The nature of the NBA draft lends itself to the ‘what if’ question. Years pass after the annual draft and franchises ask themselves why did they take Player A over Player B. The media reminds us of mistakes made during the draft. Reminders of how the Portland Trail Blazers took a guy named Sam Bowie instead of another guy named Michael Jordan.

The history of the NBA draft is loaded with stories of bad luck, failed risks and amazing surprises. Every franchise knows the feeling of a regrettable decision.

They say that hindsight is genius.

The Golden State Warriors have been living with that regretful feeling for the past few years. Even more so of late with the emergence of Anthony Edwards.

Yes, the Warriors can only watch from a distance as Edwards is earning the honor of being compared to Michael Jordan while representing the Minnesota Timberwolves instead of Golden State.

Edwards is the centerpiece of the Timberwolves roster, a roster that has emerged as a contender for this year’s NBA title. Thus far, Edwards is the story of the playoffs. Every team wishes they had him.

The ‘What If’ Game For Golden State

Anthony Edwards

Golden State is the one team that could have drafted Edwards in 2020. The Warriors chose 7-foot-1 center James Wiseman instead of Edwards. Wiseman is now a third string center for the lowly Detroit Pistons. Meanwhile, Golden State missed out on the playoffs.

Golden State had concerns that Edwards’ play could be inconsistent at times and that he was the star of a mediocre 16-16 Georgia Bulldogs team.

Fast forward to 2024. Edwards, who turns 23 in August, has appeared in two NBA All-Star Games and will be the youngest member of the Team USA roster chosen for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. He is a leader on a championship contender that features four veterans between the ages of 28 and 36. Timberwolves finished with the third-best record (56-26) in the Western Conference and fourth-best record in the league. They swept the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs and have a 2-0 lead over the defending champion Denver Nuggets in the conference semifinals.

If the Warriors could know then what they know now would they have chosen Edwards over Wiseman. They would have the man with the skills to take the torch from Steph Curry and keep them among the elite.

Instead, the Warriors can only accept their reality. Missed playoffs. A desire to regain contender status. And an offseason wondering what could have been.