Ranking Warriors' best options with No. 2 draft pick


We rank the five best fits for the Warriors with the No. 2 overall pick.

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The Warriors face their most important NBA draft decision in years, as a dismal 2019-20 season provided the fortune of the No. 2 overall pick in November's event.

General manager Bob Myers and Golden State haven't had a lottery pick since 2012 when the Warriors selected Harrison Barnes at No. 7 overall.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a significant wrench into the pre-draft evaluation process, leading to a multitude of unknowns.

With a roster expected to return to title contention right away next season, the Warriors likely will focus on filling specific rotational needs, as opposed to simply the best overall player available.

Here are the five best fits for the Warriors at No. 2 overall, ranked by how much they can impact the rotation right away.


Toppin swept the collegiate award circuit in 2019-20, winning both the Naismith Player of the Year and Wooden Award for Division I's top individual player.

The Dayton product projects as an undersized power forward/center at the NBA level, but boasts immense athleticism, leading the NCAA in dunks last season.

A decent 3-point shot (41.9 percent) will make him a solid offensive player, but he proved to be a defensive liability during his college career, especially away from the paint.

Initially among the top five picks in most mock drafts, Toppin has slipped in recent weeks and now projects to go somewhere between eighth and tenth overall.

Toppin's positional versatility would be an asset to the Warriors' bench right away.


Haliburton, like Toppin, was an unheralded high school player whose stock shot up during his time in college. A tall point guard at 6-foot-5, Haliburton showed an elite ability to distribute and shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc in each of his two seasons at Iowa State.

Outside of the Splash Brothers, the Warriors' current roster doesn't feature a ton of playmakers who can help create shots for others.

A player like Haliburton could help both right away as the captain of the second unit -- something that was sorely missed in 2019-20 without Andre Iguodala on the team -- and eventually could become the starting point guard whenever Steph Curry's career begins to wind down.

There are plenty of teams in the lottery who could use Haliburton as the starting point guard right away as a rookie, but he could be a vital member of the Warriors' rotation right away if selected.


As far as frontcourt prospects go in this year's class, Okongwu has an argument for being the most NBA-ready. An elite defender and athlete, Okongwu's limited offensive arsenal is the one thing keeping him out of the top five in most mock drafts.

Okongwu projects as a power forward/center hybrid, as he's a bit undersized (6-foot-9) for the position he played most at USC.

He did protect the rim much better than someone his size normally would, and he potentially could earn a starting spot with the Warriors as the depth at the center position remains limited as of now.

Okongwu would be the most surprising pick here for the Warriors, but there's a chance he ends up being the best defensive player in this class and fills a lot of important needs for the roster.


Andrew Wiggins isn't projected by many to be a long-term member of the Warriors' core, so many believe Golden State would like to add a dynamic wing with this year's pick.

A Warriors contingent featuring Myers and head coach Steve Kerr reportedly were "blown away" by a workout with Avdija last week in Atlanta, and many have begun making the Israel-born wing the Warriors' choice in mock drafts.

Avdija is a dynamic playmaker known for his vision, and the success of Luka Doncic in the NBA so quickly has made many ask whether Avdija could be the next great European wing.

He might not start right away, but Avdija would immediately contribute and projects as a tremendous two-way NBA player, making him a great fit for a Warriors team looking to win now but also build for the future with this selection.

Plus, if he ends up producing early, he makes Wiggins a lot more expendable as a trade option.


At this stage, this appears to be the Warriors' most likely choice with the No. 2 overall pick. The Minnesota Timberwolves own the No.1 pick, and they're set at center with Karl Anthony-Towns, so Wiseman almost certainly will be available.

He only got three games in at Memphis before being deemed ineligible, but Wiseman's potential jumped off the screen in those outings. Wiseman's an excellent athlete with a polished offensive game around the rim.

Limited time on the court in college makes him more of an unknown than most at the top of this draft, but Wiseman could produce right away for the Warriors as a rim-runner and paint-patroller, while not being forced to be a top offensive option right away. At 7-foot-1, he has tremendous defensive potential as a shot-blocker.

Wiseman also reportedly worked out for the Warriors last week, and while things certainly will change between now and draft day (Nov. 18), the big man seems to be the leader in the clubhouse for being the Warriors' choice at No. 2.

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