The Warriors have been engaged in discussions with Utah that may lead to Golden State keeping its first-round pick.
The Warriors’ first-rounder will go to the Utah Jazz (via New Jersey) if the Warriors don’t land one of the top seven picks. But I’m told Golden State general manager Larry Riley has been working for months on securing a lottery pick for the Warriors.
Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob broke the news when he said during a KNBR interview Tuesday morning: “We think we can get our pick back.”
Nothing can happen until the draft lottery takes place, however, and the draft order is nailed down. The Warriors may not lose their first rounder if they somehow land in the top 7. But once the draft order is figured out in May, and if the Warriors indeed land outside of the top seven, expect discussion between the Warriors and Jazz to heat up as Golden State tries to appease Utah enough to land their first-rounder.
According to one source, the Warriors would not give up one of their core players to the Jazz. The likelihood is that the Warriors would offer a package highlighted by their three picks. Certainly, the Warriors don’t need to add three rookies to the roster. So the Warriors would certainly be willing to give up all three of their picks (the first-round pick they got from San Antonio and two second-round picks) to get into the lottery. Plus the prospect of adding free agent PF J.J. Hickson, if he pans out, could diminish the Warriors’ need for bench help.
UPDATE: Another option is to have Utah push it back to next season and/or loosen the restrictions. Utah is a young team and doesn’t need a bunch of young players. If the Warriors keep the pick, it goes to Utah next year (top 6 protected). Golden State could make it top 3 protected next season (increasing the chances Utah gets it) in exchange for the Warriors keeping it this year.