The Golden State Warriors are set to enter draft week devoid of picks—exactly like last season. And just like last year, the Warriors are making more noise than any of the lottery teams could hope to make.
After all, how often do you get a chance to add a player like Kevin Love to your roster?
The Warriors have come to the understanding that while the draft is vital to a good team, so is the trade market. The draft is filled with uncertainty every year regardless of where you are picking. Trades allow you to target a specific, known commodity. It is often times the safer alternative with better results.
So with no picks to their name, the Warriors are still as relevant as ever, especially if last offseason is any indication.
The Warriors made the decision that adding a player like Andre Iguodala would prove to be greater than anything the draft could provide. Their gamble proved to be correct, as they notched their first 50-win season in 20 years and saw their defense morph into a top-three unit.
The Warriors are looking to improve their team again this offseason, and once more, they will have to go through the trade market to do so.
Love is the big name that is being thrown out at this point, and the Warriors have been viewed by many to be the leading contenders to acquire him.
As with any big trade, however, finding a middle ground has proved to be difficult. The two packages that the Minnesota Timberwolves have requested seem to be a bit much for the Warriors to stomach, especially for consultant Jerry West and new head coach Steve Kerr, according to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.
As it stands, the Warriors would either have to give up David Lee, Klay Thompson and a future first-round pick or Lee, Thompson and Harrison Barnes. That would be quite the coup for the Timberwolves, one that no other team could match, which is precisely why the Warriors are so hesitant.
It's no done deal right now.
What could complicate things even more is the fact that the two other leading contenders for Love, the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets, possess valuable draft picks that the Timberwolves crave. Boston can offer them the No. 6 and No. 17 overall picks while the Nuggets possess pick No. 11 and some interesting trade chips like Kenneth Faried.
What this means is that if Love is to go anywhere this offseason, it's most likely happening sooner rather than later.
You can bet that the Warriors will be watching the draft closely, even with no picks, to see how the Love saga turns out. If no trade transpires before then, the Warriors would be right back in the driver's seat to obtain Love and would hold all the leverage in the negotiations.
The Warriors have been adamant that their lack of picks is no reason to panic. General manager Bob Myers said as much, courtesy of NBA.com: ''I don't think that we're necessarily in need of a pick,'' Myers said. ''Everything's pretty fluid so I never want to rule it out but I think it would be difficult to get one this year.''
Myers has essentially ruled out trading for picks, meaning that the Warriors will either be returning the same team from last season or shaking things up with a trade. As West details in the video shown here, via Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the Warriors have ways to improve without drafting a single player, such as with their mid-level exception or their trade exception.
The Warriors will merely be watching the draft on Thursday night, but there is still a lot of intrigue surrounding it. It all begins and ends with Love. Should no trade transpire during the draft, look for the Warriors to play hardball with Minnesota. Pulling the trigger beforehand could mean giving up far more than they have to.