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Golden State Warriors NBA Mock Draft Roundup

Leading up to the 2020 NBA Draft, we will update our Golden State Warriors Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Golden State Warriors from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Warriors:

CBS Sports - Boone, Updated: 10/22
2. Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Recent reports have suggested the Warriors aren't high on LaMelo Ball (who went No. 1), James Wiseman (who is still available) or on drafting a center at this position, so by process of elimination, I've got Anthony Edwards going No. 2 here to Golden State. Athletic shot-maker who can play the wing and develop alongside a championship-caliber core but won't be called upon to be the go-to right away, which is an ideal situation for both parties as he learns the ropes and sharpens his decision-making.

NBC Sports Philly - Levick, Updated: 10/22
2. Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Edwards is shifty, powerful and hard to handle in transition. He didn't shoot well from three-point range in his one college season (29.4 percent), but that was largely a product of his issues with shot selection. While Edwards is not an intuitive fit next to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, it seems unlikely he'll slip from the top three because of his scoring ability.

CBS Sports - Parrish, Updated: 10/16
2. Anthony Edwards, Georgia

In previous versions of this mock draft I've had the Warriors selecting James Wiseman with the No. 2 pick. And they might actually do it (if they actually keep the pick, which remains undetermined). We'll see. But the more I think about it, the less sense it makes to spend the No. 2 pick on a traditional center when Golden State knows its most-effective lineup includes Draymond Green in the middle. So now I'm on board with the Warriors instead taking Anthony Edwards, the big, strong and athletic guard from Georgia who averaged 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in his one season with the Bulldogs -- but only shot 40.2% from the field and 29.4% from 3-point range. In other words, he was incredible in spots, but largely up and down and inefficient, for a team that was projected to miss the NCAA Tournament when the season was canceled. All things considered, Edwards was a little underwhelming. But the potential for stardom remains, in part because he's already physically mature despite being just 19 years old. The explosiveness he possesses, especially in transition, will serve him well while playing on or off the ball. And his special combination of size and quickness would allow him to guard three positions for a Golden State franchise trying to win big now.

The Ringer - O'Connor, Updated: 10/14
2. Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Everything is on the table for the Warriors with this pick. They could stay put, trade down, or move entirely out. Sources from multiple front offices believe Golden State's preference is to draft a wing. That could mean Edwards, who has size. But Edwards is a shaky decision-maker at this stage of his career (and he's off our board anyway). Avdija makes logical sense as a highly experienced player who projects as a versatile 6-foot-9 forward with playmaking skills. Ideally, the Warriors would be able to trade down for him since two bigger-name prospects are still on the board.

SI.com - Woo, Updated: 10/14
2. James Wiseman, Memphis

At this point it's not a secret that Golden State has designs on contention and would strongly prefer to trade this pick. The issue, of course, is finding the right deal, made more complicated by the team's hefty payroll and the financial uncertainty facing the NBA at large. The Warriors' best trade package includes the No. 2 pick and Minnesota's lightly protected 2021 first-round pick, potentially attaching them to Andrew Wiggins's contract for a star or multiple veterans. Golden State also has a $17 million trade exception to take back a contract in a move like this, and if the Warriors are willing to spend in this climate, should be able to cut a deal with another team looking to trim salary. Assuming Wiseman and LaMelo Ball are both on the board here, there should be viable options, but it's also hard to see the Warriors inheriting even more salary and increasing their tax bill given the current financial climate.

If the Warriors keep the pick, Wiseman probably makes the most sense as someone who can run the floor, finish plays and impact the game with his physical gifts. He's more of a traditional center, but he's also not a stiff, and there are always teams that covet mobile 7-footers, even in an era when more teams are playing small. There will be some assembly required as with his offensive skill set, but his size and frame still set him apart from his peers. If Golden State moves back in the draft, Obi Toppin and Tyrese Haliburton are good fits.

The Athletic - Vecenie, Updated: 10/13
2. James Wiseman, Memphis

The Warriors have also done a good job of masking their intentions, although they're going about it in a very different way. Unlike Minnesota going relatively secretive, the Warriors are leaky. One week they like Tyrese Haliburton. Another week it's Anthony Edwards. One week they like James Wiseman. Another week they like Onyeka Okongwu more than Wiseman.

I think there is some truth to some of the stuff being thrown out there. For instance, I do think that if they move back on draft night, Haliburton is someone they really like and could target if he's still on the board. But that front office does tend to be very talkative, and the Warriors know what they are doing when they talk to reporters. The front office started the smoke screen process earlier than anyone else this year, using its willingness to engage with reporters to its advantage.

Why are they doing this? I think they're trying to mask their intentions in order for the pick to retain trade value. If opposing teams don't know who they're actually interested in, it's easy for doubt to creep into the minds of the teams below them about whether they have to jump the Warriors to get their guy. Do they have to make a deal? Can they wait? The Warriors are making it tough to know. One thing that is sure: the Warriors are really exploring a lot of trade options with this pick, and I think I'd be surprised if they end up selecting at No. 2.

I've slid Wiseman up to No. 2, not because I think the Warriors are necessarily likely to take him, but rather because I think he's the most likely target for a team in a trade. Having talked to sources who have seen Wiseman work out in Miami, there is some real enthusiasm about his play. He's looked dominant in workouts and in the runs with other high-level NBA Draft prospects. A lot of executives I've spoken with actually consider Wiseman to be among the safer players in the draft. Simply put, few executives doubt that his size, length and athleticism will translate into being a starting quality NBA center. Where the disagreement comes is with whether or not he has star upside, something that is necessary for a team to be willing to take a center at the top of the draft in today's day and age. Some think his defensive ability on the interior does bring that kind of upside. Others are less convinced. Ultimately though, I do think Wiseman is more likely to go somewhere in the top-five than just about any other prospect.

One final factor worth noting here: where the salary cap settles for next season after the players association and league collectively bargains it has a chance to really impact the Warriors decision-making. Many people are assuming the Warriors will use their $17.2 million to acquire a win-now player. But what happens if the salary cap comes back lower than expected? And fans aren't allowed in arenas for all of the 2020-21 season, meaning that the team can't charge exorbitant prices for seats at the newly constructed Chase Center? Will the team be as willing to use that exception on a win-now player salary next year? Or will they potentially have to punt it? Or, are they more likely to want to attach the pick to that exception in order to expend that salary on someone who can actually help them field an even better product in 2020-21? Could they potentially aim lower and use the pick and the exception to acquire a younger player whose salary is much lower than the $17.2 million exception? The Warriors can get creative with how they expend these assets, but it matters for them as much as any other team in the league where the salary cap number settles for next season, and in conjunction with that number, where the luxury tax threshold will be.

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