Warriors' Ideal 2021 NBA Mock Draft
The Golden State Warriors need to build a bridge that takes them from this year's draft lottery to next year's NBA Finals.
It's an uber-optimistic aim, but between Stephen Curry's MVP-caliber play, Draymond Green's defensive dominance and Klay Thompson's return, there are just enough reasons to think it might work.
But the Dubs need to nail this offseason to make that happen. They will get their first crack at it during the draft, and they hold a pair of lottery picks to invest in prospects or flip for more win-now assistance.
Here we will identify the top prospects in both selection spots and then uncover what the Warriors would hope to find if they trade away these picks.
No. 7: Davion Mitchell, PG/SG, Baylor
The Warriors need an opening night contributor who can make open shots, create them for others and defend multiple positions. Davion Mitchell might check every box.
Standing 6'2" could limit his versatility on defense, but he is ferocious on the basketball. Opponents can't get where they are trying to go against him. He has All-Defense potential, and the Dubs might need a perimeter stopper since Thompson is 31 and had the past two seasons wiped out by separate knee injuries.
Mitchell isn't a one-way contributor, though. On offense, he has the burst to get to the basket, the strength to finish at the rim, the vision to find open teammates and the touch to launch from just about anywhere. He had some playmaking and shooting questions coming into this season, but then he dished 5.5 dimes in 33.0 minutes per night and splashed 44.7 percent of his threes.
"If you consider what Golden State was missing last season, it's a player like him," The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor wrote. "Mitchell could help now and be a bridge toward sustaining success into the future."
No. 14: Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga
When the Warriors are at their best, they are constantly putting opposing defenses into pick-your-poison scenarios.
A high screen-and-roll between Curry and Green is hard enough to contain on its own. But it shifts into overdrive when Thompson is also freeing himself off the ball for catch-and-fire threes.
The Dubs could take this to the next level by adding Corey Kispert, who has as good an argument as anyone for being the top shooter in this draft. He shot 40.8 percent from range across four seasons with Gonzaga, and even that might fall short of capturing how lethal he is from long distance. Over the past two seasons, he averaged 2.6 threes on 43.9 percent shooting.
Kispert is a specialist, but he isn't confined to contributing in that area alone. He makes quick decisions with the basketball, has enough handles to slip around overzealous closeouts and plays smart team defense.
The Trade Target: Pascal Siakam
Draymond turned 31 in March, and he's the youngest of Golden State's three-headed monster. The Dubs could easily conclude they don't have time to wait for a prospect to develop.
They have the trade chips to chase a whale. Beyond the lottery picks, they also have James Wiseman, last year's No. 2 pick, and Andrew Wiggins, a 26-year-old former No. 1 pick who displayed impressive growth as a shooter and defender last season.
That should be enough to land a star—if one is available. That doesn't seem to be the case with Bradley Beal, and it won't be with Damian Lillard unless he demands it. Pascal Siakam could hit the trade market, though, as the Toronto Raptors might be ready to lean into a rapid rebuild with Kyle Lowry entering free agency and the basketball gods rewarding them with the fourth overall pick.
Siakam would be perfect alongside Green as a shape-shifting defender and alongside Curry as a secondary scorer. Siakam has averaged better than 21 points in each of the past two seasons and just tallied a career-best 4.5 assists. If he could be had for Wiseman, Wiggins and one of the lottery picks, that might be Golden State's cleanest path to rejoining the championship chase.