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Bob Myers discusses potential to trade for, buy picks



Bob Myers is one of Joe Lacob’s biggest fans. The Warriors general manager spoke to media on Wednesday, June 19, the day before the Warriors are set to select 28th and 58th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. Lacob was asked about the freedom he’s been given as general manager, both fiscally and through the draft, by Lacob, the majority owner.

Myers on Lacob and financial flexibility

Needless to say, Myers has been pleased with the fiscal avenues he’s been allowed to explore.

“I’m fortunate to work for someone – I think that people say these things – but winning has always been the primary goal,” Myers said. “And we run a business, so it’s not being completely fiscally irresponsible, but every time I’ve went to Joe [Lacob] and it seems that it has benefited us competitively, he’s responded affirmatively and said, ‘OK.’ So there’s never really been even a hard budget, so to speak.”

Despite that approach, Myers said the team, projected to be well over the luxury tax threshold if it re-signs both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, and receive repeater tax penalties, has to be intelligent about using that money.

“We’ve got to be cost conscious,” Myers said. “You’ve got to be smart about it. You don’t just spend it to spend it or spend money to buy a pick tomorrow. You want to do it to win, but fortunately we have somebody that is willing to engage in all that dialogue, and usually if it’s the consensus, yeah, do it.”

Moving up for a pick?

In terms of the possibility of being aggressive and potentially moving up in the draft or securing another pick for one of the 40 to 50 prospects Myers said the Warriors worked out, Myers didn’t rule anything out, but said the team had a lot to consider, and said that the 58th pick may provide an option to sign that drafted player to a two-way contract.

“We’d like to have as many picks as we can, but I think we have to be aware that we’ve got some youth already,” Myers said. “Who will be back and how many spots we have to fill, what positions, but we think it’s a decently deep draft, so we’ll see if anything makes sense to get another pick or not and what we would do with it. But there are a lot of moving parts to this [draft], this year.”

Assessing what the Warriors need

Most important in this whole equation is finding players who can give Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green as much rest as possible in a year where the Warriors won’t have Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson (regardless of whether they re-sign, at the very earliest, until the playoffs).

“We’re going to need, I think – even the guys that are healthy have played a lot of basketball,” Myers said. “We’re talking about Steph, Draymond, Andre, those types of guys have played a lot of basketball. We’re going to need guys that can play big minutes and hopefully contribute and just eat up minutes, as much as they can.”

To recap:

  • MONEY PT. 1: The Warriors will likely use the full taxpaying mid-level exception ($5.7 million, can be used on multiple players for up to three-year deals) and potentially the disabled player exception ($9.2 million, can be used on one player on a one-year deal), if they re-sign Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, who may be eligible for the disabled player exception.
  • MONEY PT. 2: Myers did not discuss Shaun Livingston, but Livingston is only guaranteed $2 million of his $7.69 million, meaning the Warriors could waive him by July 30 and use the waive-and-stretch provision on that $2 million to open up the full, non-taxpaying mid-level exception at $9.2 million, but only if Durant does not re-sign. The Warriors would likely use that full amount, which can be used to sign multiple players for up to four-year deals.
  • 2ND ROUND PICK: The Warriors may sign their 58th overall pick (third-to-last of the draft) to a two-way contract rather than a guaranteed or semi-guaranteed deal to ensure roster flexibility. This has been a popular move in recent years with late-round picks.
  • CASH MOVES: There is a possibility to move up or add another pick in the draft, but it does not seem like Myers is desperate to acquire one. The maximum annual cash limit for the 2018-19 season is $5.2 million, meaning the Warriors could purchase a second-round pick with that money if they so desired, since they did not make any trades with their cash this season. It’s how they bought Jordan Bell from the Bulls in 2017 with $3.5 million.
  • REST FOR THE STARS: More than anything, Myers wants to bring in guys who can take some of the burden away from Curry, Iguodala and Green, knowing that Durant and Thompson will be out. Again, he didn’t mention Livingston, who has stated he may retire, and will probably be waived by the Warriors if he doesn’t.

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