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Why Jefferson 'loves' Warriors-Wiseman pairing in draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Trade back, trade out or stick and pick? Those are the Warriors' three options with their No. 2 overall pick in next month's 2020 NBA Draft, and with each day that passes, there seem to be multiple new rumors as to which direction they're leaning.
Should they use the pick to acquire someone who can be an immediate contributor, or might they be better off selecting a prospect who can bridge the gap between the current iteration of the Warriors and the next one?
Former Warriors forward Richard Jefferson believes there's a way for Golden State to check both boxes.
"I think they need to get someone that they know can step in and play right away," Jefferson said Thursday on ESPN's "The Jump." "I don't think they want a young, talented player, even if it's in the right position. I think the Golden State Warriors -- I love the [James] Wiseman pick, because, any other organization, he would be forced to kind of do a bunch, play 40 minutes a night, really develop. [The Warriors are] like, 'Listen, we're going to develop you slowly because you're going to be contending for a championship. I want you to screen, I want you to roll, I want you to play defense." And I think that's a great organization for him to be in.
"Any other perimeter guy that they could possibly draft is going to take time in order for him to develop. So, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Warriors trade this pick -- we were talking about Bradley Beal and stuff like that -- you've got to get a player of a high-level ability, mainly because they're contending for a championship, so you're not out here just kind of picking up projects or guys with potential."
On the anniversary of Steph Curry's NBA debut, we talk to @NickFriedell about whether Steph and Klay are still the best backcourt in the league, what the Warriors' expectations for next season are, and what they plan to do with the No. 2 pick. pic.twitter.com/NNVpdjPhHj
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 29, 2020
Wiseman won't turn 20 until the end of March and his extremely brief collegiate career consisted of only three games. He's certainly not anything close to a finished product, but his NBA-ready size and athleticism should allow him to do certain things at a high level as a rookie. As Jefferson explained, if selected by theWarriors, Wiseman would not have too much thrown at him and would be better able to focus on those specific areas. And those areas are certainly ones in which the Warriors could use a boost.
If we assume a major trade isn't on the horizon, the Warriors have four of their five starting positions filled, with only the center spot left to be determined. At 7-foot-1 and 240 pounds, Wiseman likely would immediately be able to step into that role, and could form a well-rounded center rotation alongside Marquise Chriss and Kevon Looney. Selecting Wiseman also would allow Golden State to focus on other positions in free agency.
The Warriors have a lot to consider and a complicated decision to make. But in Wiseman, the answer might just be that simple.