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Saturday, July 2, 2022

How does moving to other locations on NBA draft night affect the Warriors?

The Warriors only have a few days to bask in their fourth championship in eight years before the rest of the NBA officially starts working on knocking them off the mountain.

And while the Warriors haven’t had the quietest night among potential Western Conference contenders, some of them have clearly taken steps to topple the champions.

The Golden State selected Wisconsin-Milwaukee winger Patrick Baldwin Jr., a 19-year-old 6-foot-9 versatile winger, with the No. 28 pick in the first round. Although he struggled with injuries in his only college year, he was one of the best recruits to come out of high school and is considered a development project.

In the second round, the Warriors made a surprise trade with the Hawks, moving up from 51st to 44th, investing $2 million to make the trade go through and taking Toledo defenseman Ryan Rollins. The 20-year-old, soon to be 6ft 4ft but with a wingspan of 6ft 10in, was named to the Mid-Major All-America team this season. The Golden State used their second-round pick (55th overall) on Brazilian forward Guy Santos, who was most likely drafted.

Golden State has other issues to work out in its roster as it has a free hand and neither Baldwin nor Rollins are likely to go to training camp hoping to contribute to a title defense.

But as far as the teams chasing Golden State in the West, some of them made moves, and one in particular didn’t, that shook up their rosters. Here’s a rundown of what the top three teams in the Western Conference did on Thursday night:

Dallas Mavericks

While the series against the Warriors was a gentleman’s win, Dallas finished second in the West, so they get top marks in that scoring. And the Mavericks appeared to be quick to identify their biggest weakness, as before the Golden State played in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last Thursday, the Mavericks agreed to trade for Rockets major Christian Wood, sending four players who played less than 100 minutes together during the playoffs. run and 26th overall pick.

Wood is a forward who can shoot from outside (39% of three-point range last season) and can play smallball center against smaller lineups, as the Warriors used. Wood has some questions about his defense, as he’s not fast enough when facing faster attackers, and at 6’9 and 214 pounds, he’s not big enough to hit centers all the time.

The Mavericks also traded in the second round with the Kings and took defenseman Jalen Hardy, 6-foot-4, No. 39. Like Baldwin of the Warriors, Hardy was considered a prospect after graduating from high school, but the 19-year-old failed to defend and play consistently in the G League Ignite. However, he has many advantages, and some experts compare his marksmanship to Jordan Poole.

Memphis Grizzlies

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