Warriors

NBA 2K League draft: Warriors make history by selecting Chiquita Evans

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AP

NBA 2K League draft: Warriors make history by selecting Chiquita Evans

Chiquita Evans just made history by becoming the first woman drafted into the NBA 2K League.

Evans, 30, is a professional NBA 2K player who is obsessed with basketball. 

She is just one of two female players who entered the 198-player pool for Tuesday's draft in Brooklyn -- and now she's a member of the Warriors family.

The NBA 2K League is a part of the eSports movement that takes place on either Xbox One or PlayStation 4 -- and it's quite the process. It includes a combine that players have to qualify for, an evaluation process that includes basketball/2K IQ tests from the application that players completed during the qualifier and audio submissions to select players as well.

That's then followed by a 30-minute video interview with a league representative and a selection committee that will evaluate each individual who makes it to the interview stage.

It's pretty much the real deal. And Evans dominated it.

But it wasn't an easy task ...

“A few things got me discouraged,” she told Kotaku's Gita Jackson in an interview. “You’re going through the Combine and people don’t want to pass the ball, and my gender became an issue.”

“I’d get on the mic and say, ‘I’m open, I’m open,’ and they’d be like, ‘That’s a girl?’ ”she said. “I’d get iced out the whole game.”

But she didn't let that stop her or change what she wanted to accomplish.

So while Evans is shattering glass ceilings, she wants to make it known that she might be the first, but she doesn't want to be the last.

“I do feel like if I get drafted, a lot more women will be interested and they will feel more comfortable with being themselves and going out here and competing,” Evans said. “I can only imagine, you know, four or five years down the line, how many women would feel comfortable enough to go out here and compete.”

What Warriors' Ron Adams believes is Alen Smailagic's best current skill

What Warriors' Ron Adams believes is Alen Smailagic's best current skill

During Alen Smailagic's rookie season with the Warriors, he showed flashes as to why Golden State traded two future second-round draft picks (2021 and 2023) to acquire him.

The No. 39 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft averaged 4.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 9.9 minutes per game over 14 appearances.

"His best skill right now -- for a young guy, he's not afraid of the game," Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic last week. "He comes into the game and he's turned on. He makes some good plays.

"That was noticeable this year. His confidence, his savvy, whatever you want to call it. It was pretty impressive."

The 19-year-old has the utmost belief in himself, and doesn't shy away from the bright lights.

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

Smailagic believes he already belongs and can have a big impact on the game.

This is an important mindset to possess as it can help when things aren't going your way. And the reality is that Smailagic is far from a finished product.

"He has a ways to go," Adams said. "I think he made great strides this year. He would get in the game and the only thing he thought about was how (he was) going to get the ball into the hoop (laughter). He was just really intent on that. 

"He began to understand the game in a different way. He began to understand the game the way Steve (Kerr) likes the game to be played. I thought he improved defensively."

[RELATED: Draymond has eager student in Warriors rookie Smailagic]

It's possible that the 6-foot-10 Serbian is a consistent rotation player next season. The Warriors would be ecstatic if that comes to fruition.

But he might not have a significant role, and he could end up spending a decent amount of time in the G League with the Santa Cruz Warriors.

That is all to-be-determined.

"He's a young developing player," Adams said. "And when that's the case, you can never be surprised when things happen more quickly than you think they should in terms of development, and you can't be disappointed when they don't."

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How latest reported NBA schedule timeline could affect Warriors, draft

How latest reported NBA schedule timeline could affect Warriors, draft

The Warriors know they practically are guaranteed to land a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Yet they still don't know when the draft -- originally scheduled for June 25 -- actually will take place.

But the latest intel from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is helping us narrow down the date.

The draft typically falls on the first Thursday after the scheduled date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals. So if we assume the league maintains that format, the Warriors could be making their selections on Oct. 15.

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

To reiterate, we are making an assumption here and it's possible the NBA doesn't follow its normal protocol during these very uncertain times. 

But as Woj writes:

The expectation is that the NBA draft and the opening of free agency would follow in sequential order in October, sources said.

[RELATED: Oturu could be what Warriors wanted out of Bell in NBA draft]

If we apply the same logic for the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery -- which was slated for May 19 -- you can expect it to be held in mid-September.

We might know all of the specifics as early as Thursday because that's when the NBA's Board of Governors is expected to vote on the NBA's return-to-play proposal.

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