Draft steal may alleviate pain and angst of Golden State Warriors' famous mistake

Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors
Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

In a recent appearance on NBA Countdown, former Golden State Warriors' General Manager Bob Myers admitted he 'screwed up' the franchise's now infamous second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Myers and the Warriors drafted seven-foot center James Wiseman, with that resulting in nothing short of a disaster given the big man was traded after 60 underwhelming games in less than three seasons.

Mike Dunleavy Jr. may have saved his mentor Bob Myers, and the Golden State Warriors, with the selection of Trayce Jackson-Davis in the 2023 NBA Draft

The Wiseman pick will always go down as one of the biggest mistakes in Golden State history, particularly when they could have had future All-Star guards LaMelo Bal or Tyrese Haliburton.

Yet not only did the Warriors miss on Wiseman, they've been directly impacted by the lack of a genuine two-way center capable of production on both ends. That's a void they hoped Wiseman could fill, but instead, an incredibly heavy workload has been placed on veteran big man Kevon Looney.

After Myers traded Wiseman and then left the franchise himself, his long-time understudy Mike Dunleavy Jr. took on the role of General Manager. The 2023 NBA Draft presented his first opportunity to make a mark, with the early impression nothing short of outstanding.

Tuesday night's comeback win over the Boston Celtics may have showcased the Warriors' center of the future, one Dunleavy plucked with the 57th overall pick and only after a smart trade with the Washington Wizards.

Trayce Jackson-Davis had the first double-double of his career, finishing with 10 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and as a +25 in less than 29 minutes. That came after a 14-point, eight-rebound, three-assist performance against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, with the rookie center now a staple of the rotation for the foreseeable future.

The 23-year-old might not have the All-Star level potential Wiseman once held, but he's doing just what the Warriors need in this iteration of the team -- being in the right spot defensively and using his athleticism to be a rim protector, while taking advantage of the gravity of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson with hard dives to the rim off the roll.

These are the things Wiseman could never get even close to mastering -- sure, the elements of ball-handling and shooting were tantalizing for a player his size, yet they weren't what Golden State required around their veteran core.

The pain of the Wiseman pick will always burn bright for fans, Myers and the rest of the franchise. However, if Dunleavy has truly nabbed a potential starting caliber center almost out of nowhere, then that will alleviate some of the pain and angst felt by the Wiseman miss.