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August 17, 2020

Bob Myers

San Francisco, California, USA

Pre-Draft Lottery Media Conference

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everybody, for joining in. As we noted in the email we sent out on Friday, this is just our typical going back to 2012 pre-lottery media availability just so you can get a story or two prior to the lottery on Thursday night. I think everybody knows it starts at 5:30 our time on ESPN and shouldn't take too long. Obviously it's all virtual this year compared to the years gone by when it was in studio.

With that said, I know Bob is trying to watch some games today, so we'll try to roll through this as quickly as possible for him, so if you have any questions, we'll go ahead and start off.

Q. I was just wondering in a draft like this, how do you balance drafting for need versus drafting the best player available?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I think I've been asked that question a few times, and I think the answer you don't want to hear, which is the truth, is that hopefully you can do both. I don't know where we're going to pick yet, but you don't pick 1 through 5 that often, right, because you'd like not to, so the goal would be to get somebody who can help you now and help you later. And if a player is really good and you get it right, I don't know that that's too much to ask. I mean, not everybody -- even some of our really good players, although they don't help you right away, they still help you, some of the guys we've had on our team for a while. So it's the goal, and you try to meet it.

I don't think you want to necessarily think too short-term and sacrifice a big upside if you think a guy has a lower ceiling but can help you for the next two years but not as much after that. So you kind of want to avoid that, but the goal would be to kind of check both those boxes.

Q. You guys have been obviously used to picking at the end of the first round. Now that you're going to be picking in the top five here, does your approach change at all throughout this process? Do you feel any more pressure to deal with this any differently from somebody that you'd be using this pick on as opposed to a late first rounder?

BOB MYERS: I don't know if pressure is the right word, but you certainly have more of a narrow focus. You have a lesser pool of guys to look at than you would at 25 or 30 in the draft. You'd like to have more visibility, and normally you would probably, you'd get more access to a guy. You might have him come in once or twice and have an ability to be around him more maybe because a lot of players as well as agents are motivated to be drafted high, so they work with you. But when you're picking where we were, you're a little bit at the mercy of the process.

But this year is a completely different situation, too, so I'd like to say that you drill down a little deeper, and we will, but I still have to see what that process will look like.

Yeah, and look, there will be -- I think hindsight is more poignant on things like this, and you will either be celebrated or criticized more than you would because there's more of a focus on players that are drafted this high, so I guess you deal with that. But you know, you can't make any decisions based on that component of things.

But it's a completely different situation we've been in since the Harrison draft was the highest one I've been involved with.

So we'll see. For me and our staff, I think it will be nice to get some clarity on this, what number do we have and kind of go from there.

Q. You've had eight drafts now, going on nine, and I'm curious to know what have you learned, and how is your approach different now than it was in your first draft or two regarding players?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, probably more analytical. It doesn't mean you respond to the analytics, but they're introduced into the process a lot more than they were previously in the last seven, eight years. So that factors into things. It gets very mathematical, and you have to decide how much you want to weight that as part of the process. So that's a different thing.

You know, as far as with my very, very first draft as a GM was a little bit -- there was a lot going on in that one because we had four picks, and that was the Harrison and Festus and Draymond and Kuzmic draft. I guess I feel personally like -- I don't feel overwhelmed. That was a little overwhelming just to have that many picks in the very first time sitting in the chair. I don't feel that weight, but more exciting, more excited about this opportunity than anything.

But as far as how we do things, I think you try to learn from mistakes you make and go back and look at the rankings, and having had the same group together for a little while allows us to go back and say, well, why did you rank this guy in this number and look at people's patterns and who's been successful and who hasn't within the group and how they value guys. So there's a little more accountability. But that's also evolving.

But I would say the analytics has really grown not just in our organization but across the NBA. We're not baseball but we're much closer to baseball than we ever were, especially nine years ago.

Q. On a broader note, obviously everything has changed and the draft is no different, but how much more difficult is it for you guys to prepare for this draft compared to drafts in the past?

BOB MYERS: We'll see. So far it's been a long runway, much longer than we've ever -- I can say easier because we have more time but harder because we have less access. But everybody does. All you can ask for is an even playing field. I don't know, we'll see how the process unfolds, whether we'll get to view guys virtually or how that'll come together, whether interviews will just be on the Zoom or what will happen in that capacity. But I guess I would ask me at the end of it or even a day before or a week before how it actually unfolded, what were the difficult parts of it compared to past years, but now it's hard to say what it will be and what it will look like. I don't know that there will be a combine. We're used to even having that. All I can say is that everybody is getting the same information, but it is very different. Any time something is different you have to adapt to it.

Q. Given those constraints you're talking about, do you think it's at all possible you might draft somebody where you haven't seen a game in person and haven't seen a workout? Is such a thing even within the realm of possibility for you?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, it is, it absolutely is, which makes you a little uncomfortable, to be honest. It's a rare thing to not have -- even if you had missed a game, you would at least get to see that player most likely in your own facility, but to have the opportunity to maybe not have seen a game, and some of these games you were hoping to see, our whole group was hoping to see when the college season got cut short, and so it may not be me. It may be somebody else in the group saw them. I think we've got everybody covered in that capacity where at least somebody saw them. I would have liked to see more guys than I did, but if you're talking about me, that's a possibility. If you're talking about our group, I think between us all, somebody will have seen the person at least play. Now, whether we get to see them in our facility or not or in another place, that's to be determined, but as far as seeing them in a game, I think somebody or more than one will be able to raise their hand and say, I saw him or I saw him a few times.

Q. Is there anybody who could fall in the lottery that nobody from the Warriors has been able to see because everything ended so quick?

BOB MYERS: No, I don't think so. I mean, if you're speculating on the lottery and all the guys that are being discussed there, I can't think of a guy that nobody has seen, including the international guys. I think we've seen those guys. People in the group have seen them. So I don't think there's a -- I'll have to get back to you and make sure, but right now off the top of my head, I think of all the top 15, 20 guys, somebody has seen them.

Q. The last time we talked to you, you weren't sure exactly what Klay was doing at that time. That's been I think a couple months now, and I guess you saw how important the depth was at guard last season, and just where is Klay and how important is it to have so many guards as we saw you needed?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, pivoting a little bit to our current team, we're still awaiting word on what we'll be able to do as a team as one of the eight teams that didn't go to Orlando, what can we do, and that would be the opportunity to see Klay, in more than just a 1-on-0 deal, which is what we're allowed to do now. So we're waiting to see. Maybe we have some clarity at some point where we could practice, and the hope would be -- again, you have to see it first and you've got to get clearance from our people, that he would be able to play and that we would be able to play as a team. Hopefully check back in at some point here in the near future and I could answer that better, but right now just because guys haven't been allowed to play in our facility, I can't really answer what he is, but all indications seem positive, and I'm hopeful that everything will be fine. I have no reason to think they won't, I just can't verify it.

Q. Is it frustrating to not know yet when you can get together as a team or you just kind of have to play this out and wait until things are done?

BOB MYERS: You know as a human being we all have to kind of -- there's a lot of people frustrated by a lot of different things and there's a lot of unknowns, so you just have to abide by what is safest, and right now that's not -- we don't have the opportunity. Hopefully at some point we can deem it safe enough to do. But yeah, there's different levels of frustration, but I think at this point we just have to follow the guidelines and comply and hope that at some point we'll get to do some of that stuff.

Q. Depending on the results from the lottery, would that change your willingness to maybe trade out or trade down in the draft if you guys ended up with the first pick? Is that just untouchable, or is that an option no matter where you guys are picking?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I don't know. There's a lot of variables right -- well, there's a big variable not knowing our pick, but assuming we know it, then it becomes what's the league's value of it, what's our value of it. I don't know the league's value of it, to be honest. Nobody is talking about trades. I have no idea how the league values the first pick, the fifth pick, the fourth pick. I have a sense of how we would value it, but you have to kind of pick all that together in every decision you make and make the best decision for our team.

But to answer that question now, even assuming we had the pick number in hand, it's premature to even know the value of it, for us or for another team, so we'll have to wait and see kind of how things go in that direction.

Q. To follow up on that, how much more involved, if at all, are Steph, Klay and Draymond at least in the initial conversations right now leading up to wherever you guys pick given what's on the line, whether you keep it or deal it away later?

BOB MYERS: Those guys are great. I mean, they want to win. They want to win. I don't feel any pressure from any of them to do a certain thing. I know it's been written that we need to win now and they need to get a proven player, but they've not said that to me. Maybe they would at some point, I have no idea. But I think they know, and if they want to obviously talk about it, they can call me or I'll call them, I suppose, too, and get their thoughts. I've already kind of joked with them and asked them what they like of certain players. Steph's big responsibility right now is to hopefully do his job and get us a high pick here. He's on the dais up there, so we're really counting on him right now. And then after that we'll move forward.

Q. What do you make of the notion of there being more pressure to pick one versus less pressure of picking maybe four or five depending upon how it shakes out? Obviously you want the best pick you can, but how do you weigh that in your mind as far as, boy, maybe we'll let a couple things play out first and that makes the decision easier to make?

BOB MYERS: I guess it's easier as far as my own blame or credit, I guess. But that's not really -- you can't really do the job like that. If you get the No. 1 pick wrong, I'm sure people don't forget that. If you get the No. 5 pick wrong, people are more likely to move on, so there's a scrutiny to 1, but there's also an opportunity to having 1. There's an option to it; you control it, so to speak, whereas 5 or 4, whatever else, you're at a little bit of the mercy of the teams in front of you. So yeah, I think you always want the most attractive asset if you value the pick as an asset. I think it is. The number is an asset. But you do, if you want to be honest, you face more scrutiny because when you, quote-unquote, redraft or wait a couple years and people say, well, they should have done this, X, Y or Z or you don't get it right at the very top, you do open yourself up, but look, you shouldn't do the job if that's a fear of somebody in my position. You've got to just do what you think is right, and I think anybody would want that pick. It's almost like in Vegas, the dealer has an 8 you don't want to surrender, you want to play. You want to compete, you want to do the best you can with the pick.

Q. When you pick so high, does the gut become less of a factor if any factor at all?

BOB MYERS: No, I think the gut is always a factor. That's what hopefully -- if you want to talk about any decisions any of us make, the fact that we make them from someplace, you can call it gut, you can call it how you make decisions, how I make decisions, how do you value all the information around you, and that I guess you could define as gut. But it's really just processing information, kind of funneling it, focusing it and then doing what you think is right at the time. And all I could do in our group is whatever we have in front of us and the people we've hired who are vitally important, everybody is going to have their say, and all of you on the call know that we're pretty collaborative. But it's a process we enjoy, and it's not group think, I'll tell you that. We're not all just patting myself on the back and doing whatever I -- everybody has got a voice. I like that. I think we like that. But ultimately there is a gut component to it. But it's not shoot-from-the-hip gut component, it's more of, hey, listen, we got all this information, we've processed it, we've digested it, we've evaluated it, now what do we want to do. In that moment you might say it's gut, but it's not like we don't do any of that and I just walk in and I go, you know what, I like this guy, forget about all that. That's not how we do it. So there's some gut to it, but it's an informed and kind of educated gut.

Q. Does gut become more or less of a factor as you get experience?

BOB MYERS: Oh, man. It's almost -- there's such an information flow now that I think people that would walk around and just say gut, you probably don't hear that as much. You may hear it when somebody gets something right and looks back and wants to use that as an example, but like anything now, there's so much math to everything. There's so much numerical processing to do that the notion of what it used to be maybe 15, 20 years ago where I look at that scene in Moneyball where they're all sitting around the table and you've got some of the old scouts commenting on what the guy's girlfriend looks like, and then Billy is sitting there with the assistant GM and they're processing on-base percentage. It's somewhere in the middle of that, especially in our sport, because we're not baseball. We're never going to be baseball. Baseball is one at-bat, one pitcher. The variables are very different. Maybe who's batting behind you or in front of you or who's on base, but basketball is not like that.

I think the gut component more now means how does your gut process the mountains of information in front of you. All the stuff you have on players now you've got IQ tests, you've got measurements, you've got plus length, you've got the analytics, and I talk about analytics, that's not a simple part of it. It's how you process analytics. What kind of analytics are you using, what are your intellectual property formulas that you designed and that you work with. So it's all that stuff.

But ultimately you've got to look at all that and say, all right, we're doing this. So maybe less what you're talking about. There's an old-school definition of gut. Gut still comes into play but maybe not like it did in the past.

Q. With the Playoffs starting today and you're looking at the top pick in the West, how does matching up influence what you guys might do as far as the person you're looking to add?

BOB MYERS: I don't know, I just watched a pretty good Denver-Jazz game. They're pretty good. I don't know if we're at that point yet, how we match up. I guess I never -- maybe it was good luck, but I never felt like we had to design a team to compete with another team. We just tried to make the best version of ourselves. I still think that's the right way to go. But especially in the west, you do see a lot of -- some of the teams that aren't here anymore certainly showed that they're here to stay and have great futures. It's a daunting thing, the west. If you look at the next year, I think all 15 teams expect to be in the Playoffs and maybe have a case for it. We've got to do the best we can with the vehicles we have to get better, the draft being one of them, and some of the other tools we have. But I don't look at it like we've got to sign a guy to stop this guy or that guy. We've just got to get better with our own situation.

Q. Will there be any superstitions in play on Thursday?

BOB MYERS: I don't know. I mean, I delegated this process to my good friend Raymond Ridder and Kirk Lacob. I kind of conveniently washed my hands of the specifics of the lottery, but there's a rumor there's going to be a dog in play. Obviously Steph -- you know, guys, I know we're in the business of entertainment, but just tell me where we pick. Just tell me what number it is.

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