After two straight years of being in the lottery, the Golden State Warriors will only have one late first-round pick this season, and with the 27th pick, they select Nebraska’s Bryce McGowens.
The Warriors are in a bit of an awkward spot; while they will still more than likely find themselves competing late in the playoffs as soon as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are all healthy, they have also managed to acquire a few good young pieces over the past couple of years in James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody.
While they could certainly try and find an NBA role player that could contribute to a winning team immediately, I think there’s a chance they keep building on that young core they’ve put together. I had the Warriors selecting McGowens in the first version of my mock draft and I feel comfortable doing the same here.
Selecting McGowens 27th overall could be a good long-term play for the Warriors if they believe in his upside. While Nebraska hasn’t been very good this season, McGowens has certainly been a bright spot for them and has shown some flashes of his highly anticipated scoring upside. At 6’7”, he has good length for a scoring wing, is one of the better free-throw shooters on this list of players (and shoots a lot of them), and is a better 3-point shooter than his stats may suggest.
A disciplined team like the Warriors would be a good place for him to play alongside a group of hyper-athletic young players and learn from one of the better defenders in the league in Draymond Green. At 27th overall, I think he’ll be difficult for many teams to pass up.