Report: Warriors eyeing Vassell if they trade back in draft


The Warriors have plenty of options whether or not they hang on to the No. 2 pick in next month's NBA draft.

There are a lot of good players to choose from if they do, and the lack of a clear-cut top prospect makes trading down a distinct possibility. If Golden State does trade back, one option reportedly really stands out to the Warriors.

The Warriors would "strongly consider" selecting Florida State shooting guard Devin Vassell if they traded back in the top 10, the San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau reported Friday, citing multiple league sources. Letourneau reported that there's "an outside chance" the Warriors take Vassell at No. 2 if there isn't "an enticing offer to move down."

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Vassell, 20, averaged 12.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 assists per game as a sophomore last season. He made 41.7 percent of his 3-pointers in college, and he was second on the Seminoles last season in defensive rating (93.6) among players who played regular minutes.

The defense reportedly is what the Warriors value most in Vassell, with Letourneau reporting that Golden State considers him the draft's best wing defender. Vassell's ability on both ends, however, reminded his college coach of one of the Warriors' biggest stars.

“I always tell people that he’s very similar to (Klay) Thompson,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said of Thompson in an interview with The Chronicle. “If you look at his shooting stats at Washington State, they’re similar to Devin’s. He’s long, lean, athletic.”

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Vassell eclipsed Thompson's collegiate sharpshooting (39 percent on 3-pointers), but he also wasn't relied upon as much offensively as Thompson was at Washington State. The Warriors wouldn't rely upon Vassell to exceed Thompson's production in the pros, either, and perhaps most importantly, he would go a long way toward filling the defensive void left behind last summer when Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets, Andre Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and Shaun Livingston retired.

There's a lot to like about Vassell. If the Warriors find a taker for the No. 2 pick between now and the draft on Nov. 18, they reportedly could have him in mind.