The Warriors' Biggest Needs Heading Into the Draft

The Golden State Warriors season ended less than a week ago, but the quest to improve has just begun. 

The first order of business: selecting a draft prospect. The Warriors - who currently have two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft - are entering Thursday's event in unique peril. 

Their top two free agents - Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant - are expected to be out for the majority of next season, heightening the need for a rookie to make an impression right away. 

For now, here are Golden State's biggest needs entering Thursday's draft. 


Even if the Warriors re-sign Durant and Thompson re-sign this summer, shooting will be at a premium next season. Last year, aside from Thompson, Durant Stephen Curry and DeMarcus Cousins, no other Warriors shot averaged double figures in scoring. 

In recent drafts, Warriors general manager Bob Myers has opted to prioritize defense over scoring, including Patrick McCaw in 2016 and Jacob Evans in last year's draft. 

Last season, the defensive-minded Evans struggled from the field as he reworked his shooting form, making just 34 percent of his shots. 

Initial reports peg Thompson out at least until March and Durant for the rest of the season, taking away 47 points per night from Golden State's offense. With that in mind, a reliable shooter should be a focus in Thursday's draft.   

Big man

With DeMarcus Cousins not expected back next season and Andrew Bogut returning to Australia, the Warriors should be in the market for a starting big man. 

A year ago, the Warriors looked towards its young bigs Jordan Bell, Kevon Looney and Damian Jones to compete for the starting role until Cousins recovered from a torn Achilles. While Jones won the starting role out of training camp, a torn pectoral muscle ended his regular season, forcing Bell and Looney to alternate the role. 

This summer, Looney - Golden State's most reliable postseason big - will enter free agency for the second straight season. Meanwhile, there's a chance Jordan Bell won't be back if the Warriors don't exercise his $1.8 million qualifying offer. With that in mind, a frontcourt addition could be welcomed Thursday. 

A player that can contribute right away

Last season, Myers selected Evans with the hope that the former Cincinnati guard could contribute instantly. That didn't happen, as Evans averaged just 1.3 points, 0.8 rebounds in 0.8 last season as he struggled through injuries and a full reconstruction of his jump shot. 

As Evans struggled, undrafted forward Alfonzo McKinnie, Quinn Cook, and Shaun Livingston got the bulk of his minutes, leaving Evans to go down to the G-League to get playing time. 

While Evans remains in Golden State's plans going forward, the Warriors will need a key contributor with Durant and Thompson out. 

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