Having had three lottery picks across the 2020 and 2021 drafts, including two in the top ten, the Golden State Warriors Players selected with these selections will be constantly reviewed.
The majority of criticism has surrounded the Warriors’ pick of James Wiseman with the second-choice in 2020. It wasn’t due to Wiseman’s own fault that he had been cursed by injury in his two years now.
However, there is intrigue about what the Warriors will look like with the LaMelo Ball, the third pick in the draft that has already been developed into an All-Star. For what it’s worth, two things are true – Ball probably didn’t develop as fast as the Warriors, and Jordan Ball certainly didn’t have a chance to thrive as he did.
With Golden State’s need for a position and Wiseman’s undoubted potential, it looked good at the time. Should we instead consider their top ten picks from last year?
Jonathan Kominga may have unlimited potential, but can the Golden State Warriors regret missing out on another attacking option?
The Warriors Kuminga took the seventh pick overall, which came as a surprise to many given that it was seen as a project at just 18-years-old. To be fair, his influence during the regular season was at times unexpected and impressive, often showing off his unrivaled athleticism among the promising signs on both ends of the floor.
He was just one of many from last year’s draft class who shone in the rookie season. Another who exceeded expectations is the man who was chosen after Cominga with the eighth choice – Franz Wagner.
Upon entering the draft, the German was seen as a versatile player who lacked the absolute elite side of his game. During the junior season, it quickly became clear that he was really good at just about every major component.
Wagner is capable of a three-point threat, defeating 35.4% in 3.4 attempts per game during the junior season. His handling and length of the ball make him a threat from other areas on the ground, averaging 15.2 points on less than 47% of the field.
He’s also a skilled playmaker, which makes him a great character as a secondary creator. At 6’9″ and with a wingspan of seven feet, Wagner is a troublesome defender when on the ball or in assisting situations.
If you’re asking who is most likely to be the best player on the team of the tournament, Kuminga’s rise makes him that choice. But there is also little doubt that Wagner is the most popular commodity at this point, and that he will be an even more influential player in the NBA in the short term.
Wagner will provide Warriors with a more flexible and stable option, someone who can play three different locations in any given lineup. It also fits perfectly in the Warriors’ offensive system based on the ball and player movement – think Moses Moody but taller with more playmaking and scoring ability.
This is a question that must be reconsidered at the end of the season. The Warriors ultimately didn’t need Kuminga to win the 2022 tournament, and eventually returned to the veterans once they made it to the finals.
One suspects that the Warriors would need the Kuminga to make a real impact if they succeeded in winning back-to-back tournaments. If he doesn’t deliver, and Wagner continues his climb to the Magic, some may come to inquire about Golden State’s selection in last year’s draft.