NBA rumors: Execs see Deni Avdija emerging as top-three draft pick

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  • Deni Avdija

Report: NBA execs see Avdija emerging as top-three pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors reportedly want to draft a wing with the No. 2 overall selection in next month's NBA draft, and one player who fits the bill reportedly is expected to shoot up teams' draft boards.

In projecting that the Warriors would select Deni Avdija, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported Wednesday that "many league executives" expect the Maccabi Tel Aviv wing will "enter the mainstream conversation as a top-three pick as the draft approaches."

Avdija, 19, would check a lot of boxes for the Warriors.

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Across the regular season and playoffs in the Israeli Winner League, Avdija averaged 12.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Avdija became the youngest MVP in the league's history, and O'Connor wrote that his "versatility, playmaking and high basketball IQ" would make him a particularly good fit with the Warriors.

Still, there are some concerns, primarily with his shot. Although Avdija made 35.3 percent of his 3-pointers in domestic competition, he only hit outside shots at a 27.7 percent clip in 26 Euroleague games, according to RealGM data. Avdija made just 58.7 percent of his free throws in both competitions last season, and O'Connor noted that doesn't bode well for the Israeli wing becoming a reliable shooter.

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The Warriors will have plenty of options next month, many of which will be determined by what the Minnesota Timberwolves do with the No. 1 selection. In a draft devoid of a consensus top prospect, just about everything is on the table for Golden State.

That includes selecting Avdija, who has the added benefit of already having professional experience before he steps foot on an NBA court. But he, like every other top prospect in the draft, will have to wait and see what happens on Nov. 18.