The Warriors’ 2019-20 NBA season has been a disappointment, but their failure might be the best thing for the next phase of the franchise’s future. On the latest Crossover podcast, SI’s Chris Mannix and Jeremy Woo discuss the Warriors' recent downfall but highlight how the franchise can quickly find their way back to NBA dominance with the help of the NBA draft.
(Listen to the latest Crossover podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)]
Chris Mannix: Golden State is bad right now. They are really bad. There is a great chance they end up with a top three pick—maybe the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. I look at a guy like James Wiseman as being a natural fit for them—they don’t have a ton of size in that frontcourt and if you assume that Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are back or either D’Angelo Russell is back and traded for something that they need—is this the kind of draft where they draft James Wiseman? How big of a difference maker is a guy like that?
Jeremy Woo: It’s interesting. I think there is a variance of opinions of how ready Wiseman is going to be and how he’ll really help you. If I am Golden State and I walk away taking him, they will be okay because he does fit a need but at the same time, are you really going to drop a 19-year-old rookie on to that team with Steph, Draymond and Klay and try to win a title? Probably not. I think to me, the scary scenario if I am the rest of league, is what if Golden State finds a suitable trade partner for that pick and flips it to get another star? They can find a way to make it work financially and attach D’Angelo Russell’s contract plus the pick and get a close to max-level guy that to me is what is frightening—the fact that they kind recharge their team that way more so than draft a rookie. I don’t think there is anyone in this draft that is going to put the Warriors over the top. Their window is not necessarily going to be a long term one. These guys are going to come back and go for it again.
Mannix: Yea, I agree with you. That is like the doomsday scenario for other NBA teams. Like you said, the Warriors take Russell and his max-contract and he’s paying like an All-Star this year and add the No. 3 pick in the draft, there is going to be a ton of top-tier guys that you can probably get from that. Off the top of my head, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum don’t make any sense but that's the type of player they can get. They can even afford to get more value in a deal if they get somebody that fits their window. I would look at guys like Steph, Klay and Draymond who are in their early 30s, you are looking at a three year window, you can get something real back that could create superteam 2.0 in Golden State and all of sudden you are looking at another run of championships for the Warriors. I am with you there. That is the scariest thing to me for everyone around the league. If they are able to find a trade partner—they don’t need backcourt help—but let’s say Bradley Beal becomes available from Washington—that type of player would be just a gamechanger for them.
Woo: That is going to be one of the more interesting sub-plots as we do get closer. We are far enough into the season who the really bad teams are, so we kind of know who is going to have a top-five pick—granted this year probably won’t be worth that much. The closer we get to the draft, the more valuable these picks become, because once teams figure out who they can get and their spot and how they value you guys, these dynamics always change and things would get interesting closer to the draft. I think that is definitely something to watch in just how creative the Warriors are going to get, because if I am them, I am all in. I am totally happy to flip that pick if I can get something better.