Warriors

NBA Draft 2020: Four prospects Warriors could take with No. 1 pick

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NBA Draft 2020: Four prospects Warriors could take with No. 1 pick

The Warriors find themselves in a world they never could have imagined. After five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and three championships, they now might have the draft lottery on their minds.

Entering Sunday, the 2-8 Warriors were a half-game ahead of the Grizzlies, Knicks and Pelicans for the worst record in the entire NBA. So, for the first time under the Joe Lacob/Peter Guber ownership group, Golden State has the league's worst record after the 10-game mark.

The Warriors already have been handed prospects such as Scottie Lewis and Deni Avdija in recent mock drafts, but those came with the team picking at Nos. 10 and 7, respectively. Even though 72 regular-season games remain, it could be time to start thinking about the Warriors owning the No. 1 overall pick.

Seriously.

With Steph Curry out for at least three months because of a broken hand, Draymond Green dealing with a torn ligament in his left index finger, and injuries piling up like they're free at a garage sale, the Warriors' talent has been depleted despite their constant strong efforts. So, who should they have their eyes on for next June?

Let's look at some of the top prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft.

James Wiseman, C, Memphis 

Wiseman was ruled ineligible by the NCAA's No Fun Police on Friday, but a Shelby County judge halted the ruling for the time being, later that day. When Wiseman is on the floor, however long that might be, he looks like possibly the best fit for the Warriors, as well as the best player in the country.

The 7-foot freshman was the top recruit in the country for a reason, and through two games, he is averaging 22.5 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks over 23.5 minutes per contest for Memphis.

With his size and explosiveness, Wiseman easily should be a lob threat and big-shot blocker right away at the next level. He has the skill and upside to work on post moves, and quickly add an outside game as well.

Surrounding Wiseman with shooters like Curry, Klay Thompson and D'Angelo Russell could be a dream scenario for the Warriors.

Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina 

No other big man is close to Wiseman when it comes to next year's draft. It's likely that a run of guards and small forwards will be called atop the lottery, but the Warriors can't worry about fit.

Even with such a star-studded roster when healthy, Golden State should add the best player available if it's selecting No. 1. At the worst, the pick becomes one of the most valuable assets in the game and could be an early contributor off the bench if he doesn't fit in the Warriors' starting five.

Anthony looks about as pro-ready as any prospect, too. The son of former 11-year pro Greg Anthony, Cole has put on a show to begin his college career at North Carolina. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Anthony scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his first college game, a 76-65 win over Notre Dame.

Through two games, Anthony, the No. 2 recruit last year behind Wiseman, is averaging 27 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4 assists over 35.5 minutes per game.

Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

Edwards has played in only one game thus far, and looked like a star in Georgia's 91-72 win over Western Carolina. The sturdy 6-5, 225-pound shooting guard scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and also went 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

Edwards screams potential with his strength and explosiveness. He also could be an impressive slasher right away, and will use his athleticism to find ways to score. Edwards shot 7 of 16 from the field in his first game, and will have to prove he can be a consistent jump shooter in the NBA.

Comparisons to Donovan Mitchell will have lottery teams eyeing Edwards' every move.

LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

LaMelo, the younger brother of former No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball, continues to be one of the more polarizing prospects in years. Questions about his maturity on and off the court quickly have gone away, as he has looked like one of the best players in Australia's NBL at just 18 years old.

Ball is a 6-7 point guard who sees the floor with next-level vision. He has touch around the rim, and should improve from beyond the arc with more strength and NBA coaches' help in tweaking his shooting form.

His ability to set up his teammates and control the game as a playmaker are extremely advanced, though. Ball is averaging 14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game as a pro in Australia.

While questions will come regarding his father LaVar's antics, LaMelo shouldn't be judged on that, and it seems his draft stock only has risen.

Could the youngest Ball brother wind up in the Bay Area? It will be fascinating to watch.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr wishes 49ers well in Super Bowl 54 vs. Chiefs

Warriors coach Steve Kerr wishes 49ers well in Super Bowl 54 vs. Chiefs

Draymond Green might not be rooting for the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, but one other prominent member of the Warriors’ organization will be.

Coach Steve Kerr delivered a message via social media on Friday, wishing the Niners well as they prepare to take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2.

"I just wanna say good luck to the 49ers," Kerr said. "Everybody's pulling for you guys, let's go."

[RELATED: How Dubs benefit from Cauley-Stein trade to Mavericks]

Draymond said after shootaround on Friday that he’ll be rooting for the Chiefs, whose roster features his close friend, defensive end Frank Clark.

Both Kerr and Green happen to know a thing or two about winning championships, but only one of them will be happy with the result from Miami.

How Warriors gain flexibility in Willie Cauley-Stein trade to Mavs

How Warriors gain flexibility in Willie Cauley-Stein trade to Mavs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Willie Cauley-Stein walked out of shootaround, down a long corridor that leads to the Warriors' locker room in Chase Center late Friday morning in preparation for a game scheduled hours later against the Indiana Pacers. The trek marked the big man's last as a member of Golden State.

By Saturday morning, Cauley-Stein officially was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the Utah Jazz's second-round draft pick in 2020, ending his short tenure in the Bay Area. Along the way, the Warriors set themselves up for future flexibility. 

In the immediate aftermath, the Warriors shed Cauley-Stein's current $2.17 million salary and his $2.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season, while freeing up an open roster spot for this season and beyond. From a financial perspective, it sank Golden State $2.57 million below the hard cap, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks. Additionally, the Warriors have enough salary space to convert the two-way deals of either Ky Bowman or Marquese Chriss. 

Six months ago, Cauley-Stein came to Warriors in search of career revitalization. After four years in Sacramento, he demanded that the Kings rescind his qualifying offer to make him a free agent last summer. After garnering more lucrative offers from other teams, he chose to sign a one-year contract with Golden State, which included the player option. With a new contract, the center hoped to keep the Warriors' postseason streak alive while earning a payday next summer. 

However, those wishes didn't come to fruition. A week before training camp, Cauley-Stein sprained his foot, causing the center to miss the first month of the season. His injury, coupled with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney missing significant time, led to a lost season for the big man.

Nonetheless, Cauley-Stein expressed a desire to stay with the Warriors long term, citing his relationship with coach Steve Kerr. 

"He wants to build a relationship with you," Cauley-Stein told NBC Sports Bay Area last month. "I think, in the past I hadn't had a relationship with my coach. [Former Kings coach Dave] Joerger, me and him had a pretty good rapport, pretty good, like cordial, but we never had like in-depth conversations about life and stuff like that, and the first couple of conversations I had with coach Kerr was real-life stuff and that hit home with me like, 'Damn, he really tried to get to know me.' "

[RELATED: Draymond not rooting for 49ers]

Unfortunately for Cauley-Stein, he won't get to continue that relationship with Kerr.

Now, with Dallas in need of a center with the loss of Dwight Powell, his hope to find a similar relationship with Rick Carlisle will immediately start in a Mavericks uniform.