Golden State Warriors 2016 NBA Draft Board v2.0

June 1, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr (left) talks to general manager Bob Myers (right) during NBA Finals media day at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
June 1, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr (left) talks to general manager Bob Myers (right) during NBA Finals media day at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Golden State Warriors will look to find value with the 30th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but they may find it more beneficial to draft and stash a player overseas.

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Fresh off a Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors are likely still thinking about what exactly went wrong after being up 3-1 in the series, trying to find a way to rationalize how such a historical regular season could be flushed down the drain.

But with the NBA Draft coming up in just a couple days, it’s time for the team to stop overthinking about what they could have done, and now turn their attention to what they should do to ensure their future remains bright and their title window remains as wide open as possible.

I’ve written a couple of these articles regarding the draft already, the first of which can be found by clicking this link, and the second of which can be found by clicking this link. Each draft article has touched base on a number of guys I’ve found intriguing, guys that many analysts believed at the time of me writing each article would likely be available by the time the Warriors picked at 30.

The problem now: I wrote both articles with the expectation that I’d be at a parade right now celebrating the Golden State Warriors as the 2016 NBA Champions, and that they would be looking for a young, talented player to add to their NBA D-League team in Santa Cruz, CA.

So this article is going to be different: now that I’ve listed some late first round guys and subsequently provided a bit of insight as to how they would fit on the Warriors, I’ve proceeded to round out the field and now find myself at a two-way crossroad.

The first path the Warriors could take is to draft a guy fresh off his stint in the NCAA that’s looking to translate his game to the NBA. Guys like Diamond Stone, Ben Bentil, DeAndre Bembry, and Malcolm Brogdon coming in right away on a cheap contract and developing alongside Kevon Looney with the great staff in Santa Cruz would be the safest way to go.

However, with this rather traumatizing loss comes the sense that the Warriors would be better off looking for a veteran during the free agency period, which leads me to the second path. More than likely, this vet in question (another big name scorer, perhaps) would be coming in right away to replace Harrison Barnes.

To provide some context, many are aware that Barnes — after firing his agent and turning down a reasonable $64 million extension from Golden State last September — will likely be looking to make the most amount of money he possibly can in free agency. Safe to say that many fans aren’t exactly in love with the idea of giving Barnes a max contract.

And what I mean by that is Barnes’ Finals performance — highlighted by his 35.2 percent shooting from the field and 31.0 percent shooting from three — didn’t seal the deal in terms of securing a max deal with his incumbent team. Similar things can be said for Festus Ezeli, who is also likely to attract a number of teams as a restricted free agent despite having a tough postseason.

That said, it’s no secret Kevin Durant is on the Warriors’ free agent wish list, and if we are to believe the news coming out of the New York Daily News, the feeling may possibly be mutual.

If this the way the Warriors want to go — and I’d put all the smart money on betting it is — then it could be in Golden State’s interest to draft a guy like Zhou Qi in China or Juan Hernangomez in Spain, and stash him overseas as to avoid adding another salary. Such was suggested by’s Scott Howard-Cooper, and I agree with his reasoning.

If KD chooses to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder — which he likely will — then the Warriors will still have cap room to do with whatever they please. Nicolas Batum could be a possibility, Dwight Howard could be added onto that list, and per Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Dirk Nowitzki could be one of GSW’s targets.

The Warriors will have eight free agents to worry about, half of which are unrestricted. They also have to take Stephen Curry‘s upcoming free agency into account and (maybe) set aside money for when that comes up on the agenda.

The Warriors could stay the course, play it safe and trust the process by drafting a homegrown prospect, paying Barnes and Ezeli their money, keeping the band together and taking another shot at the title because Strength in Numbers

Related Story: Warriors Draft Board v1.5

OR they could go the draft-and-stash route, put together a complex string of trades to get return value on Barnes and/or Ezeli, then take a shot a Durant or Nowitzki.

And personally speaking, I’d regret not going after KD if I had the chance…but that’s just me.