NBA Draft: Lottery result a painful but necessary outcome for Warriors

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

When the Golden State Warriors traded Andre Iguodala and a first-round pick to free up cap space in 2019, the franchise would have hoped to steer clear of it resulting as a lottery selection.

Yet that's exactly what happened at Sunday's NBA Draft Lottery as the Warriors' pick predictably conveyed as the 14th overall. It's now in the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers following a string of trades between teams since that initial deal five years ago.

While painful and disappointing right now, Sunday's lottery outcome was a necessary one for the Golden State Warriors

Giving up a lottery pick was never on the agenda for Golden State, but as painful as it is, it could have been a lot worse. The Warriors would have kept their pick had they jumped into the top four, meaning next year's first-round pick (top 1 protected) would almost assuredly have headed to the Trail Blazers.

The franchise will back itself to return to the playoffs after a 10th-placed finish in the West this season, but that's far from guaranteed given the young talent in the conference and the uncertainty surrounding Golden State's roster right now.

Giving up the 14th pick in what's considered a weak draft is a reasonable result when the Warriors could have run the risk of being at the peril of the lottery again next year, and without the protections they had this time around.

It's also a necessary outcome for the Warriors given the benefits they've already reaped from that 2019 deal. Again, giving up a lottery pick to get off a contract is in itself disheartening, but it did allow them to open the space to acquire D'Angelo Russell in the sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant.

If there's no Iguodala trade, there's no Russell. If there's no Russell, there's no Andrew Wiggins and the pick that resulted in Jonathan Kuminga. Without Wiggins, there's very likely no 2022 NBA championship. Finally, with no Kuminga the franchise would look far bleaker than what many consider it to be right now.

This is the cascading effect of the NBA trade and draft system, with Sunday's lottery result a disappointing one in the moment though a necessary one given its impact on the Warriors' most recent title.