Steve Kerr laughed and paused, not sure whether to give the politically correct answer or the honest one.
For purposes for stories like this one, he chose correctly.
“Yes. I’ll be honest,” the Warriors head coach said Monday when asked if there’s a part of him that cheers on a Warriors potential draft pick improving upon beating the Timberwolves. “Yes. Why not?”
Golden State made that part of Kerr happy Monday at Chase Center, pulling away from Minnesota late with a 130-108 victory that pushed the Timberwolves to 4-12, the worst record in the West and tied them with the 3-9 Wizards for second worst in basketball. The 4-13 Pistons are the early pingpong leaders in the draft lottery.
If the Minnesota pick falls outside the top three, it would be the Warriors’ pick from the D’Angelo Russell-Andrew Wiggins trade. The Timberwolves would keep a top-three pick, but the next year’s first-round pick would be the Warriors’ and unprotected.
It made all kinds of sense for the Warriors to take care of business, even if much of the current team isn’t paying attention to the future.
“Maybe Bob [Myers],” Draymond Green said of the GM, when asked the same question. “I hope no player ain’t thinking about that. … I guarantee you, not more than five people know we got the Timberwolves’ pick in this locker room.”
Wiggins said it was “fun” and “good to see” his former Timberwolves teammates, though didn’t get overly emotional in his news conference.
It sure looked as if this game was different for the former No. 1 pick.
“I’m just focused on doing the things I have to do to help the team win,” said Wiggins, who scored 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting with six rebounds, three steals and three blocks. “Doesn’t have to be scoring every night. Some nights it’s just shutting down the other team’s best player, grabbing rebounds and just trying to make it hard for the opponent. I’m trying to do everything I can to help the team win.”
James Wiseman took the move to the bench well, calling it a learning experience.
“I can be able to read more schemes,” said Wiseman, who spent some time talking with Klay Thompson on the bench. “While I’m on the bench I can be able to see more. I can be even more prepared when I’m out there because I know what to expect. I can learn better positioning when I’m looking at [Kevon Looney] and other bigs play. It’s just better for my development.”
Stephen Curry’s late flurry — 15 points in less than four minutes to turn an interesting game into a blowout — gave more ammunition to those who wonder why he is not shooting every possession.
Kerr insisted that if there is not much cohesion and ball movement, those stretches won’t amount to much.
“If we just had [Curry] run the pick-and-roll every time,” Kerr said over Zoom, “I don’t think our team would be that good, frankly.”