The Warriors reportedly are eyeing 7-foot-1 center Dereck Lively II in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft.
Golden State, which currently owns the No. 19 overall pick, likely would need to move up to select the Duke product. Per Action Network’s Matt Moore, the Warriors’ front office now led by new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. is willing to do so.
“The Hawks and Warriors are two teams that I’ve heard from multiple sources are interested in pursuing a pick to take Lively,” Moore reported Sunday. “It seems like it’s going to need to be at least 10th to get there.”
Lively, who struggled through the first couple months of his freshman season, wasn’t always considered so highly in the 2023 draft class. But The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie wrote Thursday that “few players have had a stronger pre-draft process than Lively.” He’s rising on many draft boards and is projected by most pundits to be a late lottery pick for his defensive abilities as a rim protector.
In 34 games with the Blue Devils, Lively proved to be one of college basketball’s best defenders while averaging 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game and shooting 65.8 percent from the field.
The Warriors could use a young, defensive-minded backup center after they traded former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman to the Detroit Pistons in February.
Now, what would the Warriors give up?
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported Wednesday, citing sources, that 20-year-old forward Jonathan Kuminga could be on the trade block for any deal the Warriors make to move up in the draft. Golden State likely would want more in a Kuminga trade than just to move up nine spots, but it’s something to monitor as Dunleavy operates in his first draft as the team’s general manager.