Warriors Earn Praise For Draft Strategy That Builds Around Steph Curry

Jonathan Kuminga

Getty Jonathan Kuminga poses with Adam Silver at the NBA draft.

Going into Thursday’s NBA draft, there was serious doubt among insiders whether the Golden State Warriors would end up keeping both of their lottery picks. The Warriors ultimately decided to hang onto both, and are now earning some praise for the unexpected move that builds affordable talent around Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

Golden State’s front office has made it clear that building a title-contending team around the Splash Brothers is a top priority for next season, and many believed that the team has been looking for a trade that would bring in an immediate impact player. But doing so would likely be costly, with speculation that they would need to use at least one, if not both, lottery picks in order to land a starting-caliber player.

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Warriors Snag Potential In Draft

The Warriors decided to hold onto both the No. 7 and No. 14 picks, using their first selection to snag Jonathan Kuminga and taking Moses Moody with their second. The move earned praise from ESPN insider Bobby Marks, who gave the Warriors the top grade of the draft. He noted that the cash-strapped Warriors were in serious need of some low-cost additions who can still contribute, which both lottery picks bring. He noted that Kuminga is seen as more of a long-term project, meaning Moody could expect to see more playing time next season, but said that both were smart picks who could bring an immediate threat beside Curry and company without the high cost associated with some of the other veteran trade targets.

“One thing to remember is that the Warriors have limited financial flexibility due to the contracts of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins. Kuminga and Moody are on four-year contracts that total $42 million in combined salary,” he noted.

Golden State may have had some help in deciding to keep the picks. Trade target Bradley Beal ultimately decided to stay with the Washington Wizards, while the Philadelphia 76ers had a very high asking price for another potential target, Ben Simmons.

The addition of two wings could also help make up for the potential loss of Kelly Oubre Jr., a free agent who would be costly to keep and complicated to use as a sign-and-trade. The Warriors could potentially lose Andrew Wiggins, who has been named as a potential trade candidate.

More Moves to Make

While the draft may have filled some immediate needs for the Warriors, there is still more work this offseason. General manager Bob Myers said the team still has to add some veteran leadership, which could be even more important as the team just added 18-year-old and 19-year-old lottery picks in addition to 20-year-old James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

“We need to add some veterans,” Myers said, via The Athletic. “We’re not done.”

While it’s not clear yet what direction that could take, some insiders have suggested that the Warriors could look to bring back former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, who may be on the way out of the Miami Heat. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer pegged him as a potential trade target should the Warriors decide to try a sign-and-trade deal featuring Oubre.

READ NEXT: Steph Curry Gets Honest About His Long-Term Future With the Warriors

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