This will be my third consecutive year attending the Warriors media exdraftaganza, and for the second consecutive year the Warriors go into the draft without a single selection. So, why attend (besides the taco bar spread the Warriors so graciously provide)?
Well, they’re almost certainly going to end up with a pick, just like they did last year when they made three trades and ended up with Nemanja Nedovic. And where would the Warriors have been without that guy? Exactly.
Whether it’s to provide a relatively cheap PR boost or because they see an impact player in the 2014 NBA Draft who can allow them to do other things (like trade Klay Thompson and a poor, forgotten All-Star named David Lee for Kevin Love), the Warriors are probably going to end up with a pick. There are three scenarios that seem most likely.
1. Warriors deal a future pick and/or financial considerations for a pick in the mid-20s or later. (This is what they did last year.)
2. Warriors decide “Screw it, we’ll take Kevin Martin’s lousy contract if it means we’ll get Love,” and in the process get Minnesota’s first round pick (No. 13) in return. (This is what Ethan Sherwood Strauss predicted when Bay Area Duck Guy pressed him for a Love-Klay trade prediction in today’s BASGcast, which is worth a listen.)
3. Warriors deal Harrison Barnes for a pick somewhere in the middle of the first round.
No, really. That last one is a rumor — one of them Hoops Rumors:
The Warriors are dangling Harrison Barnes in trade talks as they attempt to trade for a first-round pick in this year’s draft, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports in an Insider-only piece. It’s unclear whether the conversations extend beyond their negotiations with the Timberwolves toward a Kevin Love deal, but it appears Warriors GM Bob Myers and company place a high value on acquiring a first-rounder to replace the one they traded to Utah last year. Golden State is without a pick in either round on Thursday.
Now, you might respond to that with, “When has Chad Ford ever been right about anything?” And I wouldn’t have a real answer for you. If you want to know about European draft-eligible players with 47 consonants in their names, Ford is your guy. But as a rumor monger, Adrian Wojnarowski or Sam Amick he is not.
And as Strauss noted in the podcast, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to sell low on Barnes, who regressed under Mark Jackson and could become a different player in an offense that encourages more than one pass per possession. Then again, there could be a team out there who feels that Barnes’ talents were wasted by Jackson and might want to gamble now on the guy who was picked seventh overall two years ago, as opposed to watching him blossom under Kerr and losing an opportunity to get him for somewhat cheap.
But the Warriors may hold out hope that Love is attainable without trading Thompson. If so, Barnes is an asset they might want to keep around for such an occasion. But make no mistake — tonight is all about Love. And what they think they can do with the midlevel exception. And whether they fully realize that they need to trade Lee even if they can’t get Love, because if Lee is still around he’ll sulk throughout next season after being an afterthought in all these trade discussions.
It’s all confusing as hell, and the Warriors will probably end up with another Nedovic when it’s all said and done. And I’ll try to keep from eating more than two tacos tonight, which has about the same chance of happening as the Warriors ending up with LeBron James before this offseason is over.