This is a series of reviews of published mock drafts. Why do this now, when we don’t even know which pick numbers the Warriors will have?
We are not looking for a precise prediction of draft order. This is a good chance to see the range of players that draft experts think GSW should be drafting outside of the Top 5.
There is an overwhelmingly vast chance that the Warriors will have at least one pick at #6 or below. There is near complete consensus on who the Top 5 should be (Cade, Mobley, Suggs, Green, Kuminga) and zero consensus on who the #6 pick should be.
Now you might think the Warriors are going to trade the picks to get immediate help for next season. I kind of think this too. However, it’s impossible to evaluate a trade and its opportunity cost without looking at what the draft picks might net you.
So without further ado, this mock draft is from Jeff Goodwin, Stadium on June 4.
#6 Keon Johnson
6-5, 185, G, Fr., Tennessee
Jeff Goodwin: This pick stays with Minnesota if the T-Wolves wind up in the top three in the lottery. If not, it goes to Golden State due to the D’Angelo Russell-Andrew Wiggins deal. Johnson is an elite defender and a big-time athlete who will need to become a better shooter. He improved as his freshman season went along, but Johnson’s numbers certainly won’t blow anyone away. Think Avery Bradley — on the low end.
2020-21 Stats: 11.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 27% 3-pointers
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40: Archie Goodwin, Dejounte Murray, Scottie Barnes, Trevor Ariza, Ziaire Williams, Al-Farouq Aminu, Gerald Wallace, Tony Wroten, Lance Stephenson
Advanced: Archie Goodwin, Dejounte Murray, Jaylen Brown, Jaden McDaniels, Nico Mannion, Marquis Teague, Troy Brown, Tony Wroten, Ziaire Williams,
NBA Draft Room Comp: Jaylen Brown
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: He's the type of high-upside prospect who could really return great value. Overall, he's still in need of some zest and seasoning on offense. And I'm not convinced he would command big minutes right away. But he's athletically gifted as a vertical leaper with tons of promise after showing some impressive stuff on tape as a creator and on the defensive side of the ball.
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: An elite athlete, Johnson has the kind of twitch and explosion most players only dream of possessing. At 6-foot-5, he can jump out of the gym and has real burst as a driver. He’s also an elite defender on the ball already, where he uses that length and quickness to really cause issues for players at the one through three spots. He’s just very raw on offense right now. The jumper needs work, as he’s essentially a non-shooter right now — at least efficiently. He also needs to work on his handle and driving ability. But once Tennessee let him loose late in the season, Johnson was pretty good. He averaged 14.4 points, four rebounds and three assists over his final 12 games, including a bevy of impressive highlights that showcase what his upside is if he can keep rounding out his game.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Latrell Sprewell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Gary Harris
Explosive athlete with raw skills who flashes the ability to someday become an excellent go-to scorer.
Accelerates like a Tesla, with fluid change of direction and the explosiveness to launch up to the rim.
Already a force as a straight-line driver and has long-term upside to be a threatening pick-and-roll scorer if his ballhandling skills improve.
Lean but has the frame to add muscle. He could live at the free throw line as he gets stronger and his skills improve.
Active on-ball defender who displays good technique and aggressiveness fighting through screens and moving laterally to stay in front of opposing lead guards. At his size and length, he projects to be versatile.
Instinctual off-ball defender who’s impactful in the passing lanes. Will try to take charges and will crash the boards.
Already a lottery-caliber prospect despite not playing organized basketball full-time until high school.
Inconsistent shooter who needs to tweak his mechanics and extend his range. Has a slight hitch in his release, which might be the cause of his dry spells. Fixing it could also help with his ability to hit 3s: He lived in the midrange and didn’t make a single pull-up 3 all season.
Needs to tighten his handle and add more advanced moves to maximize his clear upside as a shot creator. A lot of his moves need to be quicker.
Shaky decision-maker at this stage—too often over-dribbles himself into traffic, leading to sloppy turnovers.
#14. Corey Kispert
6-7, 220, F, Sr., Gonzaga
Jeff Goodwin: Kispert has the size and can shoot the hell out of the ball. He struggled against Baylor’s athletic guards in the national title game, but his length and shooting are enough to get him drafted in the teens, especially by a franchise that values perimeter shooting as much as the Warriors.
2020-21 Stats: 18.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 44% 3-pointers
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40. Marcus Denmon, John Jenkins, Tyler Harvey, Doug McDermott, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Steve Novak, C.J. Wilcox, Justin Harper
Advanced. John Jenkins, Aaron Nesmith, Trey Murphy III, Erik Murphy, Justin Harper, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Marcus Denmon, Dylan Windler
NBA Draft Room Comp: Martell Webster, Joe Harris
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: Maybe the best shooter in the class. Kispert has quiet shot mechanics in the best possible way, shooting 53 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3 this past season while averaging 19 points per game for the nearly undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. He’s going to shoot the hell out of the ball, and he’s going to make elite decisions. The questions come on defense. NBA teams have started to really question Kispert’s footspeed and whether he’ll be able to keep up at the next level. I personally have him a bit higher than this on my board, but anywhere from No. 10 to 20 sounds right.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Harris, Gary Trent Jr.
Heady, competitive player who can drain 3-pointers and find ways to help a team win.
Elite shooter both off the catch and the dribble. Quick release from all over the floor. A potential 50-40-90 player.
Creates simple shots for himself. With the ball, he can throw a pump fake then score by attacking closeouts. Without the ball, he has the awareness to find open space for jumpers or cuts to the rim.
Helps facilitate the flow of the offense by making smart, rapid reads.
Reliable, hard-nosed positional defender who puts himself in the right spots, whether in off-ball help situations or in man-to-man matchups.
Strong work ethic, which resulted in massive improvements in each of his four college seasons.
Lacks the handle or athleticism to be a lead ball handler; even in his limited role, he hasn’t displayed a ton of advanced abilities shooting off the dribble.
Can improve lateral quickness on defense to stay in front of opposing guards.
I don’t know about this. Keon Johnson also doesn’t seem to help the win-now window, and Corey Kispert is super polarizing. Is he Steve Novak? Is he Klay Thompson? He seems to be a decent bet to contribute right away, at least filling Mychal Mulder’s role, and maybe worth a flyer at #14 as the best shooting prospect in the draft.