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NBA Rumors: Warriors May Draft Onyeka Okongwu Instead Of James Wiseman

(via USC Athletics)

(via USC Athletics)

The Golden State Warriors have a big decision to make this summer. As they look to return to Championship contending form, a number of roster changes are imminent.

For them, everything will center around their upcoming 2020 Draft pick. With their chance of landing a top pick looking strong, they could use it to draft a prospect with the hope he'll develop, or draft a prospect to trade him for a more established (and proven) veteran.

Whatever the case, they'll have to pick the right guy first. And, according to Connor Letourneau, all indications are pointing towards them picking up USC's Onyeka Okongwu.

Believe it or not, the Warriors are actually higher on Southern Cal’s Okongwu than James Wiseman. If they end up taking a big man in the top five, it’ll almost definitely be the 6-foot-9 Okongwu. His game is well-suited for the Warriors’ style. Unlike Wiseman, Okongwu can shuttle between multiple positions with ease.

If the Warriors get the No. 4 or 5 pick, they’ll definitely consider Okongwu. I think that, for a 19-year-old, he has a relatively high floor. He has All-Star potential, but, at worst, he projects as a solid NBA starter for years to come. That’s great value in what’s widely considered a weak draft.

A lot of scouting reports recognize Okongwu's potential but many aren't nearly as high on him as the Warriors seem to be. In fact, one report by the Stepien suggests it is "unlikely" that he is deserving of a top-10 selection.

A few of the areas where there are question marks–P&R defense, post-up potency versus physical/aggressive defenses, perimeter-oriented skills–are indeed areas that are especially relevant at the next level due to prototypical NBA schemes. Onyeka presents an option as a relatively “safe” pick with bankable rotation player equity, and his rim protection is certainly some of the best you’ll find in the draft, but it seems unlikely that he is deserving of a top-10 selection.

Still, it seems his game as an athletic, rim-protecting big is exactly what the Warriors are looking for. We'll see what choice they make when the time comes.