How Golden State Warriors Draft Reshaped Their NBA Free-Agency Plans
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Just how did the Warriors ability to land a pick in the first round of this year's draft impact how the team will approach free agency?
In a couple words: it doesn't.
To recap: The Warriors traded into the 26th pick in the first round, then for some reason, didn't like who they wanted or felt the need to acquire more assets, traded down twice to the 29th, then the 30th pick, to select 22-year-old Serbian guard Nemanja Nedovic.
Scouting reports on Nedovic and his game abound; what he brings to the table is a new set of options for general manager Bob Myers and company.
The Warriors already have Kent Bazemore and Scott Machado on the roster as backups, and the NBA Summer League and training camps will provide the Warriors' front office a chance to get extended looks into these two players' strengths and weaknesses.
Bazemore is a potential lockdown defensive player with an inconsistent jump shot and handle. Machado is an excellent floor leader but is relatively small and owns a shaky shot.
Nedovic brings a slashing, athletic style of play, though he lacks the perimeter shot needed to push for a starting role. With Nedovic as a first-round pick, he'll own a guaranteed contract, and if he isn't stashed in Europe—unlikely because of his age—he'll own a roster spot.
However, this doesn't mean much in the feelers the Warriors have put out there. So far, Adrian Wojnarowski connected them to LaMarcus Aldridge and Andrea Bargnani in deals involving David Lee, and there's likely to be more rumors in no time.
With the Warriors doing their due diligence, the pick of Nedovic doesn't mean much in the long-term.
Consider that they will also have to make a decision on Jarrett Jack as well, who is looking for over $7 million per year, according to Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times. It's doubtful that Nedovic will take over Jack's minutes and production, making Myers' job in search of a backup guard more difficult.
But to be honest, the last four teams in the postseason had Norris Cole, D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless and Patty Mills as backcourt reserves, so there's no need for panic.
Many view Jack as insurance for Curry's ankles, but there were many moments last year that Jack didn't look in Curry's direction when trying to create space for his own mid-range jump shot.
Joe Lacob has appeared (at least publicly, or the information might not have gotten out) to check the league offices for what he can get in return for Lee. Throw that in along with the crazy and unnecessarily long sweepstakes of the Dwightmare, and Nedovic's selection isn't as important, yet.
2014 free agency may hold a larger interest in Myers' eyes because of pending free agents like Chris Bosh and LeBron James. In order for the Warriors to make a play, they'll need money, and Lacob appears to be willing to spend, especially if management can get rid of Lee's massive contract.
It's clear that Myers covets information league wide. As detailed by Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, the recent signing of Tyreke Evans by the New Orleans Pelicans could make point guard Greivis Vasquez and center Robin Lopez available. The two teams are talking, and Myers is no doubt looking for depth, even though the Warriors just drafted a player who will potentially fill the need of a slashing guard that the team lacked last season.
Though the draft provides options, it's nothing more than that—a set of movable pieces laid out in front of management. The Nedovic selection will have no bearing on tough decisions like the rumored deal coming from Marcus Thompson that would send Andrew Bogut and/or Thompson and Barnes for Dwight Howard.
The last point here is the actual impact Nedovic can make as a player on the team. If he does come to the United States, no one can project how he will be able to play.
We know how Darren Collison plays, and even what a Beno Udrih will bring to the table. But the transition that a European player must make when joining the NBA is different, sometimes difficult.
Of course, that can cut both ways. For example, Ricky Rubio struggled mightily in a rigid and demanding offense in Spain but thrived when he got to Minnesota and joined a free-flowing offense he was born to play.
Does Nedovic's selection change the way Myers runs the offseason?
In that same vein, the Warriors won't really know what they are getting in a 22-year-old guard who's still considered a bit raw. Ultimately, even if it's a first-round pick, it won't stop Myers from exploring and signing all his other options.
The Warriors pick of Nedovic is interesting and dynamic, but it won't change how Bob Myers will look to sign and/or trade for a max-contract player (Iguodala, Howard) or trade for cap room (David Lee).
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