NBA Draft: Warriors prefer Tyrese Haliburton, opening door for Knicks on LaMelo Ball

The New York Knicks could find a trading partner in the draft to select LaMelo Ball.

As 22 teams around the league prepare to resume the 2019-20 season in a bubble-like atmosphere in Orlando, Florida, the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors are two teams already thinking about the 2020 NBA draft.

While both teams await to learn where they will ultimately pick in the draft, a new report by the San Francisco Chronicle says the Warriors have Tyrese Haliburton ranked as the number one point guard on their board, ahead of both LaMelo Ball and Killian Hayes.

This could open the door for the Knicks, who reportedly have LaMelo Ball ranked as their top point guard in the draft. In order to select Ball, a prospect most mocks have slated to go within the first few picks, New York, who has a 50.4% chance of falling to 7th or 8th from the lottery, might need to find a trading partner, such as Golden State.

The Knicks will enter the NBA lottery – which has been rescheduled to August 25 – with the 6th best odds to land the first overall pick, but only a 37.2% chance of selecting within the top 4 picks. Meanwhile, Golden State, with the worst record in the NBA, have the highest lottery odds, equating into a 14% chance at the first pick (compared to 9% for the Knicks), and a 52.1% chance of landing in the top 4.

What does all of this mean? It tells us the Warriors have a better chance of picking toward the top of the draft where point guard prospect LaMelo Ball will likely be selected. It also tells us that if both Golden State and New York end up with high lottery picks, it’s possible Ball could fall to the Knicks.

If they land with the first overall pick, the Warriors would likely select Georgia stand-out Anthony Edwards, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But they would consider Haliburton if they fall between two and five, which tells us they currently aren’t enamored with Ball.

Warriors president Bob Myers has already indicated that he would “consider” trading down in the draft, so all options are open. Obviously, there is a lot of time between now and draft day, with teams still hoping to hold in-person workouts whenever it is safe enough to do so. Things can change. But interesting to watch Golden State’s draft preferences as it relates to the Knicks.

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