Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Warriors could have had Yao Ming with 2002 NBA Draft Lottery luck

Warriors could have had Yao Ming with 2002 NBA Draft Lottery luck

In an alternate universe, the Warriors would have found out their 2020 NBA Draft position Tuesday night, because that's when the draft lottery was supposed to be held.

But the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, and it's possible the lottery gets pushed back until August.

So for now, let's go back in time to exactly 18 years ago.

The Warriors, who finished tied for the league's worst record (21-61) with the Chicago Bulls, entered the lottery with the best chance (22.5 percent) at securing the No. 1 overall pick.

In the end, the Houston Rockets, who had the fifth best odds (8.9 percent), vaulted to No. 1 and drafted Yao Ming.

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Ming's career was cut short because of foot and ankle issues. But the 7-foot-6 Chinese native was named All-NBA five times over a seven-year span, as he averaged 19.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

The Warriors, meanwhile, finished third in the lottery and selected Mike Dunleavy Jr., who now is an assistant general manager with Golden State (the Bulls went with Jay Williams at No. 2).

Dunleavy's best season with the Dubs came in 2004-05 when he averaged 13.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists and shot nearly 39 percent from deep.

In January 2007, he was traded to the Indiana Pacers in the deal that brought Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington to the Bay.

[RELATED: Why Klay's dad believes Warriors will regret not doing doc]

Now let's fast forward to today. The Warriors who have the worst record in the NBA at 15-50, virtually are guaranteed to enter the lottery tied with the best odds (14 percent) of landing the No. 1 overall pick (and can't finish worse than No. 5).

Eventually, we will find out if they end up with the top pick for the first time since 1995, when they took Joe Smith.

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Eric Paschall picks starting lineup from Warriors coaches, executives

Eric Paschall picks starting lineup from Warriors coaches, executives

When you look at the Warriors coaching staff and front office, it's a pretty accomplished group of hoopers.

So during a Zoom conversation with forward Eric Paschall on Monday afternoon, NBC Sports Bay Area put the Golden State rookie on the spot:

"Put together your starting five -- basketball team -- of Warriors coaches and executives."

After saying, "Ummmmmmmm ..." and pausing for a couple seconds, Paschall revealed his squad:

Theo Robertson, Luke Loucks, David Fatoki, Zaza Pachulia and Steve Nash.

Pachulia and Nash -- who hold consultant roles with the franchise -- don't need introductions.

But let's take a look at the other three who made the cut.

Robertson -- a player development coach who works closely with Paschall -- played at Cal from 2006 to 2010. Over his junior and senior seasons combined, he averaged 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting better than 49 percent from the field and 47 percent from deep. The Bears won the regular-season conference championship his last year in Berkeley, and he was named team MVP.

Loucks -- a player development coach as well -- played collegiately at Florida State. He started all 35 games as a senior and registered 10 points, 13 assists and six rebounds in the Seminoles' 2012 ACC Tournament Championship Game victory over North Carolina.

Fatoki -- assistant manager of basketball operations and GSW Ventures -- averaged nearly 13 points and 7.6 assists during his senior season in 2014-15 at Washington University in St. Louis.

That's a very solid unit.

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But what about the members of the organization who were snubbed by the No. 41 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft?

General manager Bob Myers played at UCLA from 1993 to 1997.

Assistant general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. was selected by the Warriors with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, and averaged 19.1 points during the 2007-08 season for the Indiana Pacers.

Head coach Steve Kerr shot 45.4 percent from 3-point territory over his 15-season career, and won five NBA titles as a player (in Paschall's defense, Kerr doesn't even play pickup basketball anymore).

Assistant coach Jarron Collins played in the NBA for 10 seasons after entering the league in 2001 as the No. 53 overall pick in the draft.

Player development coach Aaron Miles had a fantastic college career at Kansas, averaging 8.6 points, 6.9 assists and 1.9 steals while starting 137 games over four seasons for the Jayhawks.

[RELATED: Warriors' Paschall explains why he became two-foot jumper]

So who will be offended at not cracking the starting five?

None of the above apparently.

"Chris DeMarco -- CD for sure," Paschall said. "Or Nick Kerr."

DeMarco -- an assistant coach who runs the team's player development program -- went to Dominican University in San Rafael. From the school's website:

As a power forward for the Penguins, DeMarco led Dominican to a winning record (16-13) in 2008-09 ... averaged a team-high 14.93 points per game on .544 shooting. He started all 29 games and led the California Pacific Conference with 9.62 rebounds per game, which was nearly a pair higher than any other player in the conference and 16th best in the nation. For his efforts, DeMarco garnered NAIA Div. II All-America Honorable Mention.

Nick Kerr -- Golden State's assistant video coordinator -- played at the University of San Diego before transferring to Cal for his final year of eligibility in 2015-16.

My sincerest apologies to any other members of the organization who might be offended for not appearing in this hard-hitting news alert.

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NBA rumors: Warriors, Zaza Pachulia scouted Timberwolves against Kings

NBA rumors: Warriors, Zaza Pachulia scouted Timberwolves against Kings

All eyes are on the NBA trade deadline before Thursday at noon PT. And while the Warriors were busy beating the Washington Wizards on Monday night, Golden State had plenty of eyes in Sacramento. 

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Tuesday morning that Warriors assistant general manager Mike DunleavyJr. and consultant Zaza Pachulia were at Golden 1 Center for all four quarters of the Kings' 113-109 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The latter of the two teams playing Monday night in Sacramento is what makes this interesting. 

Despite having the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 15-34, the T-Wolves are doing anything they can to acquire Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell. But the Dubs hold the leverage in any trade talks, and haven't budged quite yet. 

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported Monday night that the T-Wolves recently engaged in talks with the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks on a three-team trade that would have sent forward Robert Covington from Minnesota to Houston, center Clint Capela from Houston to Atlanta, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-round pick to Minnesota via Atlanta.

With that framework set up, Minnesota reportedly offered their own 2020 first-round pick along with the Nets' pick to the Warriors in exchange for Russell. The Warriors responded with two letters and one word: "No." 

But the T-Wolves won't give up that easily. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday morning that Minnesota still is engaged in ways to acquire draft assets to possibly dangle in a D-Lo trade. Woj says there "still remains a gulf to overcome" in order for Russell to go from San Francisco to Minnesota. 

[RELATED: Breaking down Dubs' three best assets before trade deadline]

The simple fact is, there is no reason to rush a Russell trade for the Warriors. The former All-Star is only 23 years old and is averaging a career-high 23.8 points per game while shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. 

Golden State likely won't let Russell go right now unless they get a deal they can't refuse. With Zaza and Duleavy Jr. assigned to Sacramento on Monday night, though, it's clear the Warriors aren't wasting any time before Thursday's deadline.

Programming Note: The "2020 NBA Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Thursday at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! Our NBA Insiders will analyze all of the news and rumors that could impact the Warriors heading into the Noon deadline. Don’t miss it!