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


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.


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.

Matt Barnes was on verge of NFL pursuit before Warriors offered chance

Matt Barnes was on verge of NFL pursuit before Warriors offered chance

Matt Barnes wasn't guaranteed or promised anything in his NBA career.

In fact, the former Warriors forward nearly left hoops in 2006 to pursue football.

"I was on the verge of trying to jump into the NFL," Barnes recently explained to Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald. "I was still working out -- basketball and football -- during the summertime because basketball hadn't really seemed to hit.

"I had played four years up to that point and bounced around -- been on a handful of teams -- and just really wasn't getting a fair shot."

Barnes was selected in the second round (No. 46 overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, but spent his entire rookie season in the G League with the Fayetteville Patriots.

He didn't make his NBA debut until Jan. 19, 2004 when the Clippers gave him a shot with a 10-day contract.

Barnes signed with the Sacramento Kings in October 2004, and appeared in 43 games before he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February.

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

That brings us to the summer of 2006.

"I was in Sacramento (his hometown) at the time. Baron Davis called me (and said), 'Hey, we're gonna have an open run at the facility (in Oakland). If you're not doing nothing, come down.' I wasn't doing nothing. Hopped in my car, drove down an hour and a half. 

"Played well -- not knowing that Nellie (Warriors coach Don Nelson) was watching the whole time upstairs through the offices. We finished playing, he comes down, tells me I played well (and asks) where I'm going to camp. I was just like, 'You know coach, I don't really have any plans.'

"He told me, he's like, 'I can't promise you anything. I think we have 16 guarantees and 19 people coming to training camp, but if you play like you did today I'll give you a chance.' And that was the first time a coach really had a conversation with me. That's all I needed.

"(I) made the team and continued to use the games as practices and eventually worked my way into the lineup. The rest is history. That's kind of when I put my name on the map."

Over 76 games (23 starts) during the "We Believe" 2006-07 season, Barnes averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals, while shooting nearly 37 percent from deep. In 11 playoff games, he averaged 11.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals and shot over 42 percent from 3-point range.

[RELATED: Barnes reveals 'We Believe' Warriors documentary in works]

After one more season with the Dubs in 2007-08, Barnes played for the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Kings.

He returned to the Warriors in early March 2017 after Kevin Durant sustained a knee injury, and became an NBA champion.

The 40-year-old currently co-hosts a fantastic podcast with Stephen Jackson called "All the Smoke," and he is terrific as an analyst on TV.

It's crazy to think how different his life could have been had he not picked up BD's phone call 14 years ago ...

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Damian Lillard torches Dan Orlovsky for 'spoiled', 'entitled' remarks

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Damian Lillard torches Dan Orlovsky for 'spoiled', 'entitled' remarks

We live in an era of hot takes. Being correct isn't as important as being noticed. Ratings triumph over truth.

It leads to a situation in which television pundits frequently spout off misguided and easily disproven snap judgments without understanding the true context of the situation. Why give an accurate assessment when a bombastic quote can drive exponentially more traffic?

Most times, they aren't held accountable. On Thursday, though, Damian Lillard wasn't going to let that fly.

Lillard recently announced that he would sit out games if and when the NBA resumed the season if the Trail Blazers didn't have a chance to qualify for the playoffs and compete for a championship. While that is entirely reasonable, former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky joined ESPN's "Get Up" on Wednesday and put his foot in his mouth in criticizing Lillard's decision.

"How can you sit there and go, ‘Nope, I’m not going to play, but understand that there are people out there that don’t have that choice," Orlovsky said. "They have to go to work. They have to go earn their money. I struggle with sitting here and going ‘you don’t come off, in some way, a spoiled and entitled brat by saying I’m not going to play."

Spoiled and entitled? Seriously? Lillard is anything but, and he didn't let that idiotic comment slide.

Let's see. Lillard grew up in a rough part of Oakland. He didn't have a single D-1 scholarship offer coming out of high school. He attended a mid-major at Weber State University and built himself up to become the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. In the time since, he has been named Rookie of the Year, made four All-NBA teams, selected to five All-Star games and become the face of his franchise. Not to mention, he continually gives back to his Oakland community, including hosting an annual picnic and donating to his high school.

What exactly is spoiled about that? And Orlovsky has the nerve to call Lillard entitled?!

Orlovsky, as Lillard reminded him, was a career backup. 

Across 12 career starts, he posted a 2-10-0 record. He is most known for unknowingly stepping out of the back of the end zone for a safety. And this is the guy who we're supposed to view as an authority on the circumstances of a superstar?

Come. On.

Lillard doesn't back down, on the court or off of it. He didn't relent in calling Orlovsky out, and to no one's surprise, the comments eventually were walked back ... sort of.

I suppose you can credit Orlovsky for acknowledging his mistake and apologizing, but I won't. If not for Lillard defending himself, the comments likely would have gone unchecked and further emboldened the hot-take culture.

[RELATED: Warriors could practice again at Chase in next two weeks]

Maybe Orlovsky will think twice -- or at least do a little research -- before opening his mouth next time.

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