Warriors

Bob Myers, Warriors will 'consider' trading top 2020 NBA draft pick

Bob Myers, Warriors will 'consider' trading top 2020 NBA draft pick

One reason Bob Myers isn’t saying who the Warriors will select with their first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft is that he doesn’t yet know the draft order. Another is that he wouldn’t tell even if he did. A third reason is because the Warriors may not draft at all.

The thought of trading the pick is as intriguing an option as it was 10 weeks ago, when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought the NBA season to an abrupt halt.

“Yeah, we’re going to consider all that,” the Warriors president of basketball operations told NBC Sports Bay Area over the phone, before pausing for a moment.

“Now, I don’t know if the headline is going to be that we’re trading our pick. So, be clear that I said ‘consider.’”

As well they should. Myers concedes that this draft, like most drafts the past 40 years, has no identifiable “transformational” player. No Anthony Davis (2012). Definitely no LeBron James (2003). There’s not even a Zion Williamson (2019).

Regardless whether the Warriors land the No. 1 overall pick, or the lottery shoves them down as far as No. 5  -- the furthest they can drop if they have the league’s worst record -- there is not enough talent variance to register disappointment. Front offices have as many as five or six different players atop their boards.

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Without the usual two full months for evaluations, workouts and interviews, the 2020 draft comes with an unprecedented degree of risk. Drafting at the top is far more perilous than putting the pick in a trade that sends back someone with an NBA résumé. Or even moving back.

“So much of whether a guy makes it or not is, ‘Who is he?’ What type of mindset does he have?'" Myers said. “Everybody has been watching ‘The Last Dance,’ and I’m sure there was belief Michael Jordan would be a really good player. But if everybody knew he had that edge, he’s not going third in the draft. He’s going first.

“Even with (No. 1 pick Hakeem) Olajuwon, as great as he was, if people saw the talent of Jordan and knew this guy would kill to win, do everything in his power to win, at all costs, that draft would have been different.”

The current Golden State front office, most of which has been intact for nearly a decade, never has been a part of the top five. To get a feel for the action at the top, Myers is reaching out to others, such as former Warriors executive Travis Schlenk, now the GM of the Atlanta Hawks.

“He said there's a lot of activity, that it depends on the traffic and how open you are to doing something,” Myers said. “The higher you are, the more optionality you have to make moves.

“The thing about trading or not is you want to make the best decision possible. The best position might be to draft, or it might be a trade. You don't know until you see what you can do and what offers you have.”

If a team drafting after the Warriors is in love with a prospect but gets antsy about his availability, Myers can expect calls. And he will listen. To all of them.

A recent example is 2017, when the Philadelphia 76ers were slotted at No. 3 and targeted Markelle Fultz. They swapped picks with the Boston Celtics, who held the No. 1 overall pick. Boston dropped to third, taking Jayson Tatum, but also received a protected future first-round pick from Philly. Three seasons later, it appears the Celtics robbed the 76ers.

[RELATED: Warriors' end better than 'maddening' finale for MJ, Bulls]

Normally, the rarified air at the top of the lottery -- and the notion they can rejoin the league’s elite in 2020-21 -- would be seductive for the Warriors. But this draft is considered inferior to the 2021 draft, when they probably will return to the lottery with the pick received from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the D’Angelo Russell-for-Andrew Wiggins swap.

“It’s rare to have a team that might be able to contend and also have a top-five pick,” Myers said. “That’s where you could fall into taking the best player available. You don’t want to pass on a guy that you feel can usher in the next 10 years of the franchise.”

It cannot be said with conviction that such a guy is in this draft. So, yes, the Warriors should be open to trading the pick. Very open. Even if it’s No. 1 overall. Especially, given the potential harm to the payroll, if it’s No. 1 overall.

How Warriors are affected by EuroLeague canceling rest of 2019-20 season

How Warriors are affected by EuroLeague canceling rest of 2019-20 season

While the NBA is inching closer to resuming the 2019-20 season, Europe's top basketball league decided not to pursue the same avenue.

The EuroLeague announced Monday that it was canceling the remainder of its 2019-20 season.

Each EuroLeague team had played 28 of their 34 regular-season games.

Ordinarily, the EuroLeague ending its season wouldn't be news for the Warriors and their fans.

But 2020 has been a completely different year for the Warriors. Mired in a 15-50 season, Golden State will have a top-5 pick in this year's NBA draft.

That means 19-year-old Israeli prospect Deni Avdija, who plays for Maccabi Tel-Aviv, is on the Warriors' radar. NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole reported at the end of April that the Warriors have traveled to Europe to take a look at Avdija, who could be a top-5 draft pick.

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With the Warriors missing the playoffs this season, the team was going to use the unexpected free time in May to go scout prospects in Europe. Coach Steve Kerr reportedly was supposed to go watch Killian Hayes and Théo Maledon, while Kent Lacob, director of team development, was going to scout Avdija. But the coronavirus pandemic forced the Warriors to cancel those travel plans.

Due to travel restrictions, the Warriors likely wouldn't have been able to send anyone to watch Avdija play in the final six EuroLeague games had they been held, but they could have at least gotten more film on him. Now, they will have to form their opinion of Avdija with the in-person scouting they've already done and the film they have on hand.

In 21 games this season against Israel Basketball Super League competition, Avdija averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 26.6 minutes.

[RELATED: 2020 NBA Mock Draft 7.0]

Avdija hasn't seen as much playing time in the EuroLeague, so his numbers aren't great. In 26 games against better competition, he's averaging 4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 14.2 minutes.

We don't know when the NBA will hold the 2020 draft, but if the Warriors select Avdija, we'll know they saw enough of him before the coronavirus put a stop to basketball around the world.

Michael Jordan-Steph Curry 'The Match' pairing posed by Colin Cowherd

Michael Jordan-Steph Curry 'The Match' pairing posed by Colin Cowherd

Sunday’s “The Match,” featuring a showdown between NFL stars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady along with PGA icons Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods was a smashing success. The event raised $20 million for coronavirus relief in the United States, and was the highest-rated golf event in cable television history.

The access and humorous trash talk throughout has led many to speculate as to which duo from sports could be part of the next iteration of the event. Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd discussed this on Monday and posed some interesting potential pairings.

"Michael has always let it be known that he's pretty good at golf," Cowherd said. "Steph is easily the best current NBA golfer, that I would pay to see."

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Steph Curry tweeted Sunday that he’d like to be included next time around, and sure enough Cowherd first mentioned a duel between the Warriors star and another NBA icon with North Carolina roots in Michael Jordan. MJ was shown to play golf frequently throughout his NBA career during ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” and continues to be a fan of the sport.

Curry is an avid golf fan and was glued to his television Sunday during “The Match.” He’s played in some professional golf events in the past, and always is among the best current athletes at the celebrity-laden American Century Championship each summer in Lake Tahoe.

Given MJ’s propensity to trash talk during his historic NBA career, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be trading barbs constantly with Curry. Steph’s confidence never has been in question and he likely would have plenty of fun going back and forth with Jordan.

[RELATED: Who Warriors fans think Steph Curry should team up with in 'The Match']

Throwing a couple PGA pros in, especially two who are avid NBA fans could make for some great conversation. As we saw throughout Sunday’s foursome, Mickelson and Woods were more than willing to engage and dish out some one-liners.

MJ likely wouldn’t be thrilled about being mic’d up for an entire round with no editorial control. But if both parties would be willing, this would be the most highly-anticipated event in the history of golf.

Plus we finally could settle that pesky debate of which team was more dominant between Curry’s 2016-17 Warriors and Jordan’s 1995-96 Bulls.