NBA Mock Draft: Warriors address major roster issue with 6'10" big man

Illinois v Wisconsin
Illinois v Wisconsin / John Fisher/GettyImages

Since the departure of Otto Porter Jr. in the 2022 offseason, the Golden State Warriors have been desperately searching for a stretch forward capable of adding a legitimate three-point threat in the frontcourt.

They added JaMychal Green in free agency ahead of last season, but that paid little dividend despite some brief moments in the playoffs. The Warriors also drafted Patrick Baldwin Jr. with a first-round pick in 2022, only for him to be traded to the Washington Wizards 12 months later.

Most recently, Golden State signed Dario Saric in what was viewed as a savvy free agent signing. The Croatian began the season well and was one of the franchise's most important players, yet has tapered off in recent months to the point of now being out of the rotation completely.

The Golden State Warriors could address their need for a stretch forward by taking Coleman Hawkins in the second-round of the NBA Draft

If the Warriors want to explore another avenue to finding a stretch big, they may look to this year's draft where they hold a late second-round pick expected to be in the mid 50's. In Bleacher Report's most recent mock draft following the NCAA Tournament, Jonathan Wasserman has Golden State taking Illinois forward Coleman Hawkins.

After shooting 36.9% from three-point range and adding nearly three assists per game, Hawkins' intriguing skillset has garnered a comparison to Cleveland Cavaliers forward Georges Niang according to Wasserman.

"While scouts have their reservations, he has their attention with a shoot-dribble-pass skill set that creates a valuable stretch-playmaking 4 archetype."

Jonathan Wasserman

Some aren't as convinced with the legitimacy of Hawkins' shooting, with the 22-year-old having shot less than 30% from beyond the arc in his first three years of college. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor suggests Hawkins' historical numbers "doesn't inspire much confidence in his long-term shooting upside."

Hawkins' passing ability could nonetheless be intriguing in the Golden State system, albeit O'Connor states he needs to cut down on his "careless passing" which seems like a pre-requisite for any Warrior player.

The 6'10" big man averaged 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.5 steals per game, though Hawkins had little impact in his team's final game against the eventual champion UConn Huskies.

The Warriors will have quite a wait until their first selection on draft night after trading their first-round pick (top four protected) to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019.