The Golden State Warriors are on the verge of returning to their championship perch, provided they’re able to outlast the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals. As such, Coach Kerr, Steph Curry and the rest of the crew are making their last preparations for what promises to be a hard-fought series.
In the meantime, the club’s decision-makers are also fully engaged on the upcoming offseason. Their first order of business: the NBA Draft, which will take place in a little over three weeks on Thursday, June 23.
Although this draft holds significantly less interest for Dub Nation than last year’s, which saw the Warriors make two selections in the lottery range, the team’s pick at No. 28 overall could actually be an important one.
Assuming Warriors president Bob Myers doesn’t trade the pick, it actually affords him the opportunity to fill a roster spot on the cheap, which is no small thing for a team that owes $171 million to just eight contracted players next season. So, it’s important that he maximizes the selection.
To that end, draft guru Jonathan Wasserman currently sees Golden State taking one of college hoops’ most well-known players in 2021-22.
Mock Draft: Warriors Select Duke’s Moore
In the May 31 edition of his Bleacher Report mock draft, Wasserman has Duke wing Wendell Moore Jr. making the big move to the Bay Area.
The 20-year-old Moore started in all 39 games as a junior for the Blue Devils last season. In doing so, he averaged 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals per contest. He also connected on 41.3% of his triples on 3.2 attempts/game.
For his efforts, he was selected as the 2022 winner of the Julius Erving Award, which honors college basketball’s best small forward. However, his NBA future may lie at the two spot, as he checked in at 6-foot-4 (sans shoes) and 217 pounds at the Draft Combine. On the other hand, his impressive wingspan — which measured at just over seven feet — bodes well for his potential as a multi-positional defender.
To that end, Moore believes that the defensive side is where he’s going to make hay at the next level.
“My game is really somebody who can do everything,” he said during an interview at the Combine. “I really take pride in doing that on the defensive end. I know when somebody wants to come in and guard the best player every night, I mean, I know it’s going to give me playing time.”
Moore went on to compare his game to that of Milwaukee Bucks point-man Jrue Holiday.
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Where Could He Go?
Moore was pegged as the 10th-best prospect at small forward and the No. 36 draft prospect overall on ESPN‘s big board. Meanwhile, he came in at No. 37 overall on the May 10 update to NBADraft.net‘s prospect rankings. He was given a slightly higher value on the Tankathon big board, where he ranked 31st overall.
As relayed by The Athletic’s Brendan Marks, though, Moore’s stock may have risen at the Combine. “His Chicago experience was great,” one scout told the outlet. “Tested well, interviewed well and had a great pro day.”
Moore also had the fourth-best standing vertical leap (32.5 inches) and sixth-best max vertical (38.5 inches) of tested prospects.