Warriors—yes, the Warriors—among early leaders for 2020 No. 1 draft pick

Draymond Green and Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors talk during a game.
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Ricky Dimon

NBA· 1 year ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The Golden State Warriors have the inside track on the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

Well, it would be more accurate to say they have one of the inside tracks on the No. 1 pick. After all, the team with the worst record in the league no longer gets the absolute most ping-pong balls in the pot. The three worst teams now have the best chance. Whatever the case, it often pays off to be bad. And the Warriors are certainly that this season, what with Kevin Durant gone, Klay Thompson out for the year, and Stephen Curry likely sidelined until at least February.

Let’s take a look at some of the league’s bottom-feeders who appear to be in the running for the likes of James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball, Cole Anthony, and Anthony Edwards.

Golden State Warriors

Golden State is a horrendous 3-14 as of Saturday afternoon. No other team in the association has more than 11 losses. Head coach Steve Kerr’s squad ended an eight-game losing streak by beating Memphis on Tuesday only to follow that up with a 48-point setback against Dallas. The Warriors’ main rotation features a motley crew consisting of Eric Paschall, Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III, Damion Lee, Jordan Poole, and Ky Bowman.

New York Knicks

The Knicks just barely missed out on Zion Williamson, instead settling for Duke teammate R.J. Barrett with the third selection. Barrett has not disappointed with 15.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Nonetheless, New York is still hopelessly short on talent—not to mention on competence in the front office—and has predictably struggled to the tune of a 4-11 record. Barrett and company on Saturday will hope to pick up a fifth victory at the expense of San Antonio, perhaps the most underachieving team this season at 5-11. Check out our free NBA predictions for that game and throughout the 2019-20 campaign.

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James ain’t walkin’ through that door. John Beilein did walk through the door, but a change in the head coaching rankings is not doing much to change the win-loss column. The Cavaliers are 4-11 and have lost six straight contests, dropping their last four all by at least 18 points. They lost to the Mavericks by 42 points on Friday. It is not Beilein’s fault, of course, as veterans Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson are by no means capable of carrying an otherwise young roster.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Gone are the days when Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony donned the blue and orange. The current cast of characters in Oklahoma City includes Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and Hamidou Diallo. Chris Paul and Steven Adams are nice veterans to have around, but this is without question one of the worst rosters in the association. A 5-10 record right now is actually not too bad by Thunder standards.

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