NBA Mock Draft: Warriors get major steal in taking breakout three-point shooter with 52nd pick

Colorado v Marquette
Colorado v Marquette / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Having officially given their first-round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Golden State Warriors will turn their focus to who may be available when they enter next month's NBA Draft at the 52nd pick.

Trayce Jackson-Davis has offered just the proof that a late second-round pick shouldn't be taken lightly, particularly for a team like the Warriors who are working on the financial margins while trying to do all they can to return to the playoffs.

A recent mock draft has the Golden State Warriors taking Colorado Buffaloes' guard KJ Simpson with the 52nd overall pick

In the latest mock draft following Sunday's lottery, The Sporting News' Kyle Irving has Golden State taking 6'2" guard KJ Simpson out of Colorado. After a couple of underwhelming seasons to start his collegiate career, Simpson broke out in year three to emerge as a second-round draft candidate with very real NBA potential.

Simpson shot less than 40% from the floor and less than 28% from three-point range in both his freshman and sophomore year, yet exploded to hold 48/43/87 shooting splits in his junior season. That helped him to averaged 19.7 points in 37 games for the Buffaloes, while adding 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Getting Simpson with the 52nd pick may be considered a steal given where he's evaluated in other mock drafts, with Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projecting him to go 33rd overall to the Milwaukee Bucks.

"While there will always be skeptics in undersized scoring guards, KJ Simpson demonstrated the type of craftiness, high-level shotmaking and competitiveness for teams to bet on a 6'2" guard overcoming some physical limitations. At least if the gamble only requires a pick in the late 20s or second round."

Jonathan Wasserman.

Wasserman compared Simpson to Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony, while The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor believes he has shades of former long-time NBA player George Hill, as well 2019 NBA champion Fred VanVleet. O'Connor currently has Simpson projected to go 41st overall to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Warriors' guard situation will be determined by what happens with Klay Thompson and Chris Paul this offseason, but nevertheless the franchise could certainly do with more three-point shooting that Simpson may be able to provide.