SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After five straight NBA Finals appearances, the Golden State Warriors got a jump start on rebounding from the disappointing 2019-2020 season by winning the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft Thursday night.
The Warriors had advanced in the Draft Lottery final four with the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves. But the ping pong ball fell into the Timberwolves slot.
A combination of the loss of star sixth man Andre Iguodala to the NBA salary cap, loss of All-Star Kevin Durant to free agency, the retirement of Shaun Livingston and injuries to All-Stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green sent the Warriors on a tumble from the NBA’s elite to the league cellar in the COVID-19 shortened season.
“We’ve experienced a lot the last several years,” Curry said prior to the selection. “Now we get to experience the NBA Lottery and see how it will improve our team.”
Golden State, Cleveland and the Timberwolves all entered the evening with a 14 percent chance at top pick with the Warriors guaranteed not to drop below the 5th pick.
— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) August 20, 2020
Heading into Thursday night, Warriors GM Bob Myers said no matter where the lottery ping pong balls fall, Golden State should find a player to join what is expected to be one of the strongest lineups in the Western Conference next season.
“I don’t know where we’re going to pick yet, but you don’t pick 1 through 5 that often, so the goal would be to get somebody who can help you now and help you later,” he said.
Their choice could come from a pool that includes Georgia star Anthony Edwards; LaMelo Ball, who has been playing overseas; Dayton star Obi Toppin, Israeli star Deni Avdija or Memphis State star James Wiseman.
Or the Warriors could trade away the pick.
“There’s a lot of variables right — well, there’s a big variable not knowing our pick, but assuming we know it, then it becomes what’s the league’s value of it and what’s our value of it,” Myers said. “I don’t know the league’s value of it, to be honest. Nobody is talking about trades… Even assuming we had the pick number in hand, it’s premature to even know the value of it, for us or for another team, so we’ll have to wait and see kind of how things go in that direction.”
If the Warriors decide to keep the pick, Myers was asked what role Curry, Thompson and Green may play in determining who will be selected.
“Those guys are great,” Myers said. “They want to win, we (the front office) wants to win. I don’t feel any pressure from any of them to do a certain thing. I know it’s been written that we need to win now…They know if they obviously want to talk about it, they can call me or I’ll call them and get their thoughts.”
But evaluating that pick will come in the new world of a COVID-19 outbreak that cut the 2020 college season short and has prevented individual team workouts.
“Absolutely it makes you a little uncomfortable, to be honest,” he said. “It’s a rare thing to not have … I would have liked to see more guys than I did, but if you’re talking about me, that’s a possibility. If you’re talking about our group, I think between us all, somebody will have seen the person at least play.”
“Now, whether we get to see them in our facility or not or in another place, that’s to be determined, but as far as seeing them in a game, I think somebody or more than one will be able to raise their hand and say, I saw him or I saw him a few times.”