Golden State ultimately will send the Thunder two draft picks, one of which no matter what is a 2021 second-rounder via the Denver Nuggets.
The second pick is contingent upon how the Warriors perform this season.
If the Dubs finish with one of the top 10 records in the league — meaning their pick lands in the No. 21 to No. 30 range — their selection conveys to the Thunder.
But if the pick ends up in the top 20, they keep it. And instead will send OKC the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ 2021 second-rounder.
So where do things stand?
If the season ended today, the Warriors would have the No. 21 overall pick — which means they would be forced to ship it to the Thunder.
That obviously would be somewhat of a bummer, but it wouldn’t be a disaster for two reasons:
1) The Warriors would be in the playoffs (albeit, they’re the No. 7 seed right now so they’d have to win one play-in game), and that is a good thing.
2) The Warriors would keep that T-Wolves second-round pick, which is projected to be No. 31 overall (definitely holds legit value).
You might be asking yourself — how is Golden State in seventh place in the Western Conference, yet has one of the top 10 records?
Well, that’s because several Eastern Conference teams are underperforming.
The Warriors and Bucks have the same record (16-13), yet Milwaukee is in 3rd place in the East and Golden State is in 7th place in the West.
We all thought that would be the case after the Christmas Day blowout, right?!
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) February 19, 2021
The Warriors currently have a better record than the Boston Celtics (14-14), Toronto Raptors (14-15) and Miami Heat (12-17). And even the Indiana Pacers (15-14) haven’t quite met expectations.
So if you’re a Golden State, it makes perfect sense to root for those teams to start racking up the wins.
Perhaps the ideal (and most plausible) result this season is for the Dubs to snag the No. 6 seed in the West, and have six teams in the East finish with better records.
If that scenario comes to fruition, the Warriors would end up with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2021 draft.
Yes, there is a world in which Golden State gets extremely hot, grabs the No. 4 seed and happily coughs up their first-rounder to the Thunder.
But that seems pretty unlikely at this point.
However, we are in the midst of an unprecedented season and you probably shouldn’t be shocked by anything — unless the Warriors somehow lose to the Orlando Magic on Friday night, because that should not happen.
Enjoy the game everybody, and have fun analyzing (and stressing over) the standings on a daily basis.