Warriors

Why Dubs trading No. 2 for Bagley, No. 12 could make sense

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The Warriors hold the rights to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Might they consider trading it away and acquiring the No. 2 overall pick from the 2018 draft?

ESPN earlier this week presented a hypothetical deal in which the Warriors would send that No. 2 selection to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Marvin Bagley III and this year's No. 12 overall pick.

Many draft analysts believe this class has strong depth, and teams in the mid-to-late lottery will be able to find some legitimate contributors.

In his most recent mock draft, ESPN's Jonathan Givony has Villanova forward Saddiq Bey as the 12th pick. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a sophomore for the Wildcats, while shooting 45.1 percent from 3-point range on 5.6 attempts.

"Bey is a competitive, efficient two-way player ... he knows how to play a role and make winning plays," Givony wrote. "[He] can fit into any almost any lineup with his versatility and decision-making."

For The Athletic's Sam Vecenie, Florida State forward/wing Patrick Williams -- who turned 19 years old this week -- currently is slotted in at No. 12.

"He has very real upside and instinctual awareness on defense mixed with a frame that should allow him to take on tough defensive assignments," Vecenie wrote. "His frame should allow him to play relatively quickly in the NBA on that end of the floor."

 

But ultimately, the Warriors only would agree to this trade if they are high on Bagley's present and future. The 21-year-old was named first-team All-Rookie after averaging 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He shot 50.4 percent overall and 31.3 percent from deep.

Bagley racked up 20 points and 17 rebounds against the Warriors on Nov. 24, 2018, and registered 28 points and 14 rebounds at Oracle Arena on Feb. 21, 2019.

"He’s obviously been playing well as of late and showing why he is a top draft pick, so they got a good one there," Warriors superstar Steph Curry said of Bagley after the latter performance.

The Duke product's 2019-20 campaign unfortunately was derailed by injuries, as he broke his right thumb on Opening Night and missed the next 22 games. He returned to action Dec. 11, then was sidelined for a couple of weeks starting in late December because of a left foot sprain.

After appearing in four games in mid-January, the foot injury put him back on the shelf for the next two months. There was a chance Bagley would suit up in the NBA's Orlando bubble, but he sprained his right foot during practice on July 19 before the seeding games began, and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.

So, there's a chance the Warriors would steer clear of Bagley simply because of the injury history. But if that isn't the case, could the 6-foot-11 lefty become the franchise's starting center? Can he and Draymond Green thrive together in the frontcourt? Could Bagley be counted on defensively to switch onto guards on the perimeter, while holding his own down low against some of the bulkier big men?

“I was like 230-something [pounds] and it went down as the season progressed, but since we started coming back, I’m at 240 and I feel great," Bagley told reporters in early July. "I feel strong, I still feel fast, I still feel like I can do what I do, but adding a little muscle on."

As noted before, the Arizona native showed the ability to stretch the floor as a rookie, but he shot went 4 of 22 from deep last season.

“I’ve been focusing on my shot a lot, along with the other parts of my game,” Bagley said. "It’s gotten a lot better. I still have a lot of work to do, and I’m excited to keep building on it."

RELATED: How Wolves trading No. 1 draft pick could affect Warriors

Another variable at play is that Vlade Divac -- the man who drafted Bagley -- no longer is the general manager in Sacramento. Is it possible that Joe Dumars -- the Kings' interim executive vice president of basketball operations -- isn't a fan of Bagley, and has a desire to trade him? Does Dumars have the power to make that decision, or will the next GM call the shots?

 

Bagley is under team control for the next two seasons, and Kings owner Vivek Ranadive might refuse to part ways with him so soon.

In summation, it's entirely possible that the Warriors' front office is 100 percent uninterested in Bagley. Or maybe this hypothetical trade becomes a possibility, but only after the Warriors first explore other opportunities.

Let the speculation continue.

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