In less than 24 hours, the Warriors will find out where their first-round pick lands within the first five selections in the 2020 NBA Draft. Coming off a season that was filled with lows, they’re on a high heading into the NBA draft lottery.
“I think everybody is just excited that it’s here, just because it gives us more clarity on what’s next,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told 95.7 The Game’s “Damon, Ratto and Kolsky” on Wednesday.
“You start to talk to other teams and legitimately think about options. You have your list, everyone has their own list of prospects, and you see where your own list matches up with the way the balls bounce. So It’s exciting.”
With their season coming to an abrupt end on March 10 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Warriors already have had more time to discuss and evaluate what they’re looking for in the draft than they have in any other season, particularly those that ended with an NBA Finals run. Where Golden State’s pick lands in the top five obviously will determine what draft prospects ultimately will be available at that selection, but regardless of where it ends up, the Warriors are proceeding with a best-player-available approach.
“There’s a lot of different ways of saying it, but you’re just trying to get the best player,” Kerr explained. “You can look at our roster and you can see where we have some holes positionally. You can look at the playoff games that are going on right now and see how the games are being played, and you try to envision so-and-so playing in a playoff game and where does he fit.
“And you can have those conversations all day, and ultimately it comes down to you take the guy who you think is gonna be the best player. But it’s really hard. It’s just a lot harder than it looks or than it seems like it would be, but all you have to do is look at every draft for the last 50 years to prove it.”
Logically, the best players would be selected first, but as Kerr mentioned, that often is not how things shake out. With their sights set on immediately returning to championship contention, the Warriors are excited by the possibility of adding a key piece with their lottery pick, but simultaneously feel increased pressure to nail it.
“It is a lot of fun,” Kerr said, “but there’s more pressure than ever before, too. We’ve been picking at the bottom of the first round and all of a sudden, a top-five pick. We’re investing a lot of money in this player. We’ve got to get this right.”
Assuming they do, this should be the Warriors’ last lottery pick — of their own — for some time. That’s exactly what Kerr wants.
“Hopefully it’ll be a while,” he added, “before the next one.”
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