Thursday's NBA draft featured a fair amount of suprises. Russell Westbrook landed as the fourth-overall pick, Chris Douglas-Roberts ventured into the second round, and Jason Thompson was picked by the Sacramento Kings at number 12.
The Golden State Warriors, however, recieved some sensational young prospects in Anthony Randolph (first round) and Richard Hendrix (second round).
Randolph, a 6'10" power forward, was practically the only remaining legit big man that could fit the Warriors run-and-gun style at the 14th pick.
Darrell Arthur could have been a potential pick, but all NBA teams abstained from selecting the skilled forward due to kidney complications until he was selected by the New Orleans Hornets for the Portland Trial Blazers.
Randolph is an exciting pick for the Warriors, due to the fact that he's a Brandan Wright clone. He has the same quickness, incredible length, unorthodox jump hooks—and most significantly, blocks unimaginable shots with that extraordinary length.
He's also an inside-out threat, who can effectively post up on the block or take his defender out on the perimeter. He's a terrific ball-handler for his size, and utilizes length and athleticism to his advantage as a rebounder and shot blocker.
But for the Chris Mullin and Don Nelson, the most important attribute they discovered during the workout in Oakland lay in Randolph's ability to effectively run the floor.
In an interview conducted by Tim Roye, the Warriors' radio broadcaster, Mullin said, "We’re excited about it. He’s long, athletic, and can make plays. We feel he’s got star quality. We feel real fortunate to have him.
"We were sitting there kind of amazed he was still there. But the way we play and his length, he can handle the ball. His shot will improve, his strength will improve."
Randolph will most probably play the small-forward position for the Warriors in the future. Meanwhile, Randolph's rookie season will have to be put aside, due to the fact that Nellie has constant first-year paranoia—unless, of course, Randolph shows Nellie he can be a reliable bench player during his rookie campaign.
First though, Randolph has to improve his body strength in order to bang with those brick wall bodies of the NBA.
In the second round, the 49th pick for the Golden State Warriors also looked bright, with the nifty selection of Hendrix.
Hendrix possesses a strong body, enough to convince the W's that he is truly NBA-ready at power forward, though undersized for his position. He has been compared to Paul Millsap of the Utah Jazz.
Assuming that Al Harrington (one of my favorite players on the Warriors squad) gets traded, Brandan Wright will certainly move up into the power forward position next season, with Hendrix as his back-up.
The 2007 NBA draft witnessed the trade of the noblest Warrior, Jason Richardson, to the Charlotte Bobcats.
However, the 2008 NBA draft was exciting for the Warriors. Let's hope the new prospects live up to their expectations.