Warriors add another teen athletic wing in SB Nation’s simulation draft

We’re just two days away from the 2022 NBA Draft, and the Golden State Warriors have about 48 hours to shake off their champagne hangover and select the next player they hope to play a few minutes of action for. the 2023 championship team.

But we’re not dealing with trades in the SB Nation Mock Draft! Every year we do a mock draft where the team’s general managers are represented by writers from all 30 team sites. Or at least all teams pick in the first round, which means 23 team sites represented, with Pounding The Rock’s Noah Magaro-George working a triple shift on behalf of San Antonio’s three first-round picks.

Last year, our own Brady Klopfer mocked Davion Mitchell and Alperen Şengün at the Warriors, but in this simulation Jonathan Kuminga was already out of the board at No. 5, and Moses Moody was also long gone by second. Golden State Of Mind lottery picks. Obviously, Bob Myers is a fan of the site.

This year I’m taking over the drafting, as the Warriors’ two-year stint in the lottery comes to an end, and they return to their usual late-first-round position at No. 28. There aren’t as many Kuminga-esque studs on the board at this point, but tried to select the player with the most upside. Unfortunately, I can’t be sure if he has the highest ceiling, has the most nervous and impressive basketball IQ, or plays like a coach on the court, but I know you’re supposed to say these things in a preview of the draft.

At No. 28, although the Warriors target, who is often said to be Jake LaRavia, is still on the board, I removed Notre Dame shooter Blake Wesley.

Why Blake Wesley?

  • Notable players off the roster: Nikola Jovic, Dalen Terry, Jaden Hardy, Ryan Rollins, MarJon Beauchamp, TyTy Washington Jr., a lot of guys, it’s the 28th pick
  • Notable players remaining: Jake LaRavia, Bryce McGowens, Christian Braun, Wendell Moore, Jr.

The editorial staff at #28 is not the place to find immediate help for your defending champion basketball team. The Warriors nailed that pick three years ago, finding Jordan Poole with the No. 28 pick, but even Poole only contributed two-thirds of his second season. But with Poole and their other young players, the Warriors have shown that they are good in development and are patient. As long as the team doctor doesn’t mess up someone’s routine meniscus surgery. Or you are very unlucky with rehabilitation after totally competent knee surgery, please don’t sue me!

I picked Blake Wesley, a freshman sensation from Notre Dame who has traits the Warriors have been looking for lately. Wesley is a 6’4″ fullback, but he’s got long arms — a 6’9″ wingspan and 8-foot-7 standing reach, perfect for getting the deflections the Warriors thrive on defensively. He’s quick and explosive, and he’s quite cunning, albeit raw. If you’re looking for a player who can partner with Poole long term, an athletic, long guard is a good choice. Plus, he can really dunk.

And think how excited Warriors broadcaster and Fighting Irish superfan Bob Fitzgerald will be when the Warriors select their first Notre Dame player since Troy Murphy! He would have so many new slogans involving the luck of the Irish, winning one for the Big Dipper, playing like a champion today, the list goes on. And if Fitz continues to dye his hair the same unnatural color, Wesley will feel comfortable playing near another Golden Dome.

Wesley led the Fighting Irish with 14.4 points last year, with 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists, and he’s a great ball handler with a great rotation. He’s good at reaching the rim – but not scoring when he gets there. Wesley was a solid defenseman for a freshman and showed plenty of strength for a 185-pound teenager. But he’s not a good shooter, that’s why he might fall at the end of the first round.

Of course, the Warriors have invested heavily in their development team in recent years. They can feel confident fixing a clumsy blow from a young player after the work they did with Jonathan Kuminga last year. Kuminga had a rough shooting start, but from December he shot a respectable 35.0 percent from three points. And Wesley would have plenty of time in Santa Cruz to develop his game, with the potential to be a very versatile defender once he hits an NBA weight room for a few months. Overall, no other prospect has had Wesley’s advantage or instability, and if the team is lucky enough to drop to No. 28, the Warriors should sprint to the podium to select him.

Or, more likely, they’ll trade the pick.

It makes a lot of sense. Kuminga is 19, Moody turned 20 in the final, and Wiseman has only been able to drink legally for 12 weeks now. Obviously, they can’t predict what happens in free agency – Otto Porter Jr. is probably out of their price range, Damion Lee could get a raise elsewhere, and Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II are free agents without restriction – but everything indicates that the Warriors would like to bring everyone back. Which means they’re looking at a full roster even before the draft.

Shifting the pick to an active future or multiple second rounds (which don’t have guaranteed contracts) makes a lot of sense financially, even if it’s pretty annoying for fans. There wasn’t much playing time for rookies even this year, despite a slew of injuries, with Kuminga averaging just under 17 minutes per game and Moody getting 11.9 minutes in just 52 games. Sometimes there are too many rookies, especially if Andre Iguodala can take time out of his venture capital fund to play basketball for one more season.

Still, if Wesley falls on them, he has enough potential to be worth the tax and the fare to Santa Cruz next season. To paraphrase Draymond Green, “Let’s not write another f——— Midwestern goalie or you’ll have to f——— hear it from me.”


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