No, the Warriors didn’t win the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, that was New Orleans. But Golden State is perhaps as happy as any team in the league after it received the No. 7 pick in Wednesday’s draft lottery.
That meant the Warriors’ first-round pick won’t be traded to Utah. That meant rookie general manager Bob Myers will have a major asset to work with this offseason as he attempts to bolster Golden State’s roster.
“One part of the excitement was not losing the pick,” Myers said in a conference call. “In addition to that, it gives us four picks for the draft, which is a really great position to be in as a far as flexibility. The things you can do with that many assets is exciting for our organization.”
The Warriors, who had a 12.6 percent chance of moving up, weren’t bothered at all that they didn’t land a top-three pick. Charlotte got the No. 2 pick and Washington will pick third. The Warriors are just happy they didn’t fall out of the top seven, which would have given that pick back to Utah.
Myers stressed the Warriors’ work is only beginning. But the Warriors now have a ton of options. They have pick Nos. 7, 30, 36 and 52. They also have a $4.1 million expiring contract in small forward Dorell Wright.
Golden State will be active on the trade market. Myers said he doesn’t want to draft four more rookies, so the Warriors will be looking to consolidate picks to move up or parlay picks into veteran talent.
The Warriors could use the No. 7 slot to fill a hole (they need an upgrade at starting small forward, a backup big man, a veteran scorer off the bench, a backup shooting guard).
The Warriors will workout as many players as they can in the coming weeks, Myers said. But he acknowledged the strength of the draft is at the forward spot. Several of the players in the Warriors’ wheelhouse are small and power forwards: North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Baylor’s Perry Jones III, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Kentucky’s Terrence Jones.
But Golden State could also try to move up in the draft. If the Warriors can get into the top four, they’d have a crack at some of the draft’s elite players, such as Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson or Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal.
The Warriors will also explore using the No. 7 pick to get a veteran. The Warriors’ starting lineup – which is already set at four positions with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut _ is in desperate need of athleticism and experience. So Golden State may not want to give such a prime position to a rookie.
Golden State has long since had interest in Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, who is exactly the playmaking athlete the Warriors need at small forward. Other small forwards high on their list, according to league sources, are Portland’s Nick Batum, Indiana’s Danny Granger and Memphis’ Rudy Gay. And don’t be surprised if the Warriors make a play for Atlanta forward Josh Smith.
Trading the No. 7 pick for a veteran wouldn’t rule out the Warriors’ filling a need with a rookie from this year’s draft. The Warriors could potentially move up using their other three picks and have a shot at Illinois center Meyers Leonard, St. Bonaventure power forward Andrew Nicholson or maybe even Kentucky’s Jones (who some mocks have falling out of the lottery).
“I think we’re going to explore consolidating, looking at various trade possibilities,” Myers said. “And that’s the nice thing about having the assets that we have going into this draft. You get in a room with guys like Jerry West, myself, our coaches, now we have the ability to put on the whiteboard endless possibilities as to what we can do. And that’s a good feeling.”