Warriors

Compared to Kawhi Leonard, Tulane wing Melvin Frazier fits Warriors' desire in NBA Draft

Compared to Kawhi Leonard, Tulane wing Melvin Frazier fits Warriors' desire in NBA Draft

OAKLAND -- The Warriors worked out six draft hopefuls on Monday, and at least one of them fits very neatly into their desired profile.

Melvin Frazier brings the kind of tools that would make him available to play as a rookie.

A product of Tulane University, where he played under former NBA player and coach Mike Dunleavy, Frazier is a 6-foot-6, 200-pound wing, with a 7-2 wingspan and a passion for defense.

“Coming up, growing up where I come from, that’s what we do,” he said after a nearly two-hour workout at the Warriors’ downtown facility. “A lot of guys today, in this generation, don’t like to play defense. It’s just something I like to do. And I know defense is going to get me on the floor.”

Frazier, 21, generally projects to be drafted late in the first round or early in the second on Thursday. The Warriors, who pick late in the first round, 28th overall, make no attempt to conceal their interest in two-way wings.

They also want a player who, like Jordan Bell last season and Pat McCaw in 2016-17, can contribute as a rookie.

“The draft is big for us, because we just don’t have a lot of vehicles to add players, as far as financial or cap space even the non-tax payer mid-level,” general manager Bob Myers said. “Things that you’d normally have, we don’t have. We’re looking for a guy who can play, which is a little unusual. We’re going to need to have guys that can go out there and give us minutes.”

McCaw is a restricted free agent whose return is in question. The Warriors have to draft on the probability that he will get a better offer elsewhere. Moreover, they plan to replace a couple big men with big guard/small forward types capable of defending multiple positions.

“I know I can impact any team, from Day 1, with my defense,” said Frazier, who added that he doesn’t pattern his game after any particular player but “always gets the comparison of Kawhi Leonard.”

Though Frazier’s true shooting percentage as a junior last season was 63.1, with 38.5 from deep, most scouting reports are tepid about his offense but rave about his defense -- on the ball and in space. Though at least one mock draft compared him to McCaw, Frazier sets himself apart with superior length and 40-inch vertical leap.

“People know I can play defense,” he said, “so I just want to show them my offensive side, that I can shoot the ball and that my percentage is true to what it is.”

Frazier previously worked out for Atlanta, Indiana, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Portland and Utah. The Warriors, the Louisiana native said, are his final workout before the draft.

The Warriors are crossing their fingers, hoping Frazier will be an option for them.

Mychal Thompson wants Klay to emulate James Harden in one aspect in 2018-19

Mychal Thompson wants Klay to emulate James Harden in one aspect in 2018-19

Klay Thompson is a well-rounded, versatile player. He shot 52.6 percent from 2-point range last season. He shot 44 percent from 3-point range. He made 83.7 percent of his free throws. He averaged 2.5 assists per game. He's the Warriors' best perimeter defender.

There's not a noticeable weakness to his game.

But his father Mychal spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Ostler on Saturday to talk about what kind of differences we'll see in Klay will be during the 2018-19 season and he shared the goal he's set for his son.

"I think you'll see a hungrier player. He's going to try to get more versatile, try to get to the basket a little more, more free throws, being more efficient on offense that way. I always tell him, try to make it a goal to shoot eight (free throws) a game. Eight or 10, like James Harden does," Mychal Thompson told Ostler.

Thompson attempted a career low 1.3 free throw attempts last season. His high-water mark was 3.3 free throw attempts per game during the 2014-15 season. By comparison, Harden attempted 10.1 free throw attempts last season and has surpassed 10 attempts per game in five of the last six seasons.

Of course, the elder Thompson was asked about his son's free agency next summer. Klay told the Bay Area News Group on Saturday that he wants to remain with the Warriors for the rest of his career. His father said the same thing at the Thompson Family Foundation's charity golf tournament on Saturday.

“Oh yeah, you can mark it down. Klay’s going to retire in the Warriors’ uniform. He’s going to play at Chase Center (the Warriors’ new arena, opening in 2019), and he’s not going to be at Chase Center as a visiting player, he’s going to be a Warrior for the next seven or eight years," Mychal said according to The Chronicle.

Klay Thompson addresses impending free agency: 'Number one on my list...'

Klay Thompson addresses impending free agency: 'Number one on my list...'

Editor's Note: The above video is from June 6, 2018, after the Warriors beat the Cavs in Game 3 in the NBA Finals.

With the 2018 offseason wrapping up, the talk surrounding the Warriors will shift to next summer's free agency of All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson.

Thompson and his father Mychal have said several times during the last few months (see above video) that their intention is stay with the Warriors long-term. But that's not stopping speculation that the seven-year veteran may bolt the Warriors following his eighth season.

On Saturday night, Thompson reiterated his desire to remain with the Warriors in an interview with the Bay Area News Group.

“I’ve said it many times before: I would like to be a Warrior for life. Contract negotiations are way down the line. But I think we all have the same interest. I would love to be here for the rest of my career,” Thompson told Mark Medina.

Pressed on the possibility of signing an extension with the Warriors before he hits the open market, Thompson left the door slightly ajar by offering this:

“It’s tough to say. I’d definitely be interested. But at the end of the day, I’m going to be a free agent in 2019. Number one on my list would obviously be to stay with the Warriors,” Thompson told Medina.

Thompson is entering the final season of a four-year, $68.97 million contract. He will make $18,988 million for the 2018-19 season.