OAKLAND — The 2013 NBA draft turned out to be a flurry of surprise selections and trades, including three deals that landed Golden State the 30th pick, Serbian point guard Nemanja Nedovic.
The Warriors went into Thursday night’s draft for the first time since 2000 with zero first-round picks. It would have been the first time in history the team didn’t have any draft picks.
But midway through the first round, the Warriors began the deal to acquire Nedovic by sending a 2014 second-round pick and $1.6 million to Minnesota for the 26th pick and guard Malcolm Lee.
Nedovic’s representatives spoke with the Warriors and expected him to picked with the 31st selection. With that information, Golden State traded the 26th pick to Oklahoma City for the 29th selection and $1 million.
The final move came just moments later when the Warriors traded newly acquired Lee and the 29th spot to Phoenix for the 30th and final first-round pick, Nedovic.
Warriors General Manager Bob Myers said they liked the size and youth of Nedovic and saw an opportunity to go for a talent that he thought they couldn’t pass up:
“We’ve got a lot of great shooters on this team, but we felt like we needed another player that could attack the rim and he’s very good at that.”
The 6-foot-4, 192 pound guard from Serbia is known for his defense first, his explosive finishes and ability to get to into the paint. In the 2012-2013 season he played for Lietuvoc rytas, Lithuania and averaged 11.1 points and 3.8 assists in just 20.8 minutes per game.
Myers said that obtaining a player of Nedovic’s magnitude in the first-round without depleting the current roster was a special opportunity that had to be capitalized on:
“To get in at 26th without giving up a future first-round pick or giving up a player is a unique opportunity so we jumped at that opportunity and realized it was a rare moment to grab a first-round pick and we took it.”
Myers also said the Warriors still have a need for a big but will be looking to fill that role through free agency, and that acquiring Nedovic does not mean that Golden State would be okay with losing free agent guard Jarrett Jack:
“This won’t affect the pursuit of Jack, I think we will pursue him with the same vigilance that we would have if we hadn’t made this pick. We though Jarrett Jack did a great job for us and we’re going to attempt to re-sign him.”
Nedovic, who has a European contract he can buy out of, will be in negotiations over the next few days that will decide whether he can play in the NBA Summer League and join the Warriors for the 2013 season.
Myers said that whether it be 2013 or 2014, he is looking forward to Nedovic being on the team as a contributor.