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Slater projects Warriors pick at No. 2, possible trade with Thunder


© Brian Losness | 2018 Feb 3


Assuming the pick isn’t traded before, there are about 24 hours until the Warriors will make their selection with the second pick in the NBA Draft.

It’s a strange time to be drafting that high, considering there is less consensus about who the best players are than in any draft in recent memory, and that two of the top three players (James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball) have limited experience in high-level competitive games.

Still, Warriors beat writer Anthony Slater believes that one of those players, Wiseman, will be the Warriors selection on Wednesday.

“I think it’s kind of become crystalized a little bit,” Slater said on Papa & Lund Tuesday morning.

“It’s pretty clear the need on the roster the more they’ve dug into it, and also explored some of their trade options, which you know could change in the next 24 hours. I just think it’s becoming kind of obvious Wiseman’s the guy in my opinion, and I think starting to become in theirs.”

Wiseman, a 19-year-old, 7-foot-1 athletic center, played a grand total of three games at the University of Memphis last year, electing to sit out the majority of the season in the wake of a bizarre recruiting scandal.

Wiseman has said that the Timberwolves, who have the first overall pick, haven’t so much as spoken to him, meaning it’s exceedingly likely that Wiseman will be available when the Warriors select. Wiseman is believed to have a higher floor than either Ball or Anthony Edwards, both of which have serious question marks regarding shooting and defensive ability. At the very least, Wiseman could slot in immediately as a rim running big, a role JaVale McGee excelled at in Golden State.

Beyond the draft, the Warriors also have a $17.2 million trade exception which expires next Monday. Slater believes the Warriors may try to use that to add wing depth, specifically Kelly Oubre who was just traded to Oklahoma City.

“I like Oubre, I think there’s a trade to be made there now that he’s on the Thunder and not the Suns, because the Thunder are in complete rebuild mode. They’re trying to get cheaper and they’re in asset accumulation mode, but I don’t think they would demand anything great for Oubre, maybe a future Warriors first, not the Wolves first, maybe even a second, and they’re giving away the salary so it helps them there.

“Oubre to me is the perfect type of sixth man. A wing off the bench, they really need wing help. All they have established right now is really Andrew Wiggins there.”

Listen to the full interview below.

 

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