Warriors

Warriors

Holding lottery odds that likely will yield a top-5 pick in the NBA draft, the Warriors are doing their due diligence on all of 2020’s best prospects.

With the Warriors not having a playoff run in store for the first time in Steve Kerr’s tenure, the head coach was scheduled to travel to Europe to scout first-round talents Killian Hayes and Theo Maledon, The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss said on the "Light Years" podcast.

Strauss also reported that team executive Kent Lacob was planning on flying out to Israel to scout Deni Avdija, who is the No. 5 overall pick in NBC Sports Bay Area’s latest mock draft. 

The coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to suspend the season indefinitely, and international travel has all but vanished while many shelter in place at home.

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The American-born Hayes spent much of his youth in France, where his father also played basketball professionally. He brings an adept passing ability and vision for the floor with sound footwork.

Maledon also comes from France, and has been playing in the EuroLeague, where his size and reps against quality competition despite being just 18 have made him one of the top point guards in the class.

 

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Avdija averaged 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in the Israeli Basketball Premier League, but his production dipped when the level of competition rose in EuroLeague. His stock began rising up draft boards after an MVP performance for Israel in the 2019 FIBA U20 European Championships.

Most NBA experts see the Warriors taking Georgia product Anthony Edwards if the team lands either the No. 1 or No. 2 overall picks.

Some have pointed to Golden State being interested in big man James Wiseman due to the organization’s need at center, but general manager Bob Myers likely will fill that starting role with a veteran and use the pick on the best player available, a player who will join a team itching for revenge after a disappointing 2019-20 season.