The major saving grace from Warriors first-round draft absence

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets
Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets / Tim Warner/GettyImages

For the first time since 2017, the Golden State Warriors will enter an NBA Draft without a first-round pick. It's an unfamiliar position for the franchise, one born from a 2019 trade that sent Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies to free up cap space for the incoming D'Angelo Russell.

Since 2018, the Warriors have taken Jacob Evans, Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Brandin Podziemski as first-round picks.

While that run of first-round picks will come to an end barring a surprising trade, this appears the draft to miss out on given the relatively weak nature of it according to most experts.

The weak nature of this year's draft is a major saving grace from the Golden State Warriors absence in the first-round

Unlike last year where Victor Wembanyama was an enormous, generational prize at the top of the draft, there's no consensus first overall pick which lessens the value of the Atlanta Hawks' extraordinary jump to pole position.

But even for those in the remainder of the lottery who had picks owed to other teams, there was far less of a care factor than there may have been in other years, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe.

"In the weeks leading to Sunday, even officials from teams who stood to potentially lose their first-round picks depending on the luck of the draw -- the Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors among them -- seemed indifferent to the results."

Zach Lowe

In a recent episode of the Bill Simmons podcast, The Ringer's Ryen Russillo shared that he'd been told by one team that having the first pick this year's was the equivalent to having the seventh or eighth pick in a normal draft.

While Golden won't enter next month's draft until late in the second-round at 52nd overall, fans can sleep easier knowing that the franchise may not be missing out on the same level of talent as previous years.

The Warriors hold the remainder of their future first-round picks outside a 2030 top 20 protected selection owed to the Washington Wizards. The franchise could well use their future draft capital in a trade this offseason as they hunt a big-name player to partner Stephen Curry.