Warriors

Why Warriors NBA draft target James Wiseman doesn't care if he goes No. 1

Why Warriors NBA draft target James Wiseman doesn't care if he goes No. 1

It's unclear if the Warriors covet big man James Wiseman in the 2020 NBA Draft.

We've seen a report that claimed Wiseman is at the top of Golden State's board (although we recently learned the board has not yet been finalized), and we've also heard that the Dubs are higher on Onyeka Okongwu.

Ultimately, it will be very surprising if Wiseman falls outside the top five. Depending on who wins the lottery, he could end up being the first player selected.

"I really don't care about the No. 1 spot to be honest," the 7-footer told Stadium's Jeff Goodman. "I just want to get better and just be a student of the game. Having real NBA vets teach you a lot about the game of basketball -- being in that type of environment will make my game develop tremendously.

"I just want to go to a team that I can fit the most and be successful."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Many draft analysts believe Wiseman would fit in perfectly with the Warriors as a rim-running center who can serve as a lob threat on the offensive end, while protecting the rim defensively.

But there are question marks about his motor and feel for the game.

Yet, as Goodman told Wiseman: "I did a poll of 35 NBA executives on who they would take with the No. 1 overall pick -- 20 of the 35 picked you."

"That's good. That's such a blessing," the 19-year-old said. "When I get into the league, I'm trying to make a name for myself. I really don't care about the numbers -- I could go No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3.

"I'm just ready to go become a better player."

That's a great mindset to have.

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Steve Kerr defends Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: 'He's a damn good player'

Steve Kerr defends Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: 'He's a damn good player'

When the Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins at the NBA trade deadline in February, it was not a decision that universally was applauded. 

There still are people who disagree with Golden State's decision to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft. But even those who are skeptical about Wiggins' future would admit that he played well in a Dubs uniform.

"I wasn't surprised at all about what we saw because I've coached against him," Steve Kerr said Wednesday on "The Bill Simmons Podcast." "The biggest thing for us was all about what you need today to win games. The game has changed so much and it's so hard to guard ... you gotta have size and versatility on the wings.

"Multiple-positional defenders who can guard their position, but also guard two or three other positions. Andrew has the size and athleticism to do exactly that. He was an excellent defender for us, and played really well offensively.

"He may not be an MVP candidate, but he's a damn good player. He fits right in with what we're trying to do."

Wiggins averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists over 12 games, while shooting nearly 46 percent overall and 34 percent from deep.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Additionally, his 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per appearance both would be career highs over a full season.

With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as teammates, Wiggins won't feel consistent heat to deliver big scoring outputs. Will there be times when the Warriors need him to step up and take over offensively? Yes.

[RELATED: Warriors owner Lacob cites Barnes when praising Wiggins]

But overall, he's going to have the luxury of being able to take on a more comfortable role that suits his game.

"He just wants to play basketball and have fun, and have no pressure on him," former Warriors point guard Tim Hardaway said in June. This is the team to be on to do that, and he's going to excel.

"He's going to be all right."

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Mychal Thompson hilariously calls out Bomani Jones for Steph Curry take

Mychal Thompson hilariously calls out Bomani Jones for Steph Curry take

Bomani Jones does not believe Steph Curry is a bonafide superstar.

Mychal Thompson -- Klay Thompson's dad -- offered his thoughts on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

What's an "astromer" you ask? Not important. You get Mychal's point, and we certainly agree with him.

This whole topic started two weeks ago when Jones made a controversial statement on his podcast.

"This is my metric for (NBA) superstar -- do you have a chance to win a championship just because we got you?" he said. "We'll work the rest out, but if the first thing you tell me is that this guy plays for us, then we got a chance to do this ... 

"I feel like even with a healthy Stephen Curry, you gotta put some fairly specific things around him."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

This argument is very flawed, because every single superstar in NBA history has needed a strong supporting cast -- with role players who possess certain skillsets -- to have a "chance" at winning the title.

Steph simply has changed the way we look at potential championship rosters because in 2015 and 2016 he started doing things the league had never seen before.

On Monday afternoon, Jones pivoted to a different narrative to support his rationale for Steph's place in the NBA hierarchy.

"He's in that weird space on superstar. I am notoriously strict on who I call a superstar," Jones said on 95.7 The Game. "This doesn't have anything to do with Steph Curry. I'll name only three or four people in the league at a time as being superstars. I did JJ Redick's podcast and he made the point that if Steph doesn't get locked up by Kevin Love (in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals), am I saying the thing about him and his ability to get his own shot? Maybe.

"The more damning thing that happened in 2016, is the fact that when it was time to win a championship, the (Cleveland Cavaliers) were running ball screen, ball screen, ball screen until they got a 1-on-1 matchup with Steph Curry. And I don't know if there's ever been a player as good as Steph Curry where that would happen.

"And that's something that when we start thinking about who superstars have historically been -- larger players who can do everything, or be incredibly dominant centers ... in the eyes of many, (Steph) has a demerit on defense that is normally disqualifying for being legitimately seen as a great player -- even though he's a better defensive player than people give him credit for being."

[RELATED: Why Kerr shot down Bill Simmons' question about Giannis]

Ultimately, Jones is entitled to his opinion. And it doesn't sound like he is going to change his mind.

We just respectfully disagree.

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