Warriors

Warriors

Like every basketball coach in the NBA, Steve Kerr has moved away from the gym. Unlike many of his coaching brethren, he has traded his basketball and clipboard for an apron.

Kerr has moved into the kitchen. Dinner has replaced tipoff as the big event of the evening.

“I’m cooking dinner every night with the family, which has been nice,” Kerr said Wednesday over the phone to NBC Sports Bay Area. “I like to cook. We kind of all cook.”

The Kerrs -- Steve, wife Margot and adult children Nick, Maddy and Matthew -- are gathered at the family home a few miles north of San Diego. Consider this re-bonding a way to seek something positive during shelter-in-place guidelines due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m enjoying it,” he said. “We’re empty-nesters, so having all three kids under our roof ... we’ve had more family dinners over the few weeks than we’ve had over the last five years combined.”

Being away from the office/gym is not a vacation from hoops. Kerr is splitting job duties, still coaching via video but also has temporarily join the staff of president of basketball operations and general manager Bob Myers.

Kerr is embracing a role he has not experienced since joining the Warriors nearly six years ago.

“I’ve really dived into the draft stuff, which has been fun,” he said.

“What I look for is an awareness level at both ends. Does a guy box out every play, or does he watch the ball? Does he get beat back door? Is he aware of weak-side cutters? Does he get rid of the ball quickly, or is he a ball-holder? All those little things. And they’re much easier to pinpoint when you’re watching a specific guy rather than watching his team.”

 

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Though NBA rules forbid Kerr from naming names, his evaluation criteria should come with a caution light for top-of-the-draft prospects Obi Toppin, a forward from Dayton, and center James Wiseman of Memphis (briefly). Both have been flagged for defensive shortcomings.

Asked if he focuses more on offense or defense, Kerr said it’s imperative to study both.

“It’s always a two-way game when you get deep into the playoffs, but never more so than now,” he said. “It’s so important to have two-way capabilities in the modern game. You’ve got to be able to defend multiple spots, so we look for that.

"Can a big guy switch onto a guard and stay in front of him? Can a guard switch onto a big guy and have the strength to battle him? Are guys making the right rotations? The right reads?”

With the NBA calendar suspended, the original dates for the lottery (May 19) and the draft (June 25) are in jeopardy. Nothing will be finalized until a decision is made whether to complete the remaining regular-season schedule or scrap it and re-open with the postseason.

[RELATED: Report: Warriors likely to draft Edwards at No. 1 if no trade]

Whenever the draft takes place, the Warriors will make their selection at or near the top of the lottery. Toppin and Wiseman will be among the first five or six players selected, but most scouts believe 18-year-old Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards has the highest potential.

It is safe to presume Kerr is scrutinizing all three, as well as a few others, including USC big man Onyeka Okongwu, Auburn small forward Isaac Okoro, Israeli wing Deni Avdija and point guard Killian Hayes, currently playing in France.