NBA Draft 2012: 5 Top Prospects the Golden State Warriors Could Grab at No. 7
Heading into the draft, the Warriors' biggest need is at small forward, but that doesn't mean that they should just take the best one available.
Look back to just last year. The Warriors didn't necessarily need a shooting guard, but they took Klay Thompson anyway.
Look how well that turned out.
The Warriors should attack this draft by simply taking the best available player regardless of player position at pick No. 7. Here is the list that they should be using as their draft board.
5. Dion Waiters, Syracuse SG
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With Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal and Thomas Robinson all expected to be long gone by the time the Warriors make their selection at No. 7, technically, we need only four players on this list. However, according to ESPN's Chad Ford, Jerry West seems to love Dion Waiters, so he must be included.
The Warriors are loaded with outside shooters, but what they are missing is someone who can really attack the rim.
Waiters can be that guy for Golden State.
His ball-handling and ability to play point guard will be a plus because, let's face it, Stephen Curry could go down at any cut.
Drafting Waiters, or any other guard in the draft, would allow the Warriors to play Curry, Klay Thompson and their newest draft pick all at the same time, forming a lethal three-guard rotation.
Plus, how can anyone argue against a player that Jerry West loves, especially after last year's selection?
What the Warriors would be getting with Waiters: An undersized, scoring machine who can attack the basket at will. Remind you of anyone?
4. Damian Lillard, Weber State PG
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Right now, the Warriors are banking on Stephen Curry staying healthy, with only Charles Jenkins behind him.
Jenkins is good, but not quite good enough to trust that everything will be fine if Curry misses extended time next season.
Damian Lillard would provide a lot of the same attributes that Curry brings to the team and would have the Warriors not missing much of a beat if/when Curry misses time. Having Lillard would allow everyone to rest easy knowing that if Curry goes down, the season will not be lost.
Plus, according to SB Nation, he is a hometown kid who would love to play for the Warriors. How often does that happen?
Lillard would fit in well playing alongside the likes of Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut, and his presence would allow Curry to play more off the ball where he is just as effective, while taking some of the ball-handling pressure off of him.
What the Warriors would be getting with Lillard: The best point guard in this draft and an outstanding insurance plan for Stephen Curry's ankles.
3. Andre Drummond, Connecticut C
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Andre Drummond has scared teams off because of his bust potential, as some fear he might become the next Kwame Brown.
Conversely, per Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Warriors seemed happy to spend $7 million dollars on the aforementioned Brown, so wouldn't they be ecstatic if Drummond fell to them at No. 7 for a fraction of what it cost to have Brown?
Yes, they have Andrew Bogut now, but that's exactly why they should take him here.
Who better to learn the ins and outs of the NBA game from and how to become a defensive force other than Bogut?
If the Warriors still had Brown paired with Andris Biedrins on the roster and they took Drummond, it would almost be a guarantee that he would become a bust.
Now things are different for Golden State.
Drummond, who isn't quite ready, wouldn't have to contribute right away, which would allow him to fully develop. Is he the next Dwight Howard? Probably not, but he does have a ton of potential that might be too promising to pass up. Also, he is only 18, so he has a lot of maturing to do.
If Drummond falls to pick No. 7, he would be worth the gamble and the Warriors could be selecting a potential center of the future. Also, it would give them leverage down the line when Bogut becomes an unrestricted free agent. Which is not that far off, mind you.
What the Warriors would be getting with Drummond: A very raw center who has the potential to be a defensive star for years to come.
2. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina SF
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As much as a few days ago, who would have even dreamed that Harrison Barnes could be available at pick No. 7?
Then the Warriors went off to New York to hold a private workout for Barnes (with Drummond), suggesting that even the Warriors think that there is a chance Barnes falls to them at seven (per CSNBayArea.com).
It is really going to be an unpredictable draft night.
Barnes' shooting ability and defense, and the fact that he is a small forward, makes him a perfect fit for the Warriors, and he would immediately become their starting small forward.
The knock on Barnes and why he may fall to the seventh pick is that he struggles to create his own shot. That shouldn't be a problem in Oakland. With Curry's, David Lee's and even Bogut's passing abilities, Barnes won't have to do much creating on his own.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers pass on him at pick No. 4, Barnes could very well fall into the Warriors' lap at No. 7.
What the Warriors would be getting with Barnes: A potential All-Star who would immediately become their second-best defender.
1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky SF
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There is a chance Michael Kidd-Gilchrist falls to the Warriors with the seventh pick.
Actually, it's not as bad as the one Lloyd Christmas had.
If the top four picks include Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson and Harrison Barnes, that leaves the Sacramento Kings at pick No. 5.
According to USA Today Sports' Steve Kyler via Twitter, the Kings are considering taking Lillard there, and if that happens, that leaves the Portland Trail Blazers at pick No. 6. The Blazers, who need size, could take Andre Drummond, which would leave Kidd-Gilchrist to the Warriors.
This scenario is entirely feasible, and is similar to what happened just four years ago. Who would have thought that Stephen Curry would fall to the Warriors at pick No. 7 when he was rumored to go as high as second overall?
This is all too similar.
Per Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News via Twitter, there is also the rumor that Austin Rivers might go No. 6. Per ESPN's Andy Katz, the same goes for Waiters, adding even more fuel to the fire that Kidd-Gilchrist might slip.
Adding Kidd-Gilchrist would be a huge boost in the Warriors' playoff quest and would make up for some of their past lottery woes.
What the Warriors would be getting with Kidd-Gilchrist: For one, extreme luck. To that, they would be getting the player who best fits their team in this entire draft, a defensive-minded small forward who doesn't need the ball to produce. One who may end up being the second-best player in the draft when it's all said and done.