Why the Warriors Drafted James Wiseman Over LaMelo Ball

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After an unforgettably tough season, the Golden State Warriors had the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. With the second pick, the Warriors had a chance to grab projected top picks LaMelo Ball or James Wiseman. With that pick, the Warriors passed on Ball and selected Memphis center Wiseman.

It didn’t take much time for the world to begin speculating which draft picks were indeed lucrative. Some are wondering if the Warriors made the right pick as the season gets into full swing. Although the Warriors might have seen LaMelo as more talented, reports say that Wiseman appeared to be the better fit for Golden State.


Wiseman Was the Better Fit for the Warriors

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After the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 overall pick, the next two best options on the table were center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball. The Warriors went with the 19-year-old center.

At first, this selection made a lot of sense is that the Warriors lost one of their star shooters, Klay Thompson, right before the draft due to an Achilles injury. But, the Warriors were also without a starting center. There was a void for dominant big that could work well guarding the rim.

The Warriors thought process might have been that Wiseman and Draymond Green could create a powerful frontcourt paired with All-Star Steph Curry’s shooting ability. Although this could have been found in free agency, the Warriors needed someone young who they could build for the future.

Although the Warriors were impressed by Ball’s skill set, the team had a legitimate reason for passing on the young guard per Marcus Thompson of the Athletic.

From what I was told, they (Warriors) saw [LaMelo] as the most talented player in the draft, but the fit made more sense with Wiseman. It wasn’t like they weren’t on him.

Preceding the 2020 NBA Draft, no one was 100% sure where the projected top three picks would land with the three teams drafting first. After Wiseman went to the Warriors, the Charlotte Hornets picked up Ball immediately after and Ball has been playing like a definite Rookie of the Year candidate so far.

Ball is already showing how skilled he is and how he is already commanding the floor in his ability to make plays. This paired with Curry and Thompson later on would have been interesting to watch. However, this would still leave the Warriors without a big, which would be key to their future success.


Is Picking Wiseman Paying Off?

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As for Wiseman, the Warriors were in dire need of a big to help spruce up the roster that had taken several hits over the past year. Acquiring a center out of free agency during the last offseason would have been a little tricky considering the Warriors cap situation. So grabbing Wiseman on a rookie deal was the best option, and it seems like so far this was a pick that’s beginning to pay off.

Wiseman has shown his true potential in quite a few games, however, there are some instances where you can tell the rookie is a little overwhelmed and has to be pulled in some closeout situations. If the Warriors would have drafted Ball, it could be possible that the Warriors would not have traded for Kelly Oubre Jr. who has been somewhat of a disappointment for the team so far.

Wiseman has truly made an impact so far paired with Green, but the Warriors need more from the rest of the lineup in order to be successful as the season elapses. The team seems to be getting into a rhythm after an extremely slow start to their season. Some tougher games are coming up this season, one being the Los Angeles Lakers that the Warriors will face off against tonight. Wiseman will surely have to step up for this game.

It’s still too early to decide whether the Warriors made the right choice in drafting Wiseman over Ball however, the Warriors have gotten the most out of their No.2 draft pick thus far. If Ball blossoms into a young star, however, in the long run, the Warriors might live to regret their decision in the 2020 draft.

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