NBA mock draft 2020: Warriors select guard RJ Hampton at No. 5 overall


NBA mock draft 2020: Warriors select guard RJ Hampton at No. 5 overall

Entering Monday, the Warriors (4-17) are a half-game ahead of the Hawks (4-16) and Knicks (4-16) for the worst record in the NBA. As Steph Curry continues to rehab and as the young Dubs grow as a team, plenty can change. 

But this season's Golden State squad seems destined for a high draft pick for the first time since selecting Harrison Barnes at No. 7 overall in 2012. 

Next season's team will resemble more of the dominant roster fans became accustomed to seeing. Curry will be back, as will fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who could miss the entire 2019-20 season while rehabbing a torn ACL. They will be joined by Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and other familiar names. 

There won't be many holes to fill for a team expected to pick atop the draft. Adding a top prospect who could compete right away will be quite the luxury, and the Warriors could certainly find that this coming June.

So, who should general manager Bob Myers and the rest of the front office have their eyes on? ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz gave the Warriors guard RJ Hampton at No. 5 overall, and that could make plenty of sense. 

ESPN uses their Basketball Power Index to create the draft order, so in this scenario, the Knicks, Grizzlies, Hornets and Hawks all are picking ahead of Golden State. And guards LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and Cole Anthony, as well as center James Wiseman, have come off the board. That leaves the Warriors choosing the 6-foot-5 Hampton, who could serve as both a guard and wing. 

Hampton, 18, opted to play professionally for the New Zealand Breakers of Australia's NBL instead of going to college. Ball, who also plays in the NBL, gets more attention and puts up bigger numbers, but Hampton has less margin for error and might be a highly underrated prospect. 

Through 11 games, Hampton is averaging 10 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists over 22.6 minutes per game. Per 36 minutes, he's averaging 15.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists. 

Hampton and Ball recently battled for the second time in the NBL, and while Ball recorded a triple-double, Hampton scored 12 points, four rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes and was plus-9 in the plus/minus. Ball was minus-13. Hampton was seen diving on the floor and fighting for rebounds as his team won, 91-79. 

After a season full of lessons and losses, the Warriors will want a prospect who they can trust right away. Hampton already is playing professionally against grown men, and is showing his desire to play defense and do the little things to win games.

His jump shot will need to continue to improve, though that shouldn't be a huge concern for teams in the draft. Hampton already has shown he has a feel for the game and a willingness to win, which should go a long way. 

[RELATED: Kerr to attend Draymond's MSU jersey retirement ceremony]

The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported in late November that Myers is planning a trip to watch Ball and Hampton in person. NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh personally believes Hampton is the better fit. 

We're nearly seven months away from the NBA draft, but Myers might find his man when he sees Hampton play.

Warriors sign former top pick Dragan Bender to 10-day contract

Warriors sign former top pick Dragan Bender to 10-day contract

The Warriors have filled one of their open roster spots.

Dragan Bender, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, siged  a 10-day contract with Golden State, the team announced Sunday.

The potential move was first reported Thursday.

As the Warriors season winds down, they plan to get a look at a number of players.

"I know we have a list of players who we'd like to take a look at," coach Steve Kerr told reporters Tuesday night. "We'll see how that all pans out.

"But there's a good chance that over the last couple months of the season we take a look at some different players. That's the idea."

Bender started the season with the Milwaukee Bucks, but he was waived Feb. 10 after appearing in just seven games.

The 22-year-old did play in 13 G League contests with the Wisconsin Herd, averaging 20.5 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting over 38 percent from deep.

[RELATED: What Dubs can learn from Cuban's draft advice on Doncic]

His best season was in 2017-18 when he averaged 6.5 points and 4.4 rebounds over 25.2 minutes per game.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Andrew Wiggins is 'perfect piece' for Warriors, Tim Hardaway believes

Andrew Wiggins is 'perfect piece' for Warriors, Tim Hardaway believes

Ever since Andrew Wiggins arrived in the Bay Area, people have been speculating about his future with the Warriors.

Will they trade him as part of a package to acquire a star like Giannis Antetokounmpo? Is he an integral part of the next phase of the Warriors' dynasty?

Warriors legend Tim Hardaway is a huge fan of the acquisition and believes it'll help the Warriors get back to the top of the NBA next season.

"I think it was," Hardaway told TMZ Sports when asked if acquiring Wiggins was a good move. "Andrew Wiggins is gonna be real nice with them. Yes, he is. Perfect piece, no question!"

The Warriors have had an awful season. Klay Thompson will miss the entire campaign after tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last season, Steph Curry broke his hand during the fourth game of the year and has been out ever since.

As a result, the Dubs currently sit at the bottom of the NBA with a 12-44 record. But they traded D'Angelo Russell for Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves' first-round draft pick in 2021 (top-three protected). The pick becomes unprotected in 2022, which is expected to be the "double draft."

For his part, Wiggins has been brilliant since slipping on a Warriors uniform. In four games with the Dubs, he's averaging 22.7 points per game while shooting 57.9 percent overall and 52.6 percent from 3-point range. He's impressed head coach Steve Kerr who has said he's picked Golden State's offense up faster than anyone Kerr has coached.

Wiggins gets a bad rap because of the massive contract he has, but he still is just 24 years old and has loads of potential. Now free of the T-Wolves' dysfunction, Wiggins can focus not on being the savior of a franchise, but on doing his part and helping the Dubs make the long climb back to the top of the league when Curry and Thompson both are back on the course next season. 

[RELATED: Zion gives Dubs fans chance to dream of fantastical draft future]

This season has been one to forget for the Warriors.

But Hardaway thinks Wiggins is exactly the piece the Warriors need to continue their run of dominance when healthy.

With the early returns, it's hard to argue with the NBA legend,