Pac-12 Stud Perfect Warriors Draft Newcomer

The Golden State Warriors have now invited two dozen young players to training sessions to prepare for the 2024 NBA Draft. They have found one who fits their team's needs perfectly: Arizona wing Pelle Larsson.

Larsson began his college career with the Utah Utes and transferred to Arizona after his freshman year. Since then, he has been named Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year (2022) and All-Pac-12 selection (2024). While he is not the most accomplished prospect in the draft, he has consistently played an important role in this powerhouse program.

With the number 52, the Warriors can hardly find anything better than the Swedish sharpshooter.

Pelle Larsson in detail

Larsson's three-pointers are not particularly successful in terms of numbers. Although 40.1 percent of his field attempts came from beyond the three-point line, he averaged just 2.6 per game. His efficiency, however, is notable. He made at least 42 percent of his three-pointers in two seasons, and over the course of his career he made 39.7 percent of his threes.

On the other hand, Larsson regularly makes outstanding defensive plays due to his speed and activity. He doesn't block or steal many balls, but he makes players work for their points. While an event creator is always attractive, a defender who disrupts the rhythm or reduces the opponent's scoring chances can be just as valuable.

At 6'6″ and 215 pounds, he's ultimately a wing player who can provide Golden State with options.

Which wing will take off?

As the offseason begins, it is uncertain whether Klay Thompson or Andrew Wiggins will return in 2024-25.

Thompson is going through a midlife crisis and is troubled by his physical decline. He is expected to test free agency for the first time this season and could leave the Warriors in search of a better deal or a bigger role. Wiggins has now endured two difficult seasons since the Warriors acquired him from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since midseason, Wiggins has appeared in transfer rumors and could leave Golden State as well.

While the Warriors likely want to keep one or the other, they may be willing to part with both. Thompson is a naturally gifted outside shooter but is now a weak link on defense. Wiggins has become one of the team's better defenders, but his 3-point shooting dropped off in the 2023-24 season.

Signing Larsson and joining a roster of young perimeter shooters that also includes Brandin Podziemski and Moses Moody makes it much easier to let one or both veterans go.

Fast forward

Jonathan Kuminga has star potential. In fact, Kuminga is being portrayed as the future face of the franchise. The Warriors can use Draymond Green at center in the meantime, but they don't want to. Green can change a game as a point center, but he's not built to play center full-time, so he'll likely start at forward alongside Kuminga next season.

When you include Stephen Curry, that means three Warriors are projected to be starters next season. Until then, a player with 3-and-D skills has proven to be a good fit alongside the two-time MVP. Fast forward to the 2024-25 season, and whether it's Thompson, Wiggins, Podziemski, Moody or Larsson, that's the main role Curry's backcourt partner will play. However, given the ethos of the Warriors offense, Larsson's playmaking is also notable.