After Harrison Barnes displayed a 38-inch standing vertical leap, it looked as if the Golden State Warriors were going to have to jump up the draft board themselves in order to get a chance to draft the University of North Carolina small forward. After the Cleveland Cavaliers (Barnes’ biggest suitors, it had appeared as recently as last week) took Dion Waiters of Syracuse (the guy everyone had going to the Warriors over the past couple days) with the fourth pick, everything fell into place.
The Sacramento Kings took Thomas Robinson (who many had going off the board at No. 2) with the fifth pick, then Damian Lillard went to Portland. Taking Barnes was an easy choice for Golden State.
“He is one of the best people in the draft, and we think one of the best players,” said Bob Myers at the Warriors’ practice facility, during a brief statement a few minutes after the pick was made.
“To give you a little anecdote, when the sixth pick was made, and it was Portland’s pick and Lillard, and everybody saw that Barnes was available, my phone almost blew up with people calling, wanting our pick and wanting this player. So we’re thrilled. He’s got great value and we’re excited. He fits what we need. You guys will love him. Great kid, great player. We’re just excited. But we’re not done. As you all know, we’ve got three more picks.”
Three things struck me from Myers’ statement.
1. His “phone almost blew up with people calling,” which conceivably means those conversations may continue through the evening.
2. “He’s got great value,” is usually something people say in reference to trades, not points and rebounds.
3. “We’re not done.” Goes without saying, but the Warriors might not just mean they’ll be making a few draft picks and calling it a night.
Myers also said Barnes fits what the Warriors need, so they could very well stick him at the 3, put Brandon Rush behind him and look to deal Dorell Wright (who can’t have tremendous value after the year he just had). But if the Warriors are looking to add an impact player, it looks like Barnes could help them in that regard. Or maybe I’m just convincing myself that it makes sense to spend another couple hours at the Warriors practice facility.
I was wrong, but…
– Austin Rivers went No. 10 to the Toronto Raptors. I still think the Warriors would’ve taken him had Barnes not fallen out of the top six, but we’ll never know.
– What we do know is that trading down in hopes of getting Terrence Ross (my second option for the Warriors) wouldn’t have been possible because the Raptors took him at No. 8. It was a surprising pick to many (Ross was a last-second invite to the NBA Draft “green room”), but in the end I think it’ll be a tremendous one for Toronto. Ross can play.