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Bob Myers discusses draft after three draft-day trades

The Warriors were, as legendary Knicks player and broadcaster Walt “Clyde” Frazier might say, “moving and grooving” on 2019 NBA Draft day. The franchise made three trades on Thursday, two of which moved the Warriors into the first half of the second round, and secured them one player the team had its sights set on since the start of last season.

Below are takeaways from what president of basketball operations Bob Myers said following the draft:

The moves

Thursday’s draft saw the team draft more than one player for the first time since 2012, when the Warriors drafted Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green and Ognen Kuzmic. The Warriors were slated to have a fourth pick this year at the No. 58 slot, but so late in the draft and having traded up twice using cash, the team opted to secure an as of yet undisclosed amount of cash (which sounds cooler than it is) from the Utah Jazz to relinquish their final selection.

The team started the day with the 28th and 58th overall picks, acquiring the 41st pick early in the day from the Atlanta Hawks for $1.3 million in cash and a 2024 second-round draft pick.

As the clock ticked down on the 39th pick, owned by the even more trade-happy New Orleans Pelicans, the Warriors swooped back in, sending more cash and their 2021 and 2023 second-round draft picks.

With those picks, the Warriors selected University of Michigan guard Jordan Poole 28th overall, their Santa Cruz Warriors forward prospect Alen Smailagic with the 39th overall pick, and Villanova University forward Eric Paschall with the 41st pick.

According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Warriors already signed undrafted forward Dedric Lawson from the University of Kansas, to the team’s Summer League squad. He led the underwhelming BIG 12 in scoring and rebounding last season at 19.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

Expectations are… 

Myers may not expect too much from these rookies. According to Mark Medina, Myers said he’s hoping one of the three can provide the Warriors with solid minutes:

Myers added that he wasn’t yet sure which player would be utilized the most, an assessment which, at the bunched, late stage where the Warriors were drafting, is entirely unsurprising. He did say that the G-League competition that Smailagic went up against was better preparation that college, however.

Draymond Green, friendly guy

Draymond Green does not like the University of Michigan. As a Michigan State University alumnus, Green bleeds green and white. Yet, the Warriors drafted Michigan alum Jordan Poole with their first overall draft pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Andre Iguodala took notice of the potentially difficult scenario for the rookie against Green, the “bully”:

But according to Myers, life may not be so bad for Poole. Green immediately asked for his number from a plane while following the draft.

Why the Warriors were enamored with Smailagic

For Myers, there’s a massive value on being able to see what a player is like on the professional level, and how they carry themselves off it. It’s an impossibility for college players, unless a team has an “in” with one of the coaches on staff. There’s simply no way for a team to identify what the person they are drafting is actually like until they see it. The Warriors got that opportunity with Smailagic, and it’s why they were so aggressive in pursuing him.

“It’s rare to get that much opportunity to watch a guy play like we did with Alen. So you get to know his work ethic a little bit better than you do on a college kid. We’re not around the college kids quite as much,” Myers said. “In a lot of these situations, you do bet on the player, but you’re betting on the person.”

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