NBA Draft: Disastrous decision from Lakers' GM yields huge benefit for Warriors

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six / Harry How/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors hit two home runs in the 2023 NBA Draft, selecting Brandin Podziemski 19th overall before trading for the 57th pick which they used on Trayce Jackson-Davis.

Both Podziemski and Jackson-Davis have had an enormously surprising impact on the Warriors, but that's only emanated from the decisions of rival teams that allowed Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the front office to make those selections in the first place.

Rob Pelinka's disastrous draft day decision has yielded huge benefits for the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets

While it may be less than a full season since the 2023 Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers have already emerged as arguably the biggest loser from the first-round. The Lakers were armed with the 17th overall pick, two selections ahead of the Warriors.

They would ultimately take Jalen Hood-Schifino, a pick that they're starting to regret less than nine months later. According to Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily, Lakers' GM Rob Pelinka overruled his scouting department to make the selection.

"Pelinka, having seen Hood-Schifino play well in the Big Ten Conference Tournament, saw something special and made the final decision."

Anthony Irwin
Jalen Hood-Schifino, Brandin Podziemski
2023 NBA Summer League - Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Hood-Schifino has averaged 5.1 minutes in 21 games this season, having failed to prove a genuine NBA player at this stage. The Lakers' fateful decision has come to aid the Warriors, along with the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets who combined for the following three picks.

The Heat took Jaime Jaquez Jr. with the 18th selection, with the 23-year-old averaging 12.6 points in nearly 30 minutes per game this season. That gave Golden State the opportunity to take Podziemski who, after a slow start, has taken the starting shooting-guard role from franchise legend and future Hall-of-Famer Klay Thompson.

The Rockets quickly swooped on Cam Whitmore, an athletic forward who had been a consensus top 10 pick. The 19-year-old has averaged 12.1 points per game, proving another electrifying young talent for Houston to build around.

Both battling simply to make the playoffs, the Warriors and Lakers are likely to have little impact on the pointy end of the postseason. Yet at the very least, Golden State will know they got one up on their pacific rival at last year's draft.