Warriors' Top Draft Needs Ahead of 2021-22 NBA Season

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 1, 2021

Warriors' Top Draft Needs Ahead of 2021-22 NBA Season

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    The Golden State Warriors possess two NBA draft lottery picks.

    They might trade them away for more immediate help, but it also isn't hard to see the value of adding prospects with the Nos. 7 and 14 picks.

    Assuming the front office keeps these selections, the following three areas are worth targeting.


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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Warriors' window to win with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is right now.

    They don't have to trade out of this draft to find players who can contribute to that effort.

    Baylor's Davion Mitchell just helped guide his team to a national title with tenacious on-ball defense, a better-than-ever outside shot and an ability to separate off the bounce. Even if you don't see him as the next Donovan Mitchell the way some uber-optimistic evaluators do, it's hard to miss his ready-made three-and-D skills and flashes of shot creation.

    Michigan's Franz Wagner is a plug-and-play versatile defender who fills complementary offensive rolls as a cutter, shooter and ball mover. Gonzaga's Corey Kispert pairs the draft's best three ball with some inside-the-arc scoring punch and sound team defense.

Shot Creation

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    David Butler II/Associated Press

    Curry just engineered one of the best offensive seasons in NBA history. As if it isn't ridiculous enough to capture a scoring title at age 33—something only he and Michael Jordan have done—the Chef cooked up all those buckets with the deliciously efficient slash line of 48.2/42.1/91.6.

    Want to know what the Warriors did with all of that production? Landed outside the top 10 in points per game (12th) and outside the top half in offensive efficiency (20th).

    They need more cooks in the kitchen. They don't have enough players who can find their own shots or create them for others (or, ideally, do both). UConn's James Bouknight would be a fascinating way to spruce up this offense, as he boasts a pull-up three-ball, the burst to get to the basket and shooting touch from everywhere in between. Having him and Jordan Poole on the same second unit could be enough to run opposing bench mobs off the floor.

    Australian point guard Josh Giddey is one of the better passers in this draft. He's also 6'8". He'd be fun to run out on the floor with the Splash Brothers and Green, even if Giddey's shooting and body need work. Baylor's Jared Butler is another way to attack this issue, as his combo-guard game is rotation ready.


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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    It seems like change is coming to Golden State's center rotation.

    James Wiseman is among the league's most logical trade candidates, since he needs more developmental time than the Dubs seemingly have to offer. Kevon Looney holds a $5.2 million player option for next season. That's the extent of the Warriors' interior collection.

    If they want to change that on draft night, they can in several ways.

    Texas' Kai Jones has turbo-charged bounce and flashes of two-way perimeter play. Besiktas' Alperen Sengun has a deep bag of post moves and a sharp eye for passing. Real Madrid's Usman Garuba can defend either frontcourt spot, keeps the ball moving and can spark transition chances with get-it-and-go rebounds.