Despite being slotted at No. 4, the Warriors will draft No. 6. It’s the latest misfortune for a franchise that missed the playoffs for the 15th time in 16 seasons after leading the league in games missed due to injuries. Golden State were leapfrogged by No. 5 Washington and No. 6 Philadelphia, which landed the top two picks, respectively.
In their last 13 draft lotteries, the Warriors have either moved down or remained stagnant. Of course, stagnant would’ve been good this time. Because falling out of the top five not only leaves them out of the reach of Kentucky’s John Wall and Ohio State’s Evan Turner, but they may also be selecting too late to nab Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors, Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson, and Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins.
GM LARRY RILEY: “I’m not going to spend time thinking we should’ve been this number or that number. It is what it is. Now we go to work.”
On the bright side, the sale of the franchise is underway in earnest. According to sources, the Warriors have received at least 10 bids. Cohan can now narrow the field of prospective owners and get down to the real negotiations.
From what I’m told, Ellison pretty much resubmitted, or officially submitted, his $315 million offer (which suggests he isn’t intimidated by any other owners or he’s determined not to overpay, or both). Also, sources said, 24-Hour Fitness founder Mastrov, the minority owners and a group of Chinese businesspeople have placed bids. The SF Chronicle is reporting that an NFL owner and former Lakers star also placed bids.
I’m told the bids are fairly low, as compared to the initial talk of topping $400. But it’s still early. Certainly, Ellison can end it at any point he wants.
Certainly, the Draft Lottery didn’t help promote a bidding war. Landing the No. 1 pick, or even one of the top 3, would have added onto the Warriors’ potential. A talent and personality like Wall would have no doubted brightened the future of and buzz around the Warriors. But instead, the Warriors’ are faced with more uncertainy.
Unless someone falls, whoever they get at No. 6 won’t inspire excitement. So barring a Cousins or Favors falling to the Warriors, trading the pick might be the prudent move. A team looking to move up or go young might be willing to deal for No. 6. A combination of the pick and players might be just what the Warriors need to get the player they won’t be able to land in the draft.
Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala might be available since the 76ers got the No. 2 pick and, likely, Evan Turner. Maybe the pick and a player or two helps pry forward Josh Smith from Atlanta, or Al Jefferson from Minnesota.
Certainly, at No. 6, trading the pick is the best way to get immediate help for next season.