How LaMelo going No. 1 to T-Wolves could affect Warriors


If you are adamant that the Minnesota Timberwolves won't select LaMelo Ball with the No. 1 overall pick, you probably need to adjust your mindset.

The Athletic's Sam Vecenie updated his mock draft Thursday, and Ball supplanted Georgia guard Anthony Edwards at the top of the board. In Vecenie's mock immediately after the Aug. 20 draft lottery, he had Ball going third overall to the Charlotte Hornets.

This is noteworthy because ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Stadium's Jeff Goodman tabbed the 6-foot-6 guard as the No. 1 pick in their first post-lottery mock drafts.

The overall point here is that you can't ignore these links, and need to realize that Ball is a serious candidate to be the first prospect chosen.

Now, this brings us to the Warriors, who have the No. 2 overall selection. If word leaks out as we get closer to the draft that the T-Wolves definitely are going to take Ball, this could create some leverage for Golden State from a trade-down perspective.

How so? Well, if another franchise in the lottery falls in love with a certain player, perhaps they offer a trade package the Warriors can't refuse. This could allow the Dubs to acquire a future asset or two, while still drafting a player in the lottery they really like.

On the other hand, if we assume that Ball goes to Minnesota and that Golden State does not trade the pick, who will the Warriors take?


Some believe big man James Wiseman is the guy, while others are predicting Edwards. And don't dismiss the idea of the front office going in a different direction, which is a route that wouldn't shock some draft analysts.

If yours truly was Warriors general manager Bob Myers, the choice at this point probably would be Edwards.

"Golden State believes, per a league source, that Edwards is one of the few players available in this draft who can contribute immediately and develop into a face of the franchise within the next few seasons," the San Francisco's Connor Letourneau wrote in mid-August.

The 19-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals during his one season in college. He shot below 30 percent from 3-point range, and scouts question his commitment on the defensive end of the floor.

But after watching him live (from the couch that is) against Michigan State back in late November, the talent just is undeniable.

And as for his ability to be a trusted defender, at least he is saying the right things.

"If I lock in every time on the defensive end, nobody's better than me in the draft," Edwards told Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks before the NBA season was shut down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. "Of course I feel like I can score the best. I can pass, rebound -- all type of stuff.

"But I feel like defense is gonna separate everybody in the draft."

We shall see if Edwards puts those words into action, and whether or not he gets that opportunity in a Warriors uniform.

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