Myers, Warriors head into draft with 4 picks
Posted Jun 26 2012 5:36PM
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bob Myers has had trouble sleeping lately.
Not because the new Golden State Warriors general manager and his wife, Kristen, have a second daughter due next month. Nor does it have anything to do with his job security or health.
With four picks in Thursday night's NBA draft, Myers can't stop thinking about all the possible scenarios when he heads into Golden State's draft room as the head of basketball operations for the first time -- starting with how to handle the team's No. 7 overall pick.
"There's a lot of stress," Myers said. "I woke up at 3 in the morning thinking about the draft, thinking about options. And I told my wife, `All we have to do is like seven guys. That's all we have to do is like seven guys -- we, not me, is like 7 guys. And I think we like seven guys."'
Who those are will be revealed soon.
Golden State owns the seventh, 30th, 35th and 52nd picks in the draft. Only Portland and Cleveland will have as many selections when NBA Commissioner David Stern heads to the microphone in Newark, N.J., presumably to announce Kentucky's Anthony Davis is heading to New Orleans first overall.
After that, almost everybody else is in play on Golden State's board - handwritten by Myers.
The Warriors worked out more than 60 players privately in the last couple months. Myers and his staff attended the NBA scouting combine in Chicago, and the former sports agent has had countless calls with many of his former colleagues.
Myers maintains that it's unlikely the team will draft four players after taking three rookies last year. And if for some reason the team does select four, at least one will likely stay in Europe, he said.
That means Myers, owner Joe Lacob, executive board member Jerry West and assistant GMs Kirk Lacob and Travis Schlenk will likely be looking to make moves on draft night - and Myers didn't rule out the possibility of trading the team's top pick for a veteran.
"I think what I've learned is that you don't see the best offers until you get close to the deadline," Myers said. "Seems to me that 95 percent of the time teams will withhold their best offer until within a day or two or the day of the deadline. We're open to moving the pick, we're open to keeping the pick and I can tell you ... if we had seen something we really liked, we would've moved the pick.
"I think you can deduce from that we haven't seen anything we really liked thus far."
Golden State's biggest need is at small forward.
The backcourt tandem of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is expected to team with new center Andrew Bogut and power forward David Lee next season. Dorell Wright, heading into the final year of his contract, slipped under rookie coach Mark Jackson and his long-term future with the team is uncertain.
That doesn't necessarily mean the Warriors will opt for another small forward.
Myers has talked about acquiring "assets" and drafting the most talented players, not necessarily the best at a position of need. North Carolina's Harrison Barnes and Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist -- both considered top-tier small forwards -- would be ideal for Golden State, but neither is expected to be around at No. 7.
More likely, the selection will come down to a trio of 7-footers: 18-year-old Andre Drummond of Connecticut, North Carolina's Tyler Zeller and Illinois' Meyers Leonard.
"I like size, but at the same time, we have to look at the draft and decide who we think the best player is," Myers said. "We have to have assets. The reason we have to have assets is that we're not near where we need to be as a team. We need to get better. So we can't afford to let an asset pass us by and address need in the draft. We have to be a team where, when other teams look at our roster, they see players that they'd like on their team."
That has not been the case in a while.
Coming off a 23-43 record in a lockout-shortened season swallowed by injuries and trades, expectations will be higher than they have in years this fall. The Warriors, with only one playoff appearance since 1994, will finally have a starting lineup that has a legitimate chance to make the playoffs -- if healthy.
Health, however, is a huge concern.
Bogut, the 2005 No. 1 overall pick and best center the franchise has had in at least a decade, fractured his left ankle Jan. 25 with Milwaukee and sat out the rest of the season when he was acquired in a trade for star guard Monta Ellis. Curry repeatedly sprained his surgically repaired right ankle last season while playing only 26 games. And Lee missed the final eight games, undergoing surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle.
All are expected back by training camp.
With four solid starters and a collection of young talent on the bench, Myers believes the Warriors are not far away from a postseason berth. That puts the pressure on draft night even more this year knowing even one right choice -- especially at No. 7 -- could make all the difference next season.
"You fluctuate on how you feel about your pick, is the honest answer," Myers said. "I think we're getting close to developing a comfort level with that number. Doesn't mean we're going to absolutely keep it, doesn't mean we might not trade back, there's still a lot of variables at play. But I think we're comfortable with the pick where it is right now."