The Warriors desperately need to nail this pick, or else they’ll be left praying that some perfect-fit veteran lands in their laps come July. The team simply cannot risk coming so close to failure next season because of a lack of depth.
Now, no rookie can come close to replacing Andre Iguodala in Golden State’s system, but the Warriors showed they can beat the league’s best without Iguodala in their Game 6 and 7 victories over the Rockets last weekend. But with Pat McCaw also out and Omri Casspi left off the playoff roster, there was no hope of consistently and effectively matching the Rockets’ small lineups until Chris Paul injured his hamstring.
Golden State will find next year’s Casspi and Nick Young in free agency (Wilson Chandler? Garrett Temple? Jamal Crawford?), but they would do well to invest at the wing position in the draft as well. That leaves them looking at an intriguing group of guys from 20-40 in the draft, the best of which just might be Williams.
Williams does a little bit of everything, but his best traits are his shooting, defense and playmaking. The junior shot 40 percent from distance this year, averaged nearly four assists per game and play excellent team defense thanks in large part to his 6-7 frame.
If Iguodala’s aging body fails him next May, or McCaw never gets right, or the Warriors fail to land a difference-maker in free agency, perhaps Williams is enough insurance to help them survive.