Could Deni Avdija be the guy the Warriors are looking for?
At 6-foot-9, 220-pounds, the versatile Israeli forward is a name that has been thrown around a lot as the Warriors do their homework about the prospects who would fit them best at No. 2 overall.
Avdija, like any 19-year-old who is about to enter the NBA, is going to be thrilled no matter which team calls his name. But he admits being drafted by a franchise like the Warriors would be special.
“This team is a great team, with a lot of great guys and good All-Star players I can learn from,” Avdija said Wednesday in his media session. “I think it’s a great experience, I’ll be excited wherever I go, but to be a championship contender, that’s a great opportunity.”
It's easy to see why the Warriors would be interested in Avdija.
He's a versatile forward who can guard multiple positions, create in transition and is an impressive playmaker with great court vision. His high basketball IQ and great feel for the game allow him to be adept at creating offense both with the ball in his hands or off the ball where he is an excellent cutter.
Avdija's 3-point shot (27.7 percent in 26 EuroLeague games) is a small blemish that can be finetuned. Avdija's versatility gives him the ability to either play in a small-ball lineup alongside Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins or be the Warriors' secondary ball-handler when Curry is on the bench, something the Warriors have been looking for since Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant left.
The Warriors have a franchise-altering decision to make at No. 2 overall. They need to find a player who can fill a role on a team with championship aspirations right away, but also has a high ceiling to become the next face of the franchise,
Players like James Wiseman, Tyrese Haliburton and Devin Vassell all are in play, among others. But Avdija's wide-range of skills, size, athleticism and playmaking ability could make him the perfect fit for what Steve Kerr wants his team to look like.