Elite Shooting NBA Draft Prospect Works Out for Golden State Warriors

Virginia vs Virginia Tech watch

Getty Sam Hauser of the Virginia Cavaliers.

If the Golden State Warriors manage to grab the No. 4 pick thanks to their trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, then it should be the highlight of the NBA draft for them. It would provide them with a chance at selecting a franchise-changing player, helping provide some direction for a future that doesn’t revolve around Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Even if the Timberwolves’ pick doesn’t turn out to be the fourth overall pick, it will still go to the Warriors so long as it’s not in the top three. This pick would be in addition to the other first-round pick they already own.

But there are other ways for them to add rookies to their roster.

The Warriors could acquire a second-round pick via trade, or they could even sign undrafted free agents. While such additions aren’t typically monumental, Golden State knows first-hand not to underestimate talent outside of the first round. After all, the Warriors have Draymond Green, who was selected at No. 35 overall in the 2012 NBA draft.

This year, the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic became the first second-round draft pick to be named the league’s MVP.

Chances are the Warriors won’t get that lucky in the draft, but it still serves as a reminder of the value second-round picks can provide.

Just last week, NBC Sports Bay Area reported that Golden State had several potential second-round draft prospects participate in workouts. One of the players was 6-foot-8-inch forward Sam Hauser.

Here’s what you need to know about the Hauser and how he can help the Warriors:

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Hauser’s Background

Hauser is a 23-year-old forward from Virginia. A redshirt senior, he played one season with the Cavaliers after transferring there following three seasons at Marquette. He redshirted the 2019-20 season before going on to play his one and only season at Virginia, who went on to be the regular season ACC champions.

Even though he was a Cavalier for just one season, Hauser made the most of it.

During the 2020-21 season, Hauser played and started in all 25 of Virginia’s games. He led his team in minutes and points at 34.2 minutes and 16.0 points per game. He also put up averages of 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 50.3% from the field.

Sam the Sharpshooter

At 23 years old, Hauser is older than most draft prospects. So he doesn’t offer the same growth and potential that younger players can offer. His experience could be appealing, though, should teams want an older player whose game is further developed.

But the most alluring aspect of Hauser’s game is his shooting ability. And it’s that skill that will make him stand out as an older player in the draft during an era where 3-point shooting is more important than ever.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett, who has coached two of the NBA’s best shooters in Thompson and Joe Harris, called Hauser “one of the best” in an article from The Virginian-Pilot.

In his lone season playing in the ACC, he led the conference with a 41.7% 3-point shooting percentage.

Sam Hauser NBA Draft Tape | Virginia ForwardIf you need a shooter who can knock down a three, Virginia's Sam Hauser is your guy.  The 2020-21 First-Team All-ACC player made 43.9% of his three-pointers in his career on 5.6 three-point attempts per game.  He also averaged 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 0.8 steals per game in college.  Take a look at Sam…2021-05-26T18:37:09Z

“I feel like my shooting speaks for itself,” Hauser said during media availability after his workout. “I feel like I’ve done that very consistently over my four years in college basketball, and I thought I shot it decently today. But I feel like I can be a floor spacer and knock down shots when I want to get the opportunity, and I think that can translate real well to the next level.”

So if 3-point shooting is a need, then Hauser could be a great choice in the second round or as an undrafted free agent. This past season, Golden State got their dose of long-range scoring from Curry but not much from anyone else. So the Warriors missed the extra 3-point shooting that Thompson provides.

Though Thompson is expected to return from his Achilles injury this upcoming season, adding Hauser could provide extra shooting that the Warriors have been lacking.

Hauser’s Limitations

According to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Josh Schrock, Hauser is limited athletically and doesn’t create his own shot off the bounce well, so he will likely need to be paired with a playmaking guard to best succeed. Hauser, himself, also acknowledged his need to improve on the defensive end.

“Overall, on the defensive side of the ball, I think I improved on that side throughout this year,” Hauser said following his workout. “But obviously, going to the next level, each and every guy is that much better, so definitely got to take it up a notch and just keep working at it and get better.”

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