One would think that as we get closer to the NBA draft, the Warriors would narrow their focus. But just a day before Thursday’s draft, it seems there are a million different ways the draft could play out.
A couple weeks ago, reports had the Warriors targeting Terrence Jones and Perry Jones. Then they worked out for the Warriors. That didn’t go well. Neither has been linked with the Warriors since.
In the last couple of days, I’ve read many names associated with the Warriors: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller.
There’s even talk of the Warriors trading the pick if the players they want are gone. If they trade down to the middle of the first round, Oakland Tribune’s Marcus Thompson thinks the Warriors could be targeting St. John’s small forward Moe Harkless, Washington’s Terrence Ross or Baylor’s Quincy Miller.
All are small forwards, which seems to be the one consensus among draft experts: The Warriors need an athlete with some size.
If they stay at No. 7, Gilchrist and Barnes fit that profile. But opinions differ about if either will actually fall into the Warriors laps. Thompson’s first mock draft released yesterday has MKG slipping to the Warriors, while ESPN’s Chad Ford and Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick both have the Kings snatching up Kidd-Gilchrist with the No. 5 overall pick.
Right now, Ford predicts that Drummond, the 7-foot center from Georgetown, will go to the Warriors. He adds, though, that the Warriors aren’t in love with him. Ford wrote he also wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors pass on Drummond and choose between Waiters, Zeller and Ross.
CSN Bay Area’s Matt Steinmetz reports that Warriors management flew to New York on Monday to watch Drummond work out, who never visited the Warriors in Oakland to show his talents.
General Manager Bob Myers conducted a chat with Warriors beat writers Tuesday and had this to say about Drummond:
A popular option was to trade the seventh pick for an established veteran like Andre Igoudala or Luol Deng. ESPNChicago reported that the Warriors and Bulls have had talks about Deng for the No. 7 pick, Dorrell Wright and Andris Biedrins. But the Chicago Tribune is citing a couple sources that say the two teams haven’t talked. The paper called it “a bad rumor that wont die.”
For all the commotion about tanking to keep the seventh pick due to the deep draft, there doesn’t appear to be a clear plan for the Warriors. The most likely options are to stay at seven and take the best available between MKG, Barnes, Drummond and Waiters. Or, trade down a few spots and take one of those second tier small forwards.
Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis talked to a group of NBA scouts, coaches and executives to get quick hits on each prospect. The reviews of the players being linked to the Warriors were that positive.
If Kidd-Gilchrist, Barnes or Waiters are available when the Warriors are on the clock, the Warriors should pounce. If not, the Warriors should see what they can add by moving down. Houston has three draft picks in the middle of the first round. If the Rockets can’t swing a big deal, they might make two of those picks available.