2019 NBA Draft: Warriors trade up, pick Alen Smailagic at No. 39 overall

2019 NBA Draft: Warriors trade up, pick Alen Smailagic at No. 39 overall

With the No. 39 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors select ...

...  Alen Smailagic, from Serbia.

When New Orleans was on the clock at No. 39, the Warriors traded up to take him.

Earlier on Thursday, the Warriors bought a second-round pick -- No. 41 overall -- from the Hawks.

After ESPN's Adrian Wojarnowski broke the news of the trade, ESPN NBA Draft analyst and reporter, Jonathan Givony, tweeted:

So who is Alen Smailagic? He's a 6'10" big man who spent the 2018-19 season with Golden State's G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.

He doesn't turn 19 years old until Aug. 18, and was the youngest player in G League history. How did he end up in Santa Cruz? Well, the Sea Dubs traded up with the South Bay Lakers to acquire the rights to Smailagic -- the No. 4 overall pick in the G League draft back in October.

As Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle wrote in late March:

Two years ago, while on a scouting trip to Serbia, Santa Cruz general manager Kent Lacob watched Smailagic — then 16 — work out at a small gym in Belgrade. Smailagic expressed interest in pursuing a pro career stateside, but he was far from an NBA prospect.

Over his first 41 appearances in Santa Cruz, the 6'10" big man averaged 8.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks.

He broke out over the final six games of the regular season, averaging 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.2 blocks on 54 percent shooting overall.

The Warriors invested in Smailagic and it paid off in the end.

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Steph Curry jokes about why ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala finished big dunk

Steph Curry jokes about why ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala finished big dunk

Andre Iguodala had a very ...

... Andre-Iguodala-like performance in the Miami Heat's 112-106 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

The former Warriors forward registered six points (2-for-6 FG), eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal in 31 minutes.

With fewer than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, he turned back the clock a little bit.

Steph Curry shared the highlight in an Instagram story, and included the perfect caption.

Curry -- the only unanimous MVP in NBA history -- and Iguodala -- the 2015 NBA Finals MVP -- are avid golfers, and even played a round together at Augusta National Golf Club (the site of the Masters) in February 2016.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Iguodala became a golf fanatic shortly after he joined the Warriors in July 2013.

"I gotta give all the credit to (former Golden State assistant coach) Pete Myers," Iguodala said in March 2018. "Once I got here, I really wanted to learn how to play ... Pete Myers taught me how to hit a draw.

"And we would just go to the range and hit balls ... he kinda got me hooked and that was all she wrote."

[RELATED: Iguodala jokes he bet big on Steph to win golf tournament]

And one year later, he made one thing crystal clear.

Those were good times.

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Steve Kerr defends Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: 'He's a damn good player'

Steve Kerr defends Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: 'He's a damn good player'

When the Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins at the NBA trade deadline in February, it was not a decision that universally was applauded. 

There still are people who disagree with Golden State's decision to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft. But even those who are skeptical about Wiggins' future would admit that he played well in a Dubs uniform this season.

"I wasn't surprised at all about what we saw because I've coached against him," Steve Kerr said Wednesday on "The Bill Simmons Podcast." "The biggest thing for us was all about what you need today to win games. The game has changed so much and it's so hard to guard ... you gotta have size and versatility on the wings.

"Multiple-positional defenders who can guard their position, but also guard two or three other positions. Andrew has the size and athleticism to do exactly that. He was an excellent defender for us, and played really well offensively.

"He may not be an MVP candidate, but he's a damn good player. He fits right in with what we're trying to do."

Wiggins averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists over 12 games with Golden State, while shooting nearly 46 percent overall and 34 percent from deep.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Additionally, his 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game both would be career highs over a full season.

With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as teammates, Wiggins won't feel consistent heat to deliver big scoring outputs. Will there be times when the Warriors need him to step up and take over offensively? Yes.

[RELATED: Warriors owner Lacob cites Barnes when praising Wiggins]

But overall, he's going to have the luxury of being able to take on a more comfortable role that suits his game.

"He just wants to play basketball and have fun, and have no pressure on him," former Warriors point guard Tim Hardaway said in June. "This is the team to be on to do that, and he's going to excel.

"He's going to be all right."

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