Warriors implement logical NBA Draft strategy with championship clock ticking – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

SAN FRANCISCO — Every major professional sport has hundreds of examples of draft-day bad decisions, of self-aggrandizement that, in a matter of months, turn into regrets and, too often, cost an executive his job.

So, the Warriors used their limited options in the 2024 NBA Draft on Thursday, making decisions that won’t spill over onto social media but reflect their sense of urgency.

He made moves that reaffirmed his commitment to making the most of the remaining years of the Stephen Curry era.

Golden State added three 20-25 year old players with very good resumes. Average age: 24.

“We’re not just trying to pick older guys here,” general manager Mike Dunleavy said during a news conference at Chase Center. “We’re trying to pick guys who are good basketball players. If it takes a little longer or a lot longer to evaluate that, we’d be less concerned about age.”

With no first-round picks and, therefore, little chance of finding a future All-Star, Golden State chose players who defy the NBA Draft’s trend of looking for teenagers. Another logical trend in what was widely considered an unspectacular draft.

The Warriors on Thursday morning traded their only pick, the 52nd pick, to Oklahoma City for 26-year-old Lindy Waters III, a wing who has played three years of professional basketball, the last three in the Thunder system.

“I don’t think we would have traded for a guy using a draft pick if we didn’t think (he could compete for a spot in the rotation),” Dunleavy said. “With his skill set and the way he plays, it fits the way we play. We think he’s a guy we can plug in and play.”

On Thursday afternoon, they reclaimed that No. 52 pick (which O.K.C. had traded to Portland) and selected 24-year-old Ouinten Post, a 7-foot center who began his journey in the Netherlands before playing 124 games at two Division I colleges in the United States.

“We identified him as a guy who can shoot the ball and stretch the floor, and he has really good size,” Dunleavy said. “We think he rebounds. He defends the rim at a level that’s NBA-acceptable. Good passer. He fits a lot of the things we look for.”

Less than an hour later, the Warriors agreed to a two-way contract with 22-year-old Reece Beekman, a 6-foot-2 point guard who appeared in 121 of 126 games at the University of Virginia and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior.

We can’t know how much these three acquisitions will contribute to the Warriors, but the strategy of drafting “experienced” prospects makes perfect sense for a franchise looking to invest more in 2025 than 2030.

A franchise that is trying to fill the gap between at least two veteran players, Draymond Green and Curry, and four youngsters — Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Brandin Podziemski — whom the front office cites as goaltenders.

That was the plan at the beginning of the week. And that remained the plan until the end of the draft.

You’ll remember the Warriors selected five teenagers in three drafts ending in 2022. James Wiseman (2020), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (2022) and Ryan Rollins (2022) were traded. Only Kuminga and Moody remain.

Kuminga is now 21 and showed enough improvement last season to be slotted into the starting lineup. Moody turned 22 last month and has proven he is worthy of a spot in the rotation.

But this draft exercise was all about finding players who might not be bound for stardom but have a chance to contribute quickly. Three members of Golden State’s four-ring club are getting older. Curry is 36, Green is 34. Klay Thompson, if he comes back, is 34. In addition, the Warriors are also trying to account for the possibility of adding another veteran player.

They know what they want. And they know they need complementary players with easy-to-pay salaries. This was a case of low-risk gambling with the expectation of high rewards coming down the line. And soon.

“For me, as an evaluator, the more things a person can do well, the more I like them,” Dunleavy said. “There are some of these people who don’t do a lot of things, or only do them for a short period of time.”

Waters, Post and Beekman offer plenty of video to evaluate. Reduces the element of suspense, which, for these warriors, is, at this point, too risky.

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