CLEVELAND, Ohio — With the NBA set to return in July, the Golden State Warriors’ season is officially over.
The league’s Board of Governors approved a format Thursday where 22 teams will go to Orlando to play eight regular season games for seeding and then start the playoffs, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Warriors will not be one of the 22 teams in the group. The league is slated to resume play July 31.
Per Wojnarowski, the draft lottery is now scheduled for Aug. 25; the draft will take place Oct. 15.
Despite the lack of a clear No. 1 pick, Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman sit atop the class. The lottery order isn’t set, but the Golden State Warriors currently have the league’s worst record and a 14% chance to earn the No. 1 pick.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
2019-20 record and conference standing: 15-50, 15th in the West
Where they might pick: Since the Warriors have the worst record, they can’t draft anywhere lower than the fifth pick.
Starters right now: Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Marquese Chriss, Damion Lee, Andrew Wiggins
Key free agents this summer: None
Team needs: The Warriors aren’t a typical bottom-tier team, with their lack of success this season largely because of injuries to Curry and Klay Thompson. Still, they are a team filled with youth, with their current average age being 25. Still, the Warriors have a successful veteran core in Curry, Thompson and Green, which should when healthy lift them back to relevancy in the West.
A young combo forward or hybrid four-man would assist the Warriors. Enter former Dayton star Obi Toppin. Toppin’s athleticism, scoring ability and capable shooting could be beneficial for the Warriors’ offense, which emphasizes heavy motion and off-ball actions.
Last season with the Flyers, Toppin averaged 20.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and shot 39.0% from the 3-point line.
Toppin could be similar to Chriss, who has solidified himself as the Warriors’ best rim runner. According to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports Bay Area, Toppin’s parents recently said their son wants to play in Golden State.
The Warriors have an offense in which most players can thrive. Toppin has shades of Amar’e Stoudemire in his game, and his jumper is better. The Dayton product could be a good fit for the Warriors.
How the Warriors’ needs affect the Cavs: The Cavs already have a hybrid forward/big man in Larry Nance Jr., so a player like Toppin is not a pressing need.
The Cavs are in a position where they should still pick the best player available – they have the second-worst record in the league. Still, their pick should not be a traditional guard such as Anthony Edwards, Killian Hayes or Tyrese Maxey. Cleveland is already developing Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.
Cleveland’s top draft need is a wing who can make plays in the halfcourt. That same wing should also have solid defensive potential. Before the season was suspended, the Cavs were last in opponent field goal percentage and 25th in opponent 3-point field goal percentage, per NBA.com stats.
Wings who can switch on the perimeter, and even occasionally guard bigs, are highly coveted in today’s NBA.
The Cavs have a good chance of earning a top three pick, so picking a wing there would be a reach. If they have the fifth pick for example, though, players on their radar should be Isaac Okoro and Deni Avdija.