Warriors' Joe Lacob on Not Trading Draft Picks: 'We Want to Be Great for a Long Time'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 30, 2022

DENVER, CO - APRIL 21: Chairman and CEO of the Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors embrace after the game against the Denver Nuggets during Round 1 Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2022 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

While the Los Angeles Rams climbed the NFL mountain as Super Bowl champions after trading away a number of draft picks, the NBA's Golden State Warriors do not believe in the same strategy even with a number of veteran leaders.

"The organization took some criticism from people that we should trade all our draft choices that we had to get one more great player or whatever," Warriors governor Joe Lacob said, per 95.7 The Game. "I was very adamant about it, so was [general manager] Bob [Myers], that was not the path we're going down. We want to be great for a long time."

It isn't difficult to see why some advocated for Golden State to trade draft picks in recent years.

The franchise was in the middle of an extended championship window after reaching five straight NBA Finals from 2014-15 through 2018-19. Although Kevin Durant left the team following the 2018-19 campaign, the main core of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson was still in place.

Packaging multiple draft picks could have helped the Warriors land another star in the wake of Durant's departure and perhaps given them an even better chance to win a fourth title with that trio.

Yet injuries to Thompson and Curry limited the team's ceiling in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

During the post-Durant years, Golden State added Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody via the draft. While Wiseman is yet to live up to his potential because injuries have been a constant issue, Kuminga and Moody were both important secondary contributors for the Western Conference champions this past season.

And Poole is arguably the team's most important player outside of the Curry, Thompson and Green group as someone who can put the offense on his back for extended stretches, hit from the outside and attack the basket off the bounce.

Perhaps the Warriors would still be in the NBA Finals this season if they had traded some of their picks for another star with Curry, Thompson and Green all in their 30s. Yet Poole has been an integral piece during the current playoff run, and there are multiple young pieces in place to continue the tradition of winning even after the trio of stars are beyond their primes.

It will also be hard to argue with a front office of a team that wins a fourth championship in eight years if Golden State defeats the Boston Celtics.