NBA execs believe Warriors draft Wiseman No. 2 if no trade


The Warriors are widely expected to pull off a trade involving their No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft, but at the moment, there isn't necessarily an obvious target and/or fit.

If they wind up keeping the pick, though, there's a consensus among NBA front office executives and scouts as to which prospect Golden State will select with it: James Wiseman.

"I think Wiseman fits better than people think," a Western Conference executive told ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "I think [the pick is] more likely to be traded, but I don't hate Wiseman there."

Wiseman, 19, appeared in only three games at Memphis before he was suspended by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits and ultimately signed with an agent. He averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks over those three games, including a 14-point, 12-rebound effort against Oregon, but that's the extent of his collegiate tape.

The top-ranked player in the 2019 recruiting class is somewhat of a mystery as a result, but at 7-foot-1 with tremendous athleticism, Wiseman arguably has the highest ceiling of any prospect in the draft.

From a positional standpoint, he'd fit right into the Warriors' starting lineup, either right away or not too far down the line. Of course, even if they pick Wiseman, there's no guarantee that he'd stick around for long.

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If the Warriors are unable to pull off a desirable trade prior to the draft, they might pivot and attempt to do so at next season's trade deadline when other players could be ripe for the taking. If that's how things work out, it will behoove Golden State to select the prospect who has the broadest appeal throughout the league, as it's quite possible he'd be going the other way in the trade.

The draft doesn't have a consensus top prospect and Wiseman certainly would come with significant risks. But it seems far more likely that his appeal would be enhanced -- not tarnished -- by playing alongside Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins, and that certainly will be a factor as the Warriors decide their best course of action.