NBA mock draft 2020: Five options for Warriors with their top pick

NBA mock draft 2020: Five options for Warriors with their top pick

The next big date for the Warriors is Tuesday, Aug. 25. As the NBA looks to restart its season later this month in Orlando, Golden State has its eyes on the draft lottery. 

After going a NBA-worst 15-50 before the league was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Warriors are guaranteed a top-five pick. There's a very real chance they might even grab the No. 1 overall pick this year. 

The last time the Warriors owned a top-five pick, they took Mike Dunleavy Jr. No. 3 overall in 2002. That didn't exactly work out. Dunleavy was traded in his fifth year with the Warriors after averaging just 10.6 points per game. So, who should the Warriors take with their top pick in October's draft? 

There isn't exactly a consensus answer. 

Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

Haliburton's name has popped up a lot recently for the Warriors. He landed in their lap with the No. 5 pick in our own latest mock draft from James Ham, too. 

"He stuffs the stat sheet like very few players in this year’s draft and he has plenty of room to grow," Ham wrote on Haliburton. 

Haliburton is a long guard at 6-foot-5 and 175 pounds. He certainly did stuff the stat sheet as a sophomore, averaging 15.2 points, 6.5 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

Watching Haliburton, his feel for the game stands out right away. There's reason to believe he can fit in seamlessly with stars like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as a role player right away. Look for this connection to only grow in the coming months.

James Wiseman, C, Memphis

If the Warriors are to go big, Wiseman could fit the bill. NBC Sports' Rob Dauster agrees. He gave the Warriors Wiseman with the No. 1 pick in his latest mock draft. Here's why

"He has all the tools to be a rim protector that can guard in ball-screens and switch on the perimeter if needed," Dauster wrote. "He’s not Dirk Nowitzki but he’s not Clint Capela, either -- he’s shown some flashes of being capable on the perimeter."

Wiseman has his red flags, too. His competitiveness and motor have been questioned, and some teams will be put off from him leaving Memphis, although his case notably was another ugly situation with the NCAA. 

At 7-foot-1 and 240 pounds, the athletic big man can be a game-changer. In only three college games, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.

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LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

Would the Warriors really take Ball with the top pick in the draft? That's exactly what CBS Sports' Gary Parris did

"The 6-6 point guard, who is still only 18 years old, has broken out of his family's shadow and developed into an incredible playmaker and passer who fared well playing professionally in Australia this past season," Parrish wrote.

Ball, who is listed at 6-foot-7 and 181 pounds, averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game over 12 games as a teenager in Australia. The youngest of the three famous brothers has incredible court vision, puts fans in the seats and is must-see TV. He also isn't close to a perfect prospect. 

Ball shot just 25 percent from beyond the arc in Australia, while taking 6.7 3-pointers per game. He also isn't reliable on defense at this stage, something the Warriors will take a long look at. 

The potential is sky-high for Ball, but the risks might be too much.

Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

If the Warriors do look to find a center, there might be a better fit than Wiseman. Enter, USC's Onyeka Okongwu. FOX Sports' Jason McIntyre believes the Warriors should make him the top pick in the draft. 

"At 6-foot-9, 240 pounds, he’s a man-child who has the highest motor of any player in the draft," McIntyre wrote.

Despite being a shorter center, there's reason to see why the Warriors could love Okongwu. He has a 7-1 wingspan and plays his butt off. As a freshman, he averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.

The Warriors want someone who will impact the game in multiple ways. Okongwu fits the bill. 

[RELATED: Where Draymond, other picks land in our 2012 NBA re-draft]

Devin Vassell, SG/SF, Florida State

Vassell is an interesting case. Complex's Danny Cunningham has the Warriors taking the wing with the No. 5 pick, and he could be a trade down option. Instead of a ball-heavy player like Ball, Vassell should fill a role right away.

"While it’s entirely possible they would take a guard such as Ball or [Anthony] Edwards, it has to be about fit above anything else, if Golden State does indeed keep its pick," Cunningham wrote. 

Vassell, 6-foot-6 and 180 pounds, is a lockdown defender who can hit open 3s. That sounds just about perfect for Steve Kerr and the Warriors. 

Over 30 games as a sophomore, Vassell averaged 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds while nailing 41.5 percent of his shots from distance. He might not be the sexy pick, but he could be the right one.

Steph Curry says NBA players upsetting President Trump doing 'right thing'

Steph Curry says NBA players upsetting President Trump doing 'right thing'

Steph Curry isn't able to peacefully protest in Orlando, Fla., but he's proud of what his NBA peers are doing with their platform.

Throughout the NBA restart at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, entire teams have taken a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial and social injustices. Players are wearing social justice messages on their uniforms. They are using their Zoom conference calls with reporters to call for equality and for the Louisville police officers who shot Breonna Taylor to be arrested.

In particular, United States President Donald Trump has taken exception to NBA players kneeling during the national anthem, stating that he's turning off games because of the action.

But Curry believes if NBA players are angering President Trump, their message is the right one.

“My barometer is always, if the current president is upset about something that somebody’s speaking out on, then you’re probably saying the right thing," Curry told The New York Times' Marc Stein on Monday. "Whether they’ve knelt, or sacrificed an interview to talk about Breonna Taylor, or whatever’s important, they’re talking about it and they’re backing it up with action.”

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James spoke to reporters last week about President Trump turning off NBA games because players are kneeling.

"I really don't think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game," James said last Wednesday. "And that's all I got to say."

[RELATED: Seth Curry believes missing NBA restart tough for Steph]

Curry, LeBron and the rest of the NBA community understand what they are trying to accomplish with their actions and words. They are making a push for justice and equality in society. They are not concerned with President Trump's opposition.

And as Curry indicated, if the current president opposed what they are doing, they should keep doing what they are doing.

How Steph Curry feels watching brother Seth in NBA bubble restart

How Steph Curry feels watching brother Seth in NBA bubble restart

Seth Curry has gotten accustomed to watching his brother Steph make deep runs in the NBA playoffs year after year, as the Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals in each of the past five seasons.

But 2019-20 saw the script flipped for the Curry family, as Seth and his Dallas Mavericks will be among the eight Western Conference teams in the 2019-20 playoffs, while Steph and Golden State finished at the bottom of the West standings, going 15-50 before the NBA's suspension of the season in March.

“For most of my career, I’m usually the one who’s been home watching Steph late in the season,” Seth told the New York Times' Marc Stein. “Now it’s the other way around and I’m still at work. I can tell it’s a little tough on him.”

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Steph did tell Stein that he's felt a bit of "FOMO" about the Warriors not being among the 22 NBA teams initially chosen to play in the NBA's restart in Orlando, Fla.

“Obviously I was happy to see basketball back on TV, but that first week I had major FOMO (fear of missing out),” he told The New York Times' Marc Stein on Sunday night. "Once you see Bron (LeBron James) and Kawhi (Leonard) and P.G. (Paul George) go at it, and you remember how much fun it is to play in those types of games and that kind of level, you miss it badly."

The two-time NBA MVP played in just five games this season after breaking his hand early in the season, and with fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson missing the entire season while rehabbing from a torn ACL, there wasn't much hope for a return to the NBA Finals this season.

[RELATED: Why Bazemore-Warriors reunion in free agency makes sense]

Hypothetically getting nine months to recover before the 2020-21 season will be critical for Thompson and Curry after so many extra playoff games over the past five years.

It's not surprising that the hyper-competitive Steph would be a bit jealous of his brother, but he also told Stein he could see himself trekking to Orlando with his family to watch Seth and the Mavericks if they can advance out of the first round of the playoffs.