The Golden State Warriors have two lottery picks in this month’s NBA Draft, and what they plan to do with those assets remains up in the air.
Much speculation is floating around the basketball universe as to how the Warriors might package the No. 7 and No. 14 picks, along with current players and future draft selections, to land a superstar. However, the distinct possibility remains that the team drafts players in each position. As such, the Warriors are hosting workouts for multiple prospects.
The most recently named potential draftee on Golden State’s radar is Cameron Thomas from Louisiana State University (LSU), according to ESPN Warriors beat reporter Nick Friedell.
“LSU standout Cameron Thomas will work out for the Warriors on Wednesday, according to a league source,” Friedell tweeted on Monday, July 12. “The 6’4″ guard averaged 23 points a game last season and shot 40.6 percent from the field.”
Thomas a ‘Throwback Scorer’ but Battles Efficiency, Defensive Issues
Thomas is a surefire first round pick, occupying the No. 18 spot on the big board of draft analyst Kevin O’Connor, who writes for The Ringer.
The offensive-minded freshman knows how to score and has a nose for the bucket, but was an inefficient shooter throughout his one and only season with LSU. As Friedell noted, Thomas barely shot over 40% from the field. The numbers were considerably worse from the 3-point line, where he shot just over 33%.
“(Thomas is a) throwback isolation scorer who thrives from midrange. He has every move in his bag to create off the bounce. And he has the confidence to launch from anywhere, including way beyond the 3-point line,” O’Connor wrote in his analysis of Thomas.
“(He’s a) skilled off-ball cutter who can relocate or come off screens from all angles and drain shots thanks to pristine footwork,” O’Connor continued. “(He’s a) good interior finisher who draws a ton of fouls using pump fakes and his body. When he sees open space, he attacks, especially in transition.”
However, Thomas is not without his deficiencies.
“(He’s) a bit of a ball-stopper who lacks passing vision. He may need to change his game to thrive in a motion offense, though his ideal role early in his career could just be as a bench spark plug,” O’Connor wrote. “(Thomas) needs to lock in defensively. He doesn’t stay in a stance, falls out of position, and rarely puts in extra effort.”
Warriors Draft Prospects Proving Guard-Heavy
Based on his current draft grades, Thomas would most likely be where the Warriors would look at No. 14, should Golden State decide to retain the pick. However, they may not be in the market for another backcourt player if they move on Davion Mitchell, who many believe the Warriors will select at No. 7, assuming they don’t move off that spot either.
Mitchell appears a better fit for the Warriors, who already have an offensively explosive starting backcourt in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Mitchell is a hard-nosed defender who improved his 3-point shooting drastically during his redshirt junior season. As an older and more experienced player, he fits better as a bridge to the future, along with big man James Wiseman, while also helping the Warriors achieve success this year.
“Mitchell measured shorter than teams were hoping at the NBA draft combine … but he still plays bigger than his body suggests as a gritty, strong defender,” O’Connor wrote. “The Warriors could use a scorer off the bench like him, too. If you consider what Golden State was missing last season, it’s a player like him. Mitchell could help now, and be a bridge toward sustaining success into the future.”