There have been rumors that the Warriors are open to trading the No. 28 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, but according to president of basketball operations Bob Myers it’s far from a certainty.
“I don’t think the money is going to be a factor as far as whether we trade out or keep the pick,” Myers said. “It’ll be if it makes sense, so it won’t really be a money decision. We’ve got like 15, 20 people up on the ninth floor right now watching film and getting the draft order and getting our board aligned.
“So we’ll be ready. Like I said, we’ve been in this position before. But you get a guy like Poole it shows you valuable is it to get it right. We don’t get it right every time. We have had some guys that haven’t worked out.
“We have a lot of free agents, and so we probably will have roster spots. We’ll see what a lot of those guys end up doing, whether they come back or leave. But we feel like if we get a guy — depends on who we draft. That’s the advantage of I guess having the draft before free agency, to see what our needs might be, who we take, how ready that person is or not.”
If they do indeed make the selection, there are three players they are said to have interest in according to Zach Harper of The Athletic: Michigan’s Caleb Houstan, Kansas’ Christian Braun and Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell.
The defending champs are apparently open to moving their 28th pick in the draft,” Harper writes, “and that could be tied to some guaranteed money causing them an even greater luxury-tax bill, although there isn’t a huge difference between a minimum deal and what the 28th pick would command. If they do decide to keep it, the Warriors are thought to be interested in Houstan or Christian Braun. E.J. Liddell would be the dream scenario, but it’s hard to imagine him falling to No. 28.”
Liddell, 21, is considered the best prospect of the bunch. At 6-foot-7, 247 pounds, Liddell is in the mold of being a modern power forward despite being slightly undersized. Liddell’s athleticism makes him a versatile shot blocker and defender, and he shot 38 percent from 3 as a Junior with the Buckeyes last year, making him a two-way threat. ESPN has him going to the Bucks at No. 24.
Braun, 21, is the most prototypical Warriors player of the bunch. At 6-foot-6, Braun is a 3-and-D wing who is also a proven winner after being a key part of the Kansas National Championship team.
Houstan would be considered more of a reach and at 19 is the youngest of the three. In the same mould as Braun, Houstan is a little bigger at 6-foot-8, but also was more inconsistent in his freshman season with Michigan.
Whomever the Warriors decide to select it is highly unlikely they will have much of a role next season, considering Golden State already has a number of young players like Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman primed for more playing time.