The Golden State Warriors have selected Brandin Podziemski with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Podziemski . He was not initially considered a surefire NBA prospect, and he spent his freshman season averaging just 1.4 points per game for the University of Illinois. He transferred to Santa Clara from there, though, and immediately thrived. He averaged 19.9 points per game and hit 43.8% of his 3-pointers last season, and now, he’s headed to Golden State.
Podziemski’s best trait is his shooting, which the Warriors are obviously known for. However, he provided plenty of other things offensively at Santa Clara. He can handle the ball and create shots both for himself and others, and that should make him an instant fit in Golden State’s cerebral offense. His long-term defensive ability is a question mark, but he brings so much to the table on offense that he should be able to contribute quickly.
The Warriors tried to defend their 2022 championship last season, but ultimately fell short by falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. That kicked off on offseason that is expected to bring meaningful change in Golden State. Former general manager Bob Myers stepped down earlier this month, and franchise cornerstone Draymond Green has opted out of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The movement in Golden State has now seemingly culminated with the swap of Jordan Poole for Chris Paul, firmly cementing the team’s emphasis on the present rather than the future.
That makes the draft a fairly important source of cheap talent for Golden State. With Paul replacing Poole, the Warriors will still have five players making very significant salaries if they find a way to keep Green. That means they will have to use their draft picks on young players that can fit in and play roles for them immediately, because they won’t have the money to sign veterans to do so for more than the minimum.
With the Warriors expected to lose Donte DiVincenzo in free agency, Podziemski could have a chance to play right away for a Warriors team that has Stephen Curry and Chris Paul around to create shots for teammates. A rookie couldn’t ask for a better situation.