The Golden State Warriors decided against dealing a highly coveted draft pick at the trade deadline, and now could be rewarded with Final Four hero Jalen Suggs.
The Gonzaga freshman hit one of the greatest shots in college basketball history on Saturday, banking in a 40-footer to defeat UCLA in overtime and send his team to the title game on Monday. In doing so, Suggs likely solidified his place in the top five for the upcoming draft, where he would potentially be in reach for the Warriors — if a number of circumstances play out in their favor.
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Warriors Would Likely Snatch Suggs
As Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area noted, quite a few stars would need to align for the Warriors to have a chance at drafting Suggs. Golden State received a top-three protected pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of last year’s D’Angelo Russell trade, and Minnesota’s last-place record gives the Warriors a roughly 60 percent chance that it would convey, giving them the No. 4 or No. 5 pick.
JALEN SUGGS FOR THE WIN 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/S8M5RMEpYD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 4, 2021
Suggs appears to have moved above that point, with Didion noting that many mock drafts now have him going as high as No. 2. But in the chance that something between now and late July causes him to fall just a bit further down the board, the Warriors would likely pounce on the opportunity to draft the dynamic 19-year-old.
“If he somehow makes it out of the first three picks without being selected, the Warriors would have a miracle fall into their lap if they could bring Suggs into the fold,” Didion wrote.
There isn’t a better option from this draft class to pair with the Splash Brothers than Suggs, and Warriors fans should be crossing their fingers for the possibility of getting to select Suggs in this summer’s draft.
If those circumstances should play out, it could justify Golden State’s decision not to part with the pick at the trade deadline. The Warriors reportedly ended trade talks with the Rockets around guard Victor Oladipo after Houston sought either the Minnesota pick or rookie center James Wiseman, both of which were off-limits for the Warriors.
Golden State’s Connection to Suggs
As Didion noted, there is already an existing link between Suggs and Steph Curry. The teenager competed at one of Curry’s Under Armour camps, just as Warriors rookies James Wiseman and Nico Mannion had before him.
He made quite an impression there. As the Star-Tribune reported at the time, Suggs and high school teammate Chet Holmgren — who is the top-rated recruit of the Class of 2021 — earned some viral fame for their performances against Curry at the camp.
“I’ve always wanted to run up on the table [after a game winner] like Kobe or D-Wade.”
— ESPN (@espn) April 4, 2021
“On Wednesday night, Holmgren’s high school teammate Jalen Suggs, a five-star senior guard at Minnehaha Academy, took home the Curry camp’s male outstanding player award,” the report noted.
“Other than Holmgren’s memorable move, Suggs created a social media highlight with a windmill dunk in Wednesday night’s final game,” the outlet added. “A top-10 player in the 2020 class, Suggs will finish off his summer of hoops in Slam Magazine’s All-American Game next weekend in New York City.”
If things play out in Golden State’s favor, Suggs could be playing with Curry next season.