ESPN Mock Draft: Warriors take high-upside center as potential steal in second-round

NBA G League Fall Invitational - Perth Wildcats v G League Ignite
NBA G League Fall Invitational - Perth Wildcats v G League Ignite / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors haven't had the greatest fortune in developing young big men over recent seasons, though that didn't turn them away from drafting Trayce Jackson-Davis with the 57th pick last year.

After four years of college at Indiana, Jackson-Davis was a ready-made rookie who had a significant impact on the Warriors over the second half of the season. But what if Golden State takes a raw prospect this time around? Someone who's likely to need far more development.

ESPN's latest mock draft has the Golden State Warriors taking 18-year-old Spaniard Izan Almansa with their second-round pick

The Warriors have the 52nd pick heading into next month's draft, with ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo predicting them to take 6'10 forward-center Izan Almansa in their most recent mock draft.

Almansa played with the G League Ignite this season, averaging 11.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 27.6 minutes per game. The 18-year-old shot 55.6% from the floor and 20% from three-point range on limited attempts, with his stocks taking a hit after previously being seen as a potential lottery pick according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor.

Even still, Almansa has some NBA qualities that could make him a rotation player in time. The Spanish international may be particularly intriguing to the Warriors given his ability to pass and score from post-ups, something the franchise may find alluring considering the frequency of their split action.

"Strong elbow and post playmaker with the ability to handle double-teams and locate shooters and cutters. His NBA team could use him in dribble handoffs since he can also dribble to the basket or turn his back into post-ups."

Kevin O'Connor

The issue for Almansa may be on the defensive side of the floor where he's not considered a shot-blocker, can often get overpowered, and isn't a stopper on the perimeter -- all of which are outlined by O'Connor.

Does that place him as a 'tweener' at the NBA level? Has the offensive skillset of a center but isn't actually big enough to viably play the position? Ironically that may be the issue Golden State have with their current Spanish big man in Usman Garuba who was signed to a standard deal late in the season after being on a two-way contract.

If the Warriors were to draft Almansa as a longer-term prospect, expect that he too would be headed for a two-way contract with most of his time spent developing in the G League with Santa Cruz.