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August 20, 2020

Bob Myers

San Francisco, California, USA

Post-NBA Draft Lottery Media Conference

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for logging on. We appreciate everybody getting on tonight after the lottery. So we've got Bob Myers here, Warriors vice president, basketball operations, general manager. If you have a question, just let us know. Go ahead with the first question.

Q. What are just your initial thoughts when you see you guys got the No. 2 pick?

BOB MYERS: Just Steph Curry delivered, as usual. I don't know, happy. I suppose it was going to be 1 through 5, and 2 is about as good as you can get. So we're happy. That's the initial thoughts. I could probably use some better adjectives, but we're happy.

Q. How actively do you think you'll explore trading this pick, and how much do you think conversations like that will pick up across the league now that everyone knows their order, top 14?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, I know there's a lot of narrative around us trading our pick and what we're going to do with it, but we don't really know anything. At this point we found out half an hour ago we had the No. 2 pick, so that's the first step as far as getting some clarity, and now it'll be do we like somebody there. We don't entirely control the draft, but all I'd like is two guys to be happy, so that makes it a little simpler. But I have no idea whether -- what the value is of that pick, how much people covet it, and I don't think I'll know that anytime soon. That's something that might play out over the next couple months.

But usually the No. 2 pick is pretty good, so I imagine either we'll be happy or -- I think we'll be happy with whatever options. Whatever route we take, I think we'll be pretty happy about it.

Q. Now that the draft order is set, what are sort of the next steps as far as the draft evaluations?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, we've never really been here. I joked a little bit, but all you have to like is two guys. The next step is really -- a lot of people are talking about trades. The first thing you have to do is find out how you rank your board, what's our order. We have ample time to do that. We've been doing that already. I don't think we've ever had more time or more runway to figure that part out.

But now we know what pick we have, so whether that means more virtual contact with certain players, whether that means more meetings probably internally, more film, we'll be able to focus more, the gap between the 5th pick and the 1st or 2nd pick, it narrows your scope, it certainly narrows your scope. If we had the 5th pick, I think you're looking at a much broader range of guys.

Not that we won't have a big group, but it does make it smaller than the No. 5 or even 4 pick. It's time to kind of really focus. There's no more, I-wonder-what-pick-we're-going-to-have. We know what pick we have, and we know that there's just one team in front of us, so it makes it simpler in many respects, and it's going to also depend on what kind of access we get, and I discussed that earlier.

The league is still sorting through what kind of interaction we're going to be able to have with players, and based on that we'll move forward. I think there's hopefully going to be some more information on that at some point as far as how we can view players, whether in our facility or in person somewhere else, and we'll see where the league goes with that, too.

Q. There was a report today that -- there's talk about the free agency getting bumped all the way back a few weeks past where it's currently projected at. Do you like that? Do you want free agency to be as far away as possible so you kind of know the financial situation, or would you rather have like a firm date?

BOB MYERS: I just want them to get it right. It's hard to answer that question in isolation. There's so many factors in play as far as when the draft will be, when free agency will be and why they will be the dates that they are. I think the more information we can get, the better as far as the economics, and I think that's something that everybody is aware of. It's no secret. The league and the union are going to figure that out. I trust how they've navigated things so far. Just got back from the bubble yesterday -- or today (laughing), got back today. It's pretty unbelievable. There's some wonderful leaders. Obviously Adam Silver at the helm with some really high-quality people at the NBA, and they're going to figure it out.

That's the beauty of this league; they've been able to figure out what's best for everybody, our fans, our teams, our players. But once those decisions are made, I think we'll just accept them. I can't sit here and pretend to know what's right or wrong because I don't have all the information. But when we draft, we'll clearly know what pick we have. That's about all I know at this point. But the most information we can have would be the most beneficial.

Q. Bob, I'm curious, you went to the bubble; what was your objective at the bubble? What was the purpose of what you were doing and what were you doing there?

BOB MYERS: I mean, one, I wanted to see what it was like, just to experience it. Obviously I'm not in it. I wasn't in it. I don't go inside the bubble. I kind of peer through the outer lens of the bubble.

But for me, pro scouting. I'm a big in-person guy, so I got to see 12 games in three days and see all the teams. Saw 16 teams play. Usually as a general manager we don't do a lot of pro scouting, so for me I only see teams when we play them, and obviously the season got cut short and certain teams I never saw play. If we played them on the road and hadn't played them at home, I don't know if we had seen every team from the East or if we had or not. But it was tremendously valuable for me to be out there for those two reasons.

And then also, look, the league is constantly changing, and just to watch what's going on in the Playoffs, it's different than last year's Playoffs. Next year's Playoffs are going to be different than this year's. You're watching it, too, and I want to have the best chance of understanding where the league is going. And our competition.

Last five years we were able to kind of have a front-row seat, but when you're in it, it's harder to be objective. When you're watching your team it's hard to watch other teams and be able to focus on it, we're so focused on our own journey.

So it was nice to go in with no pressure. Clearly we're not in this race. But it also gave me some clarity and the ability to sit there and watch uninterrupted a lot of basketball.

And the last part is I like watching basketball. I really -- the only thing I know is that I like basketball, so as much as I can watch it, I try to do that.

Q. Is there any argument to be made that No. 2 is better than No. 1 because we all know what type of, I guess, pressure follows a No. 1 overall pick for pretty much his entire career?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, people can make that argument. I don't know, it depends. We'll see. But yeah, there's a scrutiny to 1. I think that's no secret. But that doesn't mean it's not a good thing to have.

But yes, there's -- people will remember who the No. 1 pick is. But if you were asking me would I take 2 over 1? No, we'd probably take 1 over 2. But now that we have 2, it's fine, and we're happy with it, like I said. But to your point of 1 bearing a weight, yeah, it tends to do that. Sometimes guys thrive in that, sometimes they don't. Probably it's more upon the player.

Yeah, I guess for a team, too, you're judged completely differently, I suppose, and having the No. 1 pick maybe as opposed to No. 2, even though it's just one spot lower. I don't know. I guess 1 is always what you want, but highest we've ever had is -- or I've ever been involved with is 7, so this is even completely different than that. 2 and 7 are night and day in my opinion.

Q. We talked a little bit about this the other day, but now that you have the pick and you know it's No. 2, how much of a say will Steph, Klay, Draymond have in whether or not you keep it or whether or not they want to potentially put it in a deal and get a more veteran piece in here?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, our guys -- those guys, I feel like they've earned a right to say whatever they want, and I've also earned the right to listen and do what we think is right, too, and it's a mutual respect. They've never been -- they've always been cooperative and thoughtful, and whether it's a minimum player, we ask their opinion, sometimes on trades, we ask their opinion. When guys win three championships for you, I think that's -- they deserve that.

Now, it doesn't mean they're the GM or the main scouts or the assistant GMs of the team, but one year Draymond kind of sat in on the draft. Klay, I'm not sure Klay -- Klay sometimes weighs in but not that often. And even Steph, I hope we've earned their trust at this point in time. I hope they've liked what we've done. We haven't been perfect, but I think we've given those three guys some good tools to go out and win with, and I think that they would say the same thing.

But as time passes over the next month or two, sure, I'm happy to talk to them about what they think they like or don't like or whether it's this pick or our mid-level exception or TPE. Happy that they're the ones out there playing, and I view their opinions as information, too. They're the ones that know these players on the floor. So I think it would be a mistake not to hear what they have to say and be an audience for that.

But I don't think they are the type, nor do they want to have the responsibility of pushing us in a direction that we don't want to go in. That's not something they've ever done before. I like talking to those guys. It's collaborative and we'll see what their opinions are, as well. But they do a good job of just doing their job, which is going out and playing and obviously playing as well as they have and bringing three championships to our fans and our organization.

Q. As you guys approach the NBA Draft, are you guys looking more for a big man approach, as we can see the James Wiseman, Isaac Okoro, those are two guys that could really benefit you guys down low, or are you trying to go with more of an outside game approach like with LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I don't know, and I honestly don't know right now because somebody smart told me the other day don't make a decision until you have to. We don't have to right now, so we haven't. We have not made a decision on who we're picking, what we're doing, because we have a lot of time to figure that out, and my hope is that we can sit and watch all the players that we're interested in in person, that we can interview them in person, that we can get a chance to look at their medicals. We have had none of that yet. The best we've done is done a Ring Central call with a few of them virtually. It's too early to say. I use the example of you don't hire someone over a virtual interview and pay them $30, $40 million. Ideally you don't do that.

Now, it may come to that, but we're going to exhaust every opportunity to get as much access as we can. Right now we don't even have measurements, accurate measurements for a lot of guys. The hope is that we get that. We don't have medicals.

So those things matter. There's a ton of things that we have seen on film and seen in person with some of these guys, but there's a lot of things we haven't seen, so it's hard to say right now. I feel like the answer is incomplete, and so we need to figure that out and take the next couple months to do that.

Q. Last year there was pretty much consensus that Zion was going to go No. 1. This year that's much less consensus and a lot more even evaluations among the top three or four or five guys. You have a board. You won't tell us who you're going to pick, I understand that, but on your board is it much difference between 1 and 2 this year as it would have been say last year?

BOB MYERS: Well, I can't say anybody's names, but 1 and 2 last year were both pretty good. But yeah, look, I think -- you're asking how much gap there might be between how we rank 1 and 2, and the answer is I'm not trying to deflect here, I don't know what the gap is because I'm not -- it really does matter what -- one medical is huge, right, it's a big deal, and I know it's not an attractive or exciting thing for people to talk about, but it does matter. This is a big investment financially. These players aren't making $2, $3 million. They're immediately starting off at $9, $10 million, and that player, that's a big investment. It's a big opportunity. You want to get it right, and health matters, as we all know.

But I don't know, I think that there's obviously a lot of time to try and decide that, and on draft night we will have that answer or maybe a week before, maybe two, three weeks before, but this is really unusual. Normally we'd be at the combine right now hearing what number we had, and we'd probably already have what a guy's wingspan was or what any MRIs said about him. We probably would have already sat down with the guy in Chicago and interviewed him three feet away. We would have already done all those things, and we haven't done any of those things. And the draft would be one month away then. But now it looks like it's two months away from now.

I don't know. I really don't. And that's the truth.

We'd better get it right when the time is right, but we have a little bit of time until that time comes.

Q. I'm curious how much the financial uncertainty of the league moving forward, how the cap is going to look, free agency and everything, how that moves forward? How does that affect if you're taking a player or if you're trying to package that for a veteran who may be a little more expensive?

BOB MYERS: Well, I mean, I'm lucky to work for some guys that have been in the tax a few times, and I've spent a lot of time. We've always had a high payroll. But our players have performed and produced for us. Obviously we didn't get it done this year, that's why we're getting the No. 2 pick. But they've always put winning in front of making money.

I don't think that'll change. Now, who knows what the economics look like. I don't. Nobody does. But we want to win. We're watching this bubble and we're not in it and we're competitors and we want to get back to the Playoffs. It's hard not being in the Playoffs. We're going to be aggressive. We're always aggressive.

The good news is the rules, whatever they are, it's going to be an even playing field. Everybody is playing by the same rules. That's all you can ask for. We'll wait to see what those are, but again, I want to mention how I completely trust whatever rules come down from the league. They do a tremendous job, and I think we'll have a great shot to do a lot of different things once we figure out the landscape.

THE MODERATOR: We appreciate everybody logging on tonight for Bob. We hope to see everybody as we move forward. Stay healthy and stay happy. Thank you.

BOB MYERS: Thanks, everybody. Appreciate it.

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