The Warriors liked Toledo guard Ryan Rollins enough to trade up seven spots to make sure they could draft him with the 44th pick in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday.
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas co-signed the move.
“I love this pick,” Bilas said on the broadcast immediately after Rollins was selected.
Bilas called Rollins – who is 6–foot-4 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan – a “skilled combo guard that I think is a sleeper in this second round.”
“Size. Length. Handles it. And a terrific pick-and-roll scorer,” Bilas said of Rollins. “A mid-range marksman that shoots 80 percent from the free throw line, rebounds his position. And he’s a really active defender. This is a terrific pick in the second round.”
The Warriors traded the No. 51 pick and $2 million in cash to the Atlanta Hawks to move up to No. 44.
Rollins averaged 18.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in his sophomore season at Toledo. That followed a freshman campaign where he won the MAC Rookie of the Year award.
Rollins joins Patrick Baldwin Jr. (No. 28) and Gui Santos (No. 55) as the Warriors’ three draft picks. While Santos likely is to be stashed overseas, Rollins and Baldwin Jr. will attempt to develop as rookies on the defending champions.
Neither might see much playing time right away.
But their potentials seem sky-high, and having college basketball experts like Bilas rave over Rollins’ selection can only make Warriors fans salivate about the future.