Having traded all their picks in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors seem to be on the outside looking in on one of the most talented draft classes in recent memories.
But “seems to be” doesn’t translate to “will be.”
GM Bob Myers has said that he would like to have a pick in this deep draft, and by the end of the night, he may. According to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Warriors like Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas, and if one or both are available at No. 13, they will pull the trigger on a trade with the Timberwolves that would send Kevin Love to the Warriors along with Kevin Martin and the 13th pick in exchange for David Lee, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes.
Of course, it is important to remember that things are extremely fluid as we approach the draft and not every rumor is going to necessarily pan out. Both McDermott and Stauskas are projected to go in the top-15, and some mock drafts have them as top-10 picks, so there’s no guarantee that they will even be available at No. 13.
But let’s just look at what might happen if this comes to fruition and the said trade goes through. McDermott and Stauskas are both volume shooters who can score at will and light it up from distance; McDermott actually led the nation in scoring last season with 26.9 points per game in Creighton. What sets the two apart is that McDermott is bigger and less athletic, while Stauskas has drawn comparisons to — you guessed it — Klay Thompson.
In fact, one Western Conference scout told the Boston Globe that Stauskas could be even better than Thompson.
“He’s a lot like Klay Thompson in terms of body type and shooting,” said the scout. “Thompson is a pretty good ballhandler, but I think [Stauskas is] even better with the ball and a better passer than Thompson — and Klay Thompson is a fringe All-Star player. I love Klay Thompson, but I think Stauskas could be that good. Stauskas is good, man. He’s good.”
Which is why I believe the Warriors would be much more intrigued and inclined to do the deal if Stauskas is on the board. If they give up Thompson for Love, they will need a replacement at guard, and Stauskas seems like an ideal candidate. He even has a connection with Stephen Curry, who challenged him to three-point shooting contest just last month.
The draft is mere hours away, and as it nears, the rumors will come flying hard. Whether this particular rumor — and it’s a huge one — actually comes to fruition is left to be seen.