Warriors Meet Their Dreaded Fork in the Road


The Golden State Warriors hold the No. 19 pick in Thursday’s draft. At that spot, there could be some really nice gems.

On the other hand, however, having a pick in that range can create some opportunities in the trade market. Realistically, the Warriors should consider moving the pick or attaching it in a trade to get a rotation-ready player. They do not have time to add another prospect that will unlikely be ready to contribute.

Given the current timeline of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the pick should be an asset to help acquire someone that will help win another title.

The Draft Conundrum

At the start of the 2022-23 season, the Warriors had six players on rookie-scale contracts. The lack of experience and maturity made the team’s bench unit very unreliable throughout a frustrating season.

  • Jordan Poole had a disappointing fourth campaign after a breakout year before.
  • Jonathan Kuminga did not secure the trust of Steve Kerr when the games mattered the most.
  • Moses Moody had a hard time getting minutes on a depleted roster for most of the season.
  • Although having an NBA-ready jumpshot, Patrick Baldwin Jr. was not ready physically to contribute.
  • Ryan Rollins was a second-round pick with a guaranteed roster spot. He spent most of his time playing for the Warriors’ G-League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
  • Lastly, it was clear that James Wiseman would not fit the current timeline, so he was traded to Detroit at the deadline.

Let’s go over several prospects the Warriors could look to target if they decide to use the pick. I split them up by the franchise’s current and future timelines. The current timeline prospects could maybe fit given their skillsets and position. The future timeline prospects are for if the team is wanting to jumpstart the rebuild process.

It’s basically signaling to the league that their main goal is probably not maximizing the time they have with Curry still in his late prime. The team has a choice to make, and their decision with the 19th pick could signal what they want to move forward with.

2023 Warriors Draft: Current-Timeline Prospects

It is really difficult to believe that anyone the Warriors draft will move up the ladder quick enough to gain minutes for Kerr. For a coach that has had trouble developing the team’s recent draft picks, adding another rookie will certainly not get him excited. But the purpose of the exercise is to think of each player as an additive piece no matter the plan.

Colby Jones – Xavier

Colby Jones is a combo guard that has an efficient offensive game and is not a liability on defense. Last year, he averaged 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game with 51/38/65 shooting splits. He’s one of the few players around the Warriors’ pick that would best fit its needs.

Jones knows how to move the ball, play smart, and rarely plays out of what his limitations are. There’s a world where he can slot into that Donte DiVincenzo spot. DiVincenzo has a yet-to-be-decided $4.7 million player option for next season. Many believe he will be able to demand a much higher salary than that on the open market, so it is assumed he will decline the option and test free agency. There are not many options on the market for a quality backup guard, and Jones fits that mold.

If Jones were to see minutes, it would mean several things. He can be an effective backup point guard when Steph is off the floor, where the team struggles immensely. He is not a liability on defense. Kerr would rather play guys who commit on that end of the floor. Having a smart guard off the bench with youthful energy maybe the best they can do at their pick.

Kris Murray – Iowa

The Warriors would be very familiar with Keegan Murray‘s twin brother, Kris. Being twins can also describe the parallels between both Keegan and Kris’ game, except Kris is left-handed.

Like Keegan, Kris is a prototype NBA wing. He provides three-point shooting, defense and some sneaky athleticism to attack closeouts and to become a solid switch defender. During his junior year at Iowa, Murray averaged 20.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game on 47.6 FG% and 33.5 3PT%.

Don’t let the 3PT% fool you— he can flat out shoot. Keegan set the NBA record for most threes made by a rookie with 206. Kris was asked to be the No. 1 guy this past season, a role that he’ll most likely never be asked to fill in the NBA. He spent an extra year in college, and I’m sure Kerr would more likely play a 22-year-old rookie than a 19-year-old one.

The Warriors desperately need a player that can space the floor in the front court. They really missed Otto Porter Jr. this past season. Porter Jr. not only was a great shooter, but he was active on the glass. Murray showed that he is willing to attack the glass on both ends, a quality every NBA team can’t get enough of.

Could Murray maybe share minutes at the backup forward spot with Kuminga? His skillset certainly fits more playing alongside Draymond or Kevon Looney. Murray also fits the ethos of the Curry-led Warriors. His personality would fit right in with the veterans and I’m sure he would revel in the opportunity to play against his twin brother four times a year.

2023 Warriors Draft: Future-Timeline Prospects

Now for the more intriguing guys. Picture this: with Bob Myers officially stepping down, the organization uses the change as an opportunity to start a softer rebuild. Think of Dirk Nowitzki‘s last couple of seasons with the Mavericks. His last year in the playoffs was in 2016 when they lost to the Thunder in the first round at the age of 37. I would assume the Warriors moving in another direction might look something like that, where the younger core isn’t good enough to make it deep in the playoffs, but Curry is still on the roster.

These are guys the Warriors could target if they aren’t trying to maximize the last years of Curry’s prime.

Jalen Hood-Schifino – Indiana

The 6’6 freshman guard already has a clear role on an NBA team, as a lead ball handler that thrives in the pick and roll. He averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on 41.7 FG% and 33.3 3PT%. Partly why he can be a great bridge for the future is his synergy with the other young players on the roster. He allows Poole to really focus on scoring only as an off-ball threat. Imagining a pick and roll with Hood-Schifino as the ball handler and Kuminga as the roller is fun.

He can also kick it out to Moody in the corner for a three after probing through the defense. He’s still a project in terms of his consistency as a shooter, but he has skills to build from. Since the Warriors wouldn’t be in a hurry to develop him, he would have all the opportunity with the ball.

He is not athletic, but he plays with a pace that most guards struggle to find. Learning how to play point guard behind Curry and getting coached by Kerr will certainly help. Hood-Schifino has the tools and the Warriors have the infrastructure to help him grow into a quality guard.

Jordan Hawkins – UConn

Hawkins is probably the most exciting future-timeline prospect for the Warriors. He is a sharpshooting guard that can move off the ball very well.

Does that combination of skills remind you of a certain pair of brothers on the Warriors?

If you watched March Madness this year, then you might remember Hawkins hitting big shots during UConn’s unbelievable title run. In terms of system fit, he is a no-brainer. This past season, he averaged 16.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game on 40.9 FG% and 38.8 3PT%.

Moving without the ball is one of the most underrated skills in basketball. Curry and Thompson don’t become all-time great shooters just because of their shooting touch. It’s about how they get their shots off at an efficient rate, and Hawkins has shown that same quality that Curry and Thompson showed early in the Steve Kerr era.

Just imagine Hawkins learning from two of the greatest shooters of all time. All of those post-practice shooting competitions and other moments where he can get advice and knowledge will go a long way.

Even though any NBA team would not mind adding a player that creates more spacing, I still don’t think Hawkins fits into the Warriors’ current timeline. He has weaknesses that will be exposed in more meaningful basketball. He’s not yet where you’d probably want him to be physically. It usually takes at least a season for rookies to grow into their NBA bodies. That lack of physicality hurts him on defense or when he tries to put the ball on the floor.

But thinking about Hawkins as a prospect with several years of NBA basketball, it’s hard not to picture him as one of the premiere shooters in the league.

Ultimately, the Warriors should be more focused on what they want to do this offseason aside from the draft. If the 19th pick can help them acquire a player ready to contribute right away, then it’s a win.

Steph and Klay Dual Bobblehead!

Steph Curry Klay Thompson bobblehead

Two Splash Brothers. One bobblehead. Upgrade your Bay Area bobble collection from good to golden with the Steph Curry & Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors Bobblemate Dual Bobblehead.

About Christian Oblena

Born in San Francisco, raised in the East Bay, lifelong Bay Area sports fan. Here to give my own opinions on everything Dubs.

    Recommended for you

    Powered by