NBA Rumors: Latest on Warriors' Draft Targets, Nets' Coaching Search and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2020

Memphis center James Wiseman runs off the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Oregon won 82-74. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

The 2019-20 NBA season has been a forgettable one for the Golden State Warriors. When the NBA suspended play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the once-mighty Warriors held a league-worst 15-50 record.

On the bright side, Golden State is set to earn a lottery pick for the first time since 2012. Assuming guys like Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry are back to 100 percent next season, the right draft pick could return the Warriors to title contention.

The unknown, of course, is how the Warriors will go about improving their roster.

According to Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, Memphis center James Wisman could fill Golden State's need for another big man:

"A league source said the Warriors have Wiseman at the top of their draft board; understandable considering forward Dragan Bender, a late-season addition via two 10-day contracts, is the only 7-footer on the roster and 6'9" Kevon Looney is the only listed center. But none of the executives surveyed put Wiseman in the category of Dwight Howard or even Deandre Ayton, big men capable of playing a significant role on Day 1"

According to NBC Sports' Monte Poole, European standout Deni Avdija is also on the Warriors' radar.

"In 2018-19, it was mostly NBA scouts crossing the Atlantic to observe Avdija," Poole wrote. "In 2019-20, those trips were upgraded, as a procession of general managers took seats in mostly smallish gyms. The Warriors, according to multiple league sources, were among those taking a long look."

Of course, if the Warriors land in a draft spot that may not allow them to land Wiseman or Avdija, it wouldn't be a shock to see them flip the pick for a proven veteran. Their window with Thompson and Curry is not going to remain open forever.


No Consensus No. 1 Pick?

While the Warriors may have their favorite targets for the upcoming draft, they aren't going to be the favorite targets for every team. Unlike in some years—in 2019 with Zion Williamson, for example—there doesn't appear to be a consensus No. 1 prospect.

"Most evaluators are very quick to note that they believe the first pick will be heavily influenced by who wins the lottery," The Athletic's Sam Vecenie wrote. "This is not like 2019, where whoever got the pick got the right to select Zion Williamson. Rather, NBA team draft boards are all over the place right now."

While the Warriors may prefer Wiseman, another team might prefer Georgia guard Anthony Edwards or Dayton Center Obi Toppin.

While this can make life miserable on mock draft enthusiasts, it should make for a very entertaining 2020 NBA draft. If we don't know who might go No. 1—or No. 2 and No. 3, for that matter—the draft will truly be an unpredictable affair.


Nets' Coaching Search Continues

While teams like the Warriors are preparing for the possibility of procuring a lottery pick, the Brooklyn Nets are busy trying to fill their head-coaching vacancy. Presumably, the Nets will have a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season, making the roster less of a concern.

Who will lead that roster is up in the air, however, and the Nets have some interesting options.

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue would look to reunite with Irving.

"Lue wants another chance to coach Kyrie Irving," Bondy wrote. "The former Cavaliers coach is, in fact, interested in the Nets gig, according to a source."

Interim head coach Jacque Vaughn is another option, one that some in the organization may prefer.

"I've been told that some internally are rooting for Vaughn, but I don't see how he puts together the resume to make a case unless the season returns and the Nets pull off an upset in the first round of the playoffs," The Athletic's Alex Schiffer wrote.

Whether or not the 2019-20 season returns is still up in the air, so it may indeed be difficult for Vaughn to earn the job on a permanent basis. Working in his favor, however, is the fact that there doesn't appear to be a clear-cut alternative out there.