7 Golden State first choice targets

The NBA does not rest for anyone, not even for the champions.

Less than a week after the Warriors won their fourth title in eight years, they will be selecting new players for their team in Thursday’s NBA Draft (5pm, ESPN).

The Warriors own the selections n. 28, 51 and 57, the first in the first round.

And this is where our focus lies in the days – no, hours – leading up to the draft.

Round two is the NBA in its strangest form. But the first round is where bad teams get good and good teams get great.

Or, in the case of the Warriors, that’s where they’re great.

There are three ways the Warriors can handle Choice # 1. 28 on Thursday and there is no right answer.

All I can say is this: thank goodness I started watching these guys months ago, because this is a strong draft class and the Warriors should have more positive options.

Here’s what they might do and some players they might do it with on Thursday:

Maximize for the here and now

That means getting a role player, whether it’s a reserve point guard, a 3-and-D winger, or a big man who will provide 15 minutes a night, what matters is that he can contribute this upcoming season and for the remainder of his rookie contract.

Indeed, this is bringing a veteran idle player with an advantage for later.

Last season, the No. 28 had a fixed first-year salary of $ 1.6 million which increases by less than 10 percent by the third year.

For a team that’s deep in the tax hell of luxury like the Warriors, these are the kind of locked-down cost savings that go a long way in building a championship squad.

But that choice must be successful, and that’s far from a guarantee at the end of the first round.

There is no doubt that Jordan Poole – Chosen No. 28 in 2019 – was a hit for the Warriors and a vital part of this league team, but in his first two seasons he was one of the worst players in the NBA, spending time in the G League to build confidence.

And with the Warriors likely to pay up to six dollars in luxury tax on every dollar in this deal, yes, you can bet they’d be interested in immediate returns.

Of course, those are the hardest to find. In 2018, the Warriors thought they had a leading role in point guard Jacob Evans, also selected at number 28.

Two years later, he was involved in the Andrew Wiggins exchange, as the Warriors wanted to get rid of his contract. He now plays center (yes, center) for the Santa Cruz Warriors.


Jake LaRavia • 20 year old winger • Wake Forest

»An exceptional cutter who can pass, shoot and finish at NBA level. His strength and intelligence will make him an interchangeable defender and he is a skilled rebounder. He seems tailor-made for the Warriors’ on-the-go attack and a role as a stat filler that positively affects victory. LaRavia is a hot name right now, so the Warriors may have to cross their fingers because he’s still at number 28.

Dalen Terry • 19 year old winger • Arizona

»If Terry is available at n. 28, the Warriors must take it and not think twice. It’s not the perfect option to win straight away – there’s an advantage to be found with it, no doubt – but the floor is very high to go with a high ceiling.

I can’t believe it won’t be a lottery pick, but I was assured it should be picked up late first. I must have missed something, because he is a long forward who shows high basketball IQ, exceptional passing and athleticism to defend on the perimeter from Day 1. The 3-point shot is also useful in shooting situations.

Christian Braun • 21-year-old forward • Kansas

»An all-rounder option. He won’t be an All-Star, but he won’t lose your games either. He comes in with nail polish on his sweater and a basketball nose. It can cover a lot of ground and is great around the edge. Plug-and-play depth wing.

Play for the future

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