Steve Kerr recently spoke about what he’s hoping the Golden State Warriors get out of the NBA Draft
For the first time in several years, the Golden State Warriors have a lottery pick in the NBA Draft. After making the playoffs in seven straight seasons, going to the NBA Finals in five straight years (winning three) the luck ran out.
Kevin Durant left and the injury bug reared its ugly head for the Warriors, forcing them into the league’s worst record at the NBA’s suspension and the best odds (along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves who share the same odds, currently) at the top overall pick.
Golden State’s pick if the season does not resume will land no worse than fifth overall.
Their official position will be determined by the Draft Lottery, which normally takes place in mid-May but will now be delayed until there is clarity on the end of the regular season.
As far as what the Warriors will be looking for in the draft, there are mixed signals. The team certainly could trade its pick for great talent right now, or they could set themselves up for many years of success by landing a lottery pick to develop underneath Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Stephen Curry.
Steve Kerr on the Flying Coach With Steve Kerr and Pete Carroll podcast recently spoke about what he hopes the Warriors come out of the draft with:
"“To be perfectly blunt we need an infusion of young talent,” Kerr said. “We’ve been picking 28, 29th, 30th, and I think that’s one area where the NBA Draft is very different from the NFL Draft, it’s possible to find an All-Star caliber player in the second round, or late in the first, but it’s unlikely.”"
The Warriors have selected Kevon Looney, Damian Jones, Jacob Evans, and Jordan Poole with their first-round picks over the last several years. Some of them are solid players but don’t move the needle much for Golden State.
The late first and second round can, indeed, be murky waters. The team has missed on the opportunity to select Montrezl Harrell, Malcolm Brogdon and Devonte’ Graham in recent years.
Kerr, too, is preparing for the second round as well, with a larger pool of players given the uncertain nature of the later rounds.
"“We have a pool of probably 10, 12 guys who our front office has given me, 10 or 12 guys to study. We’re looking at that for the first pick and we have two picks in the second round based on a trade that we made this past season, there will be a pool of another 20, 25 guys and so we have scouts, you know, just like you guys do who are out watching all season long and they’re kind of whittling it down and trying to narrow it down so we can make the selection a little bit easier.”"
One of those players he’s been looking at in the pool of players for the first pick is likely James Wiseman, who the Warriors are rumored to have at the top of their draft board.
Kerr said that while he’s more involved in the draft process this year than ever before, Bob Meyers is still making the final call, though Kerr’s opinion will be considered heavily along with the scouts out in the field doing talent evaluation all year long.
Even if the Warriors plan on trading the pick, they should and will prepare as if they will make a selection so that they can make the best and most informed decision. Banking on a trade would be unwise, given that some teams may be timid to make a deal in this year’s draft.
It’s unlikely that teams are able to conduct in-person player evaluations at practice facilities as they usually do, meaning teams might not want to gamble on players in the lottery. The Warriors may not get good value for their pick even if they hope to trade it.
Golden State will likely make out with a nice trade package or a solid young player to add to their core on draft night, whenever it ends up being.
It’s likely we don’t get news on how the NBA will carry out the NBA Draft for some time. First on the docket is figuring out how to close the regular season, and then completing the draft lottery to establish the order of the first 14 picks of the draft. Kerr and the Warriors will have plenty of time to be well researched and to come prepared for the draft, wherever their pick may land.