NBA draft rumors: James Wiseman not Warriors lock after LaMelo Ball workout

Josh Schrock
·3 min read

Report: Wiseman no longer Warriors lock after LaMelo workout originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

For the past few weeks, it has appeared that James Wiseman was the leader in the clubhouse to be the Warriors' selection when they go on the clock Wednesday with the No. 2 overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft.

That, however, might no longer be the case.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Monday that Wiseman "no longer appears to be a lock" for the Warriors after LaMelo Ball conducted an "impressive" workout for some members of the Warriors' front office and ownership group.

Rumors swirled last week that Warriors ownership might push for Golden State to draft Ball at No. 2 if Wiseman was off the board. But perhaps Ball's workout and his tantalizing potential have caused the Warriors to once again reshuffle their draft board.

Ball is the 2020 NBA Draft's biggest enigma. He's a talented but inefficient scorer. He's a superb passer with troubling turnover numbers. Teams reportedly have questions about his willingness to buy in on defense and whether or not his shooting form will need to be changed.

All that aside, Ball has an incredibly high ceiling and presents superstar potential if everything is actualized. Some might question Ball's fit with Golden State, a team that is ready to leap back into title contention after a year on the sidelines.

There's little doubt that Wiseman would provide them with better value right away, giving the Warriors a young, rim-running big who can erase shots on the other end.

But it's not like Ball wouldn't see the floor during his rookie season. He would provide the Warriors with another player who can thrive in a catch-and-shoot role alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. He also would give them the secondary ball-handler, someone who can initiate the offense and create his own shot.

The Warriors' culture likely would serve Ball well as he looks to iron out the rough edges of his game and reach his full potential. In Golden State, Ball wouldn't be asked to shoulder a heavy burden as he would in New York or Charlotte, and would be allowed to grow alongside a championship core.

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The Warriors have sent out too many smoke signals to no what their true draft intentions are.

Wiseman still feels like an obvious choice if they can't trade down. A deal down the board to pick up another piece and still get a mid-lottery guy is preferable.

But if the Warriors pick at No. 2, the choice likely will come down to Wiseman or Ball. Givony reported the Warriors traveled to watch Anthony Edwards a second time, but he's expected by many to be taken No. 1 by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This is a franchise-defining draft for the Warriors. It will shape not only next season, but the next era of Warriors basketball. They can't afford to whiff.

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