6. Drafted Brandin Podziemski
Selected Santa Clara guard Brandin Podziemski with the 19th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft
Evaluating any draft pick is a multi-faceted process. You need to consider the long-term potential of a player; how talented they are, what their upside is, their positional value. What about their market value; could that player have been available later? Team fit has to be factored in, especially on a team like the Golden State Warriors. Opportunity cost matters; what player did a team pass on to draft their guy?
That’s a lot to take in, and it makes grading any draft pick incredibly difficult. Brandin Podziemski, a guard out of Santa Clara, went 19th overall to the Warriors in June’s NBA Draft. Was it the right pick?
If evaluating Podziemski’s fit on the Warriors, the pick makes a lot of sense. He is a smart player whose passing and positioning project to fit right into the Warriors’ heady offensive system. He can rebound out of position, his shot is at least good if not better, and he lacks the ego of a player who would take shots away from Stephen Curry, always a no-no on the Warriors (unless you’re Klay – then it’s just a part of the package).
The external factors, however, are less strong. The Warriors passing on Cam Whitmore is fine; whatever his upside, his lack of feel would make him a terrible fit with the Dubs. But players like Dariq Whitehead, Leonard Miller and Kris Murray would have been better positional fits than another small guard, for whatever Podziemski’s ability to rebound. He’s incredibly slight and is a long ways away from the strength needed to be a plus playoff defender. Any draft pick probably would be unlikely to help right away, but with “Podz” that’s essentially a given.
Podziemski’s upside is to become what Donte DiVincenzo was for them last season, which is not a bad outcome. The Warriors just might have threaded the needle between “able to help this year” and “long-term starter upside” and missed both entirely.