Warriors could give up ideal first-round pick that would have filled huge roster flaw

Penn State v Indiana
Penn State v Indiana / David Berding/GettyImages

Outside of the almost impossible fortune of landing in the top four of the lottery, the Golden State Warriors will give up their first-round selection to the Portland Trail Blazers in this year's NBA Draft.

The Warriors gave up the pick to get off from Andre Iguodala's contract in 2019, though they wouldn't have envisaged it resulting in a lottery pick after winning a championship just two years ago. While this years draft class isn't considered a strong one, it's still a frustrating element for the franchise that only adds to the disappointment of their playoff absence.

The Portland Trail Blazers could use the Golden State Warriors' first-round pick on a player that would fill a major flaw on the latter's roster

In the most recent update of this year's mock draft, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman has the Trail Blazers using the Warriors' pick (likely 14th overall) on 7'0" big man Kel'el Ware out of Indiana.

The Sophomore averaged 15.9 points on a highly efficient 58.6% from the floor and 42.5% from three-point range, with Ware's combination of size and shooting ability making him an intriguing prospect in the first-round.

"It seems like Kel'el Ware can only rise during a pre-draft process that will highlight his outstanding measurements, athleticism and comfort level shooting threes."

Jonathan Wasserman

Ware also averaged 9.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and nearly two blocks in his 32.1 minutes per game, having transferred from Oregon to fill the starting center role vacated by now Warrior big man Trayce Jackson-Davis.

Having been compared to Milwaukee Bucks' center Brook Lopez, there's irony in the fact that Ware's skillset would fit a major need for the Warriors who lack a shooting big next to Draymond Green.

As impressive as Jackson-Davis was in his rookie year, the lack of spacing between he and Green remains a big question mark heading into next season. Then there's Jonathan Kuminga -- Golden State's most exciting young player -- who does his best work in the paint and who still has concerns on his jumpshot.

ESPN's Bobby Marks outlined the need for "a stretch 4 who can complement Green" in his offseason guide for the Warriors. While Ware may be a center, the 20-year-old would nonetheless fit the bill as someone who could add much needed shooting in the frontcourt.

Alas, Golden State won't have access to Ware, nor any other prospects in the first-round unless they make a trade or get extraordinarily lucky in the lottery. So as far as adding a stretch big, the Warriors may need to look at trade or free agent targets in what's sure to be a busy offseason for Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the front office.