OAKLAND — Unlikely.
That was the word of the day during a Bob Myers pre-draft press conference at the Warriors practice facility Friday.
Unlikely the Warriors will be in next week’s NBA Draft, and unlikely the Warriors will make a big trade.
Myers did temper his words a bit by comparing it to last year’s pre-draft situation:
“I will say this, if you asked me last year at this time if we would be in a situation to grab an Iguodala, I would have said the same thing.”
Even without a pick in Thursday’s draft, The Warriors have been a hot name lately in connection with Minnesota’s Kevin Love. Multiple outlets have anointed the Warriors the favorites to land the disgruntled star, especially if they have indeed made shooting guard Klay Thompson, as rumored.
Thompson’s own father Lakers radio color commentator and former NBA player Mychal Thompson has said that he is bracing for a trade to the Timberwolves.
Myers cautioned about reacting to every rumor that is out there:
“If a situation reaches a level where somebody is concerned, they know my phone number, I’ll always talk to a player, his agent, his father but again you get down a slippery slope that every time something’s reported (you’re) doing that.”
Myers wouldn’t name teams or names, but he did say other organizations covet many players on the Warriors:
“I will tell you that there’s a lot of players on our roster who have value. We have a roster, especially the youth of the roster, which is appealing to any team in the NBA. You want to have young, good players and we have a few and that’s something we don’t take for granted.”
The rumors of a Love trade picked up steam when new head coach Steve Kerr stated that he desired a “stretch four” during his early interviews, Myers said:
“I think he [Kerr] feels like he stepped too far by saying that and not saying anything else, but the way the league is going having that asset on the team is advantageous. It’s just a question of we might have that guy in Draymond Green, he’s shown in the playoffs, especially how he finished the season, that he’s able to be a stretch type of four, and if he gets his shooting up, can he fit that bill.”
Serious questions as to how the Warriors would replace everything Thompson does, if they were to include the third-year sharpshooter in a package for Love. Myers even compared Thompson to a five-tool player in baseball:
“There’s not much Klay doesn’t do, and the nice thing about him is that I think he hasn’t reached his ceiling, I think he’s got a high ceiling and he can only get better. That’s the type of player anybody wants on their team.”
Thompson is eligible to sign an extension with the Warriors starting July 10. It is a forgone conclusion that Thompson will receive a hefty raise, which will complicate the Warriors’ salary structure, already butting up against the cap.
The Warriors are in a similar but more-difficult situation than last year: More-limited picks — zero — but with plenty of tools to make a deal.
“I think it’s going to be harder this year because we don’t have a second round pick and we don’t have the $3.2 million to spend on a pick. Everything is pretty fluid so I don’t want to rule it out but it would be difficult to get one.”
Under the new CBA teams are only able to add $3.2 million to any trade per year, and the Warriors wouldn’t be able to add their money until July 1.
Myers and his staff are still doing their homework on prospects though as they sent a scout to watch Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas workout. Both players currently project to be picked in the lottery:
“You never know on draft night what may or may not occur but what you can’t do is sit there and get presented with whatever pick it is and say ‘well I haven’t seen that guy so I can’t make a decision,’ you have to cover your bases.”
On the coaching front, the Warriors made an offer to Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry to be the first member of Kerr’s coaching staff, with all indications that he will accept.
Getting someone who was previously a head coach was something Myers said the Warriors focused on:
“It was important to the organization and Steve as well, he wanted to have somebody with head coaching experience. So to have somebody next to you that has sat in that chair I think will be invaluable across the board.”
With the first spot on Kerr’s staff all but filled, Myers said he thinks that the rest of the spots will start filling up soon.