Myers: week leading up to NBA Draft is most stressful part (trading or keeping picks)
“This year…a little more crazy…having two Lottery picks”
This is a late post, but we are starting to ramp up our NBA Draft coverage and on this night we were busy Livestreaming back on June 22nd (Draft Lottery Night) with Festus Ezeli and Ian Clark, as well as the trainers for Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson and Juan Toscano-Anderson, where you can see that clearly our Draft research has already begun, and quite in-depth, but we just haven’t organized our findings for you yet in written website format.
But first thing’s first. The moral of Bob Myers’ most recent story at the media availability on Draft Lottery Night is that nothing really starts happening with trades — the wheels of any subsequent Draft pick movement — until the week leading up to the Draft. We’ve already dispelled some of the Pascal Siakam-for-James Wiseman rumors, but there will be more to come, that’s for sure.
The video snippets of Myers’ Q&A can be found on our YouTube playlist.
See below for all the notes & quotes from Myers’ last call with the Golden State Warriors beatwriters…
- happy with 7th and 14th? “Would’ve loved to have not seen our name at 14, that would’ve been fun…Top 7 pick is something that’s hard to come by…unusual to have those types of picks in a very good Draft.”
- 2 rookies ok on roster? “If that’s the best thing to do, that’s what we do…we’ll see…how much we like them…I have no idea what we can do with (those picks).”
- Steph and Dray ok with two rookies? “Yeah, I would think so. I think they have a trust with what we’re doing (references Harrison Barnes and 2013 playoffs)…they’ll weigh in on those thoughts…probably at least a week out, maybe two (is when you know how much the picks are worth)…”
- rookie helps right away? “Depends on what we think we can do with the roster. Depends on kind of how we view it, where’s Klay at, how much we think James can do…last year we thought we had it figured out until Klay’s injury…there’s rookies that can help…having two swings at it in what we think is a really deep Draft…at least by the time the Playoffs come around we hope that’s possible…it might be that they give you 15-20 minutes…”
- learned from this Playoffs: “there’s been a ton of injuries so idk…usually it’s the team that has the best 2 or 3 players…looks like teams that have a lot of depth …6, 7, 8 (players) deep…I was asked during our third or fourth Finals about the problems with our bench…for the five years that we made the Finals…we were 27th, 24th, 28th, 29th, 26th…how you play with all this pace and space.”
- five-player draft? “Idk if it’s gonna be that…(might) narrow down to a four-player draft or three or a six-player draft or seven…may change…some guys may end up in that group…if we can find fourteen I think we can find seven…in our opinion a pretty deep draft so it’s nice to have two picks in it.”
- similarities to 2012? “Harrison (Barnes) turned out to be a good pick for us…everybody says we’re so smart with the Draymond pick…I love what Denver’s GM said about Jokic…’if we were so smart we would’ve taken him before 41’…(this Draft) goes deeper than most…maybe 1 or 2 guys more than 19 (years old) mentioned in the Lottery so there’s a huge focus on player development more than there ever has been…”
- how much time spent: “…nobody in the top seven would come and see us, even Harrison (Barnes) we had to go to New York and see…I guess we weren’t really a good brand then…we couldn’t get a lot of the players that were in our range between to even visit us. I think we’ll get that this time…I remember focusing maybe more on 30 to 35 because there were so many names there. The interesting thing about having 7 & 14 is that’s it for us, we don’t have any other picks…there’s so many variables (with later picks), this is a little more finite. Now it’s ‘gotta get to 14’…that was a lot (in 2012) because you were talking about bringing in fifty players for the 30th and 35th pick…this will be less people coming through but obviously more important to try and get it right.”
- Klay impact? “Idk…we think he’ll play very well when he gets back and the key is not how we begin…how we play when he gets his feet under him and that’ll happen more in the latter part of the season…you’re not gonna draft a mature — somebody with Klay Thompson’s pedigree so when he comes back there’s nothing we can do in free agency or this draft to duplicate or make up for what Klay brings…with these two picks hopefully we can play one of these guys or two of these guys until he gets back and then have them develop in some capacity…will have a summer league and have a training camp…”
- Combine interview process: “…who these guys are…eventually finding out the makeup of somebody’s character…that will determine how much they’re gonna work, how good of a teammate they’ll be, how competitive they might be, their desire…if they don’t get better then that’ll be a failure…really hard to do in a 30-minute interview or one workout…eventually the character will show itself…you gotta deal with that…”
- player development for three straight years? “(2019-20) went sideways pretty fast…we felt when we lost Klay it would change our (2020-21) season…it was hard putting Steve (Kerr) in a hard position to try to develop James (Wiseman), develop Jordan (Poole), even integrate Juan (Toscano-Anderson), figure out the bench on the fly…shortened training camp, not a lot of practices, sounds like an excuse…wasn’t an ideal year to try and implement a lot of new things and we play a certain way and it’s not simple…we’ll keep playing that way and it takes a little time to figure out what we’re trying to do…James still has to figure it out more, he got a little taste of it…I don’t think it’ll be a situation where we’re trying to develop players at the risk of losing…we’re not gonna develop and have it cost us games.”
- how patient? “For our organization, we have to see how good we are…without Klay idk…how good are we? I guess it’s hard to evaluate how good we are, or not, without some of our top guys playing and playing together…that means trying to win…if you have health and you don’t win or you don’t succeed, then you have to look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, what are we gonna do?’ It’s an incomplete right now…our payroll’s huge. We gotta find out how good we are.”
- different pressure? “First Draft it’s scary…2012, never done it, having four picks…haven’t done it — this will be nine or ten years. Like you on any job, you write for ten years, you’re calmer, you’re hopefully more efficient…there’s never been more people in a Draft room, there’s more analytics than there was 10 years ago by an exponential number…sometimes there’s information overload…I love our process…I love (Joe Lacob’s) input, I love the fact that he’s got a Draft board…the stressful part is probably the week leading up to it when you have to decide keeping your picks, trading your picks, but once it gets there and you’re probably keeping them, it’s kinda fun…I expect this year to be probably a little more crazy in that department having two lottery picks because right now they’re just numbers and we’ll see how valuable they are to us and anybody else.”