, Juzang is averaging 18.3 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from the 3-point line. During UCLA's tournament run, Juzang is averaging 21.3 points per game and is the key to the Bruins' chances of knocking off No. 1-seeded Gonzaga on Saturday.

 

Most draft experts still see Juzang as a second-round pick, and he could use another season at UCLA to get better defensively. But if he declares, he's someone who has a skill set the Warriors are looking for and could be a nice find if he is available in the second round.

Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor

While Juzang could potentially be available in the second round, Davion Mitchell is someone the Warriors could look at should their first-round select fall in the eight to 13 range, which it likely will.

The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Mitchell is an elite disruptor at the point of attack which is something the Warriors are in need of even when Klay Thompson returns. Mitchell, 6-foot-2, has improved his offensive game this season, averaging 14.1 points per game while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from the 3-point line.

While Mitchell's shooting improvement might be a blip, what can't be overlooked is elite athleticism that allows him to get into the paint and attack the rim. Mitchell will have to work on his finishing in order to be more effective in the NBA, but his skill set as a point guard who is an elite defender who can play on and off the ball is one that should be attractive to the Warriors.

Quentin Grimes, G, Houston

Here's a guy who I really like for the Warriors should they be able to find a second-round pick.

Grimes, the AAC Player of the Year, began his college career at Kansas as an elite prospect who could do it all as the primary ball-handler. Grimes has re-invented himself after transferring to Houston as a guy who is more effective not as the lead initiator, but as a secondary option who can knock down 3-point shots, attack closeouts and create for others.

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Grimes, 6-foot-5, is averaging 18.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from beyond the arc. He is a confident shooter and his ability to be a secondary scorer and playmaker who can defend multiple positions well is the versatility and shot-making ability the Warriors are missing on the bench.

Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga

Everyone knows about Jalen Suggs, and if the Warriors are lucky enough to get the Timberwolves' first-round pick this season, the electric Gonzaga guard will be atop their board.

But let's take a look at a different Bulldog, one who is expected to go in the middle of the first round and would give the Warriors some shooting firepower they have been missing.

Corey Kispert is a 6-foot-7 forward who has arguably been Gonzaga's best player this season, including Suggs. Kispert is averaging 18.9 points per game while shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 45.3 percent from 3-point land. Kispert is lethally efficient, and has a little bit of Klay Thompson in him as he torched Virginia earlier this season for 32 points on only seven dribbles. 

 

Kispert is the best shooter in college basketball and has drawn comparisons to Brooklyn Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris. As the Warriors look to add more scoring offseason, Kispert would be a nice fit alongside Steph Curry and Thompson.

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