The Warriors began Thursday shocking the basketball world by reportedly agreeing to a blockbuster trade with the Washington Wizards that sends Jordan Poole out of Golden State and brings future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul to San Francisco.
General manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. followed the eye-popping move by staying local with his first draft pick in his new role.
The Warriors selected shooting guard Brandin Podziemski out of Santa Clara University with the No. 19 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
So, what does Podziemski bring to the Warriors in the immediate future? A skill the franchise always will covet. He shot 43.8 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore this past season on 5.8 attempts per game.
Podziemski has been one of the biggest risers throughout the pre-draft process, and the Warriors brought him in early on for a workout at Chase Center that clearly impressed a handful of decision makers. The Wisconsin native began his college career at Illinois where he played only 16 games as a freshman, averaging 1.4 points in 4.3 minutes per game.
A change of scenery couldn’t have gone much better for the left-hander.
His scoring averages jumped all the way up to 19.9 points per game for the Broncos on 14.4 field goal attempts per game. But he isn’t just a shooter. Podziemski also grabbed 8.8 rebounds per game and dished out 3.7 assists. He led the West Coast Conference in double-doubles with 13.
Dunleavy’s first pick in his new role should be in line for what is a clear win-now philosophy. Podziemski turns 21 years old in February, stands 6-foot-5 and is listed at 205 pounds. There of course are questions, like any prospect.
The biggest question for Podziemski is defense and if his slender frame will be exposed early in his career. More changes will be in store for the Warriors, and an expected one is Donte DiVincenzo opting out of his player option. Podziemski ideally can step in as a shooter off the bench as a rookie, and some already have compared his game to DiVincenzo’s for his innate hustle.
There can never be too much shooting on a roster, and the Warriors added one of the best in the draft class in the second half of the first round. This team still needs size, and Kris Murray could have added strength and the ability to stretch the floor. If Podziemski’s shot is that much more advanced and he isn’t a one-dimensional player, he’ll be well worth taking at No. 19 overall.
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