Remember this when reading the rest of this Golden State/NBA Draft story, or any draft story anywhere for the next few weeks: There is more smoke in the air around draft picks than at a Snoop Dogg concert right now. Everything is spin. Everyone is lying.
That disclaimer out of the way, the Golden State Warriors met with top international prospect Deni Avdija and came away impressed, reports Ethan Strauss at The Athletic.
By all accounts, it was a positive get together, one in which the 19-year-old Israeli impressed observers. Not only did Avdija perform well in the workouts, but Warriors officials were blown away after meeting with him. The universal takeaway was that he’s a “great kid” with an immense work ethic.
Golden State has the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft. They are looking to trade down, out of that spot. As we discussed on the latest PBT Podcast, the problem is there are not teams eager to trade up into the No. 2 spot because the top of this draft is considered unimpressive. The Warriors may not find a partner to dance with and may be forced to keep the pick. At that point, they are drafting No. 2.
Would the Warriors take Avdija at No. 2? Ahead of two of LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman?
The rumor of Golden State’s interest in Avdija is not new. He is a 6’9″ point forward who played last season for European power Maccabi Tel Aviv, but had a very limited role for them. He is reportedly a high-IQ player and a strong pick-and-roll ball-handler but needs to work on his shot. He can play some right away. He’s versatile and that’s the kind of player the Warriors target.
If the Warriors trade down into the five-to-seven range they might still land Avdija; any lower and he is likely off the board.
But the rumor that the Warriors want to draft Deni Avdija is gaining momentum around the league.