In less than 24 hours, the Warriors will announce who they’ve chosen with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft — that is, if they keep it. But if they do, the consensus has long been that their selection will come down to one of three prospects: Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman or LaMelo Ball.
Each prospect offers loads of potential, but simultaneously comes with some major question marks. While Edwards and Ball get knocked for some of what they’ve put on tape, the main thing scaring teams about Wiseman is the fact that he doesn’t have much tape at all.
Wiseman was the top-ranked player in his high school recruiting class, but appeared in just three collegiate games at Memphis before he was suspended for his involvement in a recruiting violation and ultimately opted out of the remainder of the season. Wiseman averaged an impressive 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks over those three contests, but only one game came against decent competition.
Still, there are numerous reasons why the Warriors would find Wiseman’s skill set to be attractive, and it might turn out that Wiseman’s lack of collegiate experience works in their favor if he drops to the second pick. As college basketball analyst Andy Katz explained, there’s a decent chance Wiseman would be in much higher demand had he played his entire freshman season.
“I firmly believe had he had a full regular season … I actually think he might be the consensus No. 1 pick, because he could have been that dominant and it would have been that clear that he was the best player,” Katz told 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” on Tuesday. “Now, would he have been National Player of the Year over Obi Toppin? Maybe not, because Dayton had a better team than Memphis … but he would have definitely been in the race for that, potential First Team All-American. And so, I just don’t think there would have been a doubt.
“Now, would Minnesota have taken him next to Karl-Anthony Towns? Maybe not, but in terms of the consensus player, I think he would have been. And, Golden State … they’re not used to being at No. 2. And so, to me, this is a major coup for them to get this pick, because potentially if they take him, which I think they will, he could be that missing piece for them in the middle once they get fully healthy and are back to being the Warriors that we expect.”
Even if the Warriors have identified Wiseman as their guy, it’s obviously not guaranteed that they’ll be able to get him. But if they do end up drafting him at No. 2, they just might end up with the player who should have been picked first.