So we have a pick, eh? This situation broke perfectly for the Warriors, a franchise perpetually addicted to standing on low expectations and declaring themselves tall.
I’m glad they tanked for it, but the seventh pick is a bit like an airplane meal. Nobody is excited for the airplane meal, but a rescinded airplane meal makes for an especially boring and unpleasant flight. It’s fun to at least think about what the offering might be, even if it will likely be beef stroganoff, shaded greyer than an oozing rain cloud. And if the in-flight meal is rescinded, but given back by some miracle? Well, that can make people feel like the aircraft is flying to a Michelin star.
Number seven can yield the occasional winner, though. Fans carp about Steph Curry, but he’s an undeniable catch at that selection spot. Would you rather have gotten Johnny Flynn? What about No. 8 pick Jordan Hill?
The Dubs have a shot at a decent player, even if it’s unlikely. I’d personally love for them to bet on the side of unpolished potential. Why? Because I want the Warriors to be in the business of confidently creating value for once, rather than blithely destroying it. San Antonio drafted Kawhi Leonard and promptly gave him a jumpshot. Good teams manufacture talent as much as they find talent, the draft isn’t simply a guessing game. There were many draft busts who might have turned out fine in a different situation.
So, my preference is for us to find out whether the Warriors have really changed as an organization, whether they can develop raw talent. I ached for the Warriors to be that particular kind of team when I read this Jonathan Givony description of Terrence Jones:
“While it is easy to find a niche for Jones’s skill set on a NBA roster, the challenge for front offices will be ensuring that he’s put in a position to reach his full potential –a much more complex proposition.”
It doesn’t have to be the mercurial Jones, specifically. It could be the intriguingly awful shooting Tony Wroten, or maybe Andre Drummond after an improbable draft slide. I just want the Warriors to be confident in their development abilities. I want them too avoid playing the kind of safe that doubles as a, “We can’t grow talent” admission. In other words, no thanks on Harrison Barnes.