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Report: Warriors value T-Wolves' 2021 pick more than No. 2

/ by Brian Witt
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The Warriors have a chance to add a great young player with the No. 2 pick in the rapidly approaching 2020 NBA Draft. However, their chances likely are even better a year from now.

Whereas the 2020 draft class is widely considered to be one of the worst the league has seen in several years, the exact opposite is true of 2021. There are a handful of 2021 prospects that draft evaluators consider to be far more promising than any of those that will be picked on Nov. 18.

Luckily for the Warriors, they're in a tremendous position to capitalize on that incoming wave of talent. In addition to possessing their own 2021 first-round pick, they also have the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected 2021 first-rounder acquired as part of the Andrew Wiggins-D'Angelo Russell trade.

If the Timberwolves' pick lands outside of the first three selections in the 2021 draft, it will convey to Golden State. If by chance Minnesota's pick does land in the top three, then the Warriors will receive the Timberwolves' unprotected first-rounder in 2022.

The 2022 draft has a chance to be tremendous, too, but that's obviously even further down the line. Many teams have already begun licking their chops for the class of 2021, and apparently that includes the Warriors.

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ESPN's Zach Lowe reported Monday that the Warriors place a higher value on Minnesota's 2021 first-round pick than they do their own in 2020.

 

"You talk to people who have engaged with the Warriors on any kind of level," Lowe said Tuesday on "The Lowe Post" podcast, " ... The Warriors seem to those teams to value that Minnesota pick more highly than they value the No. 2 pick in this draft."

That really shouldn't come as a surprise. Between Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Evan Mobley, Ziaire Williams, BJ Boston, Jalen Johnson and others, there are quite a few 2021 prospects who would have had a great chance of being the top pick nine days from now. Consequently, ESPN NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz believes teams should be wary of including 2021 picks in any draft-day trades on Nov. 18.

"I think Cade Cunningham would go No. 1 in this draft, potentially," Schmitz told Lowe. "I think Jalen Green would have a chance to do that, Ziaire Williams ... these guys are complete, complete studs. And then as you continue going down the line, the drafts ahead of us are all going to be better than this one, we think at this point. So, yeah, I would hang on to those 2021 picks, for sure."

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The Warriors have made it fully clear they intend on competing for the championship this coming season, and many have assumed that will prompt them to trade draft picks to acquire another star. It is certainly possible things turn out that way, but the 2021 draft class should at the very least give Golden State pause. 

If the Warriors end up trading Minnesota's 2021 first-round pick, they better be sure it's worth it.