GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 11, 2020
San Francisco, California, USA
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everybody, for logging on for our annual pre-draft media availability with Bob. This will be kind of your one shot to talk to him prior to the draft. With the timeline with free agency and all that, this will kind of take us through free agency, since Bob's schedule is going to be so busy pretty much through the end of November.
Next Wednesday on draft night, the NBA will not allow us to gather in person from a media standpoint so we will not be able to do anything in person at Chase Center like we were hoping to do with the media, so we'll send out information next week about a link for Ring Central for Bob after the draft on Wednesday night.
With that said, I'll throw it over to Bob for opening remarks.
BOB MYERS: I don't have any pressing opening comments, so I'll just start with whatever questions everybody has.
Q. Obviously with the news of teams getting some cap relief or in the luxury tax that impacts you guys, is that going to directly impact your decision making when it comes to using the traded player exception or the mid-level exception at this point?
BOB MYERS: I wouldn't say directly. I think that everything has an impact financially, whether we have fans, whether we don't, what the rules are with the cap and taxes which are set, so it's all part of the equation, but I think the mandate is the same. If something makes sense, we'll do it. If it doesn't, we won't. It's there. It's a tool. We can use it. We've known that for a long time.
It's finally kind of upon us, and it seems like the structure is set. There will be probably a short window to do something, and we'll see. It's not one of those things where we feel like we have to, but at the same time we want to win just as much as anybody else, so if there's a player that makes sense or a deal that makes sense, we'll go after it. But at this point I can't say one way or the other the odds of it being used or not, but I haven't been told you can't use it, I haven't been told you have to use it. I've been told, do your job and try to get it right. That's what I can say about that.
Q. Is that more something that you guys have a list of guys who may be worth it and it's just a matter of seeing if those players are even available?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, look, there's guys -- we do some of that as far as would this guy make sense, would that guy make sense, not really knowing will or won't there be. Some of it is predicated on what other teams do.
Obviously we were in a situation where we were approaching the draft and not thinking one way but then situations arose where we were looking for a place to put a player; is there a three-team deal that hasn't formulated yet where a team calls us and says hey, this other team doesn't want our player, would you take him into your exception. The value of it is is kind of a holding space when a team doesn't want to take back salary.
But I also don't know the appetite that other teams have for spending money or not spending money. It may be a situation where it would be predicated on, look, another team just says we don't want to take on that money to make this deal work but we want to do the deal, so would you take this third player. It may be a situation where we're incentivized to take a player into it. A lot has been written about players we would go after and possibly compensate a team for, but what if there's a player that will give you a first-round pick if you take this guy.
It's very, very fluid. We have thoughts. We have ideas about it, but it has to make sense. It has to make sense for us.
Q. Do you have an official expiration date on it yet? I know it'll float around the November 25th, 27th range --
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I think I'm operating under the same timeline there as far as what we're expecting. I think free agency is going to go really fast. It's gone fast in the past, even without this short turnaround. Last year it seemed like it was over in two or three days on the big stuff.
I guess originally we obviously had a much better sense, but I think your timing and your guess are as good as anybody's.
Q. With no NCAA Tournament, with the evaluation for the draft, you're used to having draft workouts and things. Did players do draft workouts on a video format? How did your scouts evaluate, and how different was this, or still is, going into the draft next week?
BOB MYERS: Oh, well, there's a lot I could say on this. Very different would be the first thing, from anything we've ever experienced. Obviously I've never seen the NCAA Tournament or conference tournaments shut down mid kind of way through or just before they began, so nobody has seen that. Nobody has seen any of this.
I think we've all kind of had to do our best, whether that's agents, players, colleges, pros, so we're thrust into that, too, and it makes for a lot of unknowns. It makes for a lot of variables that we're not accustomed to dealing with.
Usually we'd bring in players, especially when you're picking two, we'd bring in players to our facility. We'd put them through our workout, put them through our medical issues and what we'd like to see of them, our own performance testing. We take them to dinner, we do all kinds of stuff. I mean, we -- especially when you're committing whatever, $20, $30, $40 million to a player, you want to get it right.
Look, this isn't a knock on the league; the league did the best they could. So we've been out seeing players. We're allowed 10 visits. 10 visits total with college kids. We'll probably expend all those. We're on track to use all 10 visits before the draft. So we've been doing that, and it's been a small but important group of us doing it, along with our medical performance director. So we've done our best.
There's no one to blame here, but it isn't what we normally would do, and I would say all in it makes it harder for everyone, makes it harder for the players, agents, teams, medical personnel.
I don't know about you guys, maybe it makes it harder for the media, maybe not. It probably does in some way, I don't know. So we do what we do, and we try to get it right, and we're all operating, like I said, on an even playing field. The rules are the same for everybody.
But we'll see. I don't know in five years if they redraft if we all screwed it up or would have done better had it been normal. We'll never know the answers to those questions. But it's been more than normal. Usually we're not traveling during this time of year. Usually we have a combine. Usually we would get our eyes on a lot of our second-round picks. We're drafting 48 and 51 this year; we'd have 30 guys come in for those picks. We've had zero. Obviously we've had zero guys come in for any pick.
So more challenging, but you kind of do what you can with it and do your best.
Q. On those visits, do you actually get to go to dinner, take the guys to dinner, or how different are those 10 visits in terms of how they're structured?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, you have to follow all the proper guidelines, and you are allowed to eat a meal. You have to use -- you have to spend within a specific time frame with a player. You can't go over that. It has to obviously be safe. We're tested, they're tested, all these guidelines that make sense. So you're allowed to do that. We haven't done that with every player. We've done it with a few. Otherwise you're talking to them post-workout, distanced, and probably the same way you guys are seeing people, just as safe as you can, albeit we have the testing, and we're going private, which is as safe as we can be.
Yeah, I don't know, it's hard to -- it's just what it is.
Q. Have trade talks ramped up in the last couple weeks? I know you can't officially make any trade until the 16th or something.
BOB MYERS: I don't know. It's hard to say what the league is doing. I can tell you what we're -- more stuff in the last few weeks and the last few days, but I don't know, my sense is with these things it always probably starts maybe Saturday or Sunday or Monday, around the draft. Things probably really would be -- you've got to be talking about something on Monday, I expect, if you haven't talked about it already. I don't know that you're going to get a lot of new stuff. You might, but you don't get new stuff, big stuff on Tuesday or Wednesday. You have to start talking about it.
But I think a lot of teams are talking. We've talked to most teams in the league about one thing or another, and the rules are what the rules are now, so that might spur conversation. I'm sure teams are meeting internally about what the rules mean for them and what the financial part means for them. We'll see as things go. Every situation is unique. I don't know if people are calling everybody else or we'll get the most calls in the next four, five days. It's hard to predict.
Q. How firm is your draft board, and is it firm enough where you can really start focusing a little bit more on free agency given the timeline and how quickly that's going to come after the draft?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, I'd say we still are allowing ourselves time to really firm up our board. We don't have to draft today, so in a sense we don't need it to be firm. We have ideas about what we like and what we don't like or what makes sense or what doesn't make sense, so we're looking at it. There's some players we want to still see and talk to, and like I said, we don't have measurements on everybody.
So it's not like it's locked in place, and like I said, it doesn't need to be. Somebody gave me good advice. I don't know who it was. I think somebody that worked with President Obama told me one of his things, never make a decision until you have to. So we'll make it on whatever it is, Wednesday night when they call our name. We'll decide.
Q. I know you guys are obviously always trying to improve your team, but after evaluating the team last year and knowing what you guys have coming back this coming season, what would you say in your opinion is the team's most pressing need or the area that you want to improve the most?
BOB MYERS: I haven't seen a guy in a suit in a while, so this is exciting.
Q. I've got to go on TV in a couple hours.
BOB MYERS: I like it.
Pressing need? Well, I don't know. Obviously you always want talent, as much talent as you can get. We've got guys at every position that we like in certain respects. We just haven't seen it. We just haven't seen what it looks like. I don't know what it looks like with Wiggins. Looney was out most of the year, and Steph and Klay and Draymond, they haven't been the core for four years or something like that.
I wish I could -- I hope that whatever we do we can address whatever we needed to, but without knowing for sure -- I mean, we have some depth. We need more depth. I think we need -- we're going to draft a player, will probably draft a couple players, at the most three. Maybe we don't draft two guys in the second round, maybe we stash one or a two-way one; we haven't figured that out yet. But we do need some veterans still. Our three core guys, the older core guys I should say are going to have to be the veterans, but we want to give them some older voices, as well, so that's something we're going to have to look at in free agency.
Q. I was going to ask you about how you're doing with the whole virtual stuff, but the fact that your phone is vertical and not horizontal tells me what I need to know about your virtual --
BOB MYERS: I got a little -- I've got one of these stands that props it up, but I can change it. I can't really balance it.
Q. Welcome to 2020, man.
BOB MYERS: I'm open to suggestions. Who should we draft? I'm open. Should I put on a suit?
Q. No, you're good.
I'm curious, this is your 10th draft, and I was wondering, before all this happened did you have like a draft rhythm where it was just they were kind of all the same, or are they all unique and this is just probably more unique than normal?
BOB MYERS: Well, this is more unique. Two is the highest we've been -- I'd ever thought we'd -- I'm sure at some point if you do this long enough you end up with a super high pick, but I didn't know that the two would be coming so fast, so that's unique.
It's hard to feel normal in any capacity of life right now. Even if the draft -- with what's going on in society, I don't feel normal in any way, shape or form. Moving around life, kind of going from A to B is not normal, so the draft will not be normal, sitting in there with masks on, six feet away from each other. It's what we have to do. I'm not saying we shouldn't, but it's hard to just compartmentalize the draft and separate it from what's going on. So it's all abnormal.
The draft will be abnormal, too. A little more normal for us. I feel bad for some of the players not being able to go to experience it in a green room. I've seen that from the agent's side; it's a big life-changing moment for players with their families and friends.
For us it's more normal sitting in a room and doing it, but again, like everybody, it's a unique year.
Q. I was on social media and reading this is like a make-or-break draft for you. Do you feel the pressure with the No. 2 pick?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I read all that stuff, too. I was like, I feel the weight. No, I don't know. I feel like every year, everything you do is make-or-break, trade, draft, I don't know. But you can't really think like that. You've got to operate not out of fear, so hopefully we get it right, and if you don't, you deal with that. That's the life I chose.
I don't feel -- maybe I should feel more pressure. Pressure is an interesting thing. If I screw it up, I probably blame myself more than Twitter can do it or you, I suppose, or anyone.
Q. You touched on this a little bit earlier, but in regards to the pick, obviously you know the speculation that's out there around the league about what you guys may or may not do with it. How would you describe at least to this point the interest from around the league and your peers in the pick itself?
BOB MYERS: I'd say fluctuating. I don't know. I mean, the conversations are -- do you like your pick? Okay, we might be interested. But there's no concrete -- I don't know, maybe other teams are doing it. I think the concrete stuff comes next week. What would you do with your pick? I don't know, what do you want for it, or what would you give us for it. But we haven't had a lot of firm, we'll give you X, Y, Z. So it's hard to really say. A team might be calling and have a completely different idea of the value of the pick than we do, and it's up to them to make a proposal.
We could certainly do that, too, but at this point in time it's all talking around the issue, and that's usually how it goes until it gets closer. If teams were making firm offers now -- we can't trade picks now, but whenever allegedly this window opens up, you rarely see things happen that day. The things that happen happen the night of the draft usually, but teams can start talking about stuff and have different ideas in mind, but I would say I can't really answer the level of interest or not until it gets more serious.
Q. What's your outlook on the stars aligning for you guys to get back into the contending mix given you're going to have Steph, Draymond and Klay back healthy, you've got the No. 2 pick, you've got Andrew, you've got the trade exception, young players?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, I think you obviously have to have talent to win in this game. You don't have talent, you can't win. I don't think a team has ever won much without talent, so you want talent. You want experience. We've got some of that. You've got to have health. We didn't have health last year. Everybody has got to have health.
If everything plays out right, we think we're in that mix. I don't know, you can decide how many teams are in it as well as I can, but you'd like to think you have a chance.
Predicting it? I didn't predict we'd have the worst record in the league, and the year we had the best record I didn't think that was going to happen, either. That's what makes it fun. That's why I like sports. I don't know what's going to happen.
I believe you can bet on our guys. They've proven it. It's not an unknown. They've done it before, so you'd like to believe it can happen again. And I'm excited to see it just as a fan of basketball. I want to see what it is as much as anybody.
But I think we've got some good pieces in place and the pick will be nice, get some youth, seeing what the guys grew, seeing what kind of the guys we drafted last year and added, what's their growth. They've been working pretty hard. I've seen Looney healthy. The last year it kind of all derailed, so now we've got to see what it is. I don't know how many meaningful games we played last year, so we really need to -- I want to stay healthy. That would be my hope for us and actually every team, stay healthy, and then you get a great ability to evaluate your team. I don't think we've had that in a couple years.
Q. The time you've got to see players in the window you had, do you feel like that was sufficient enough to make a pick and be comfortable with it?
BOB MYERS: No, not if you're just looking at that. You've got to look at more than that. It's part of the puzzle. It's something.
People may not understand it, but it's a big advantage to do it in your facility if you can, and again, I'm not pushing back on the NBA. I understand why the process went the way it did. It's totally fine. Everybody is doing the best they can. But when you're in your facility you can kind of navigate and build out a workout specific. Like I said, you can really do it on your terms, do it in your environment.
Beyond that, I think it's tough. It's tough for these players. A lot of them haven't played in eight months. It's hard for them to stay in game shape. A lot of them did the best they could and are in good shape, but like I said, it's not ideal. You can't see anybody work out against anybody. That's something you'd like to be able to see, see them compete.
But for many of them, they played for most of the year. I guess not all of them, but a lot of them played, so I got to see most of these guys play in college before. But it's a different deal. It's a different year.
Q. Obviously it's been a while since you guys have been in this position in the lottery and the game has changed a lot during that time. Have you seen a difference in these players in how they've been trained or how they've come up since the last time you guys were in the lottery?
BOB MYERS: Well, you know, maybe they're getting younger and younger, I geez, but we drafted Harrison -- he was two years, I guess. It's still a lot of freshmen for the most part, but it's been that way maybe for a little while.
No, I mean, it's different every year. Every draft class is different. I think the difference mostly this year is just the format and the layoff. Kids are good, though. The kids are -- a lot of these kids are well-rounded and have a lot of different interests and are kind of much more -- I'm not talking five years ago or however many years ago we were in the lottery, 2012, just from representing players. Kids are growing up fast now, just kind of societally, just their interests, their breadth of knowledge. Maybe that's social media, maybe that's the internet. But a lot of these kids are really impressive, a lot of these young men I should say, and it's great. It's great to meet people from totally different backgrounds. They're all very, very different, very different environments they were raised in, very different regions of the country, different college programs. You get to meet great talent. That's always exciting.
Q. Obviously the hope would be both, but are you more drafting like whoever you guys get needs to be an immediate component of a title team, or that would be great but this is more about 2022, 2023 and like finding the guy that three years from now would be the best player?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, we get asked that. I think it's tough to -- the easy answer is both, but ideally if there was a player that you could draft now that you knew would win you a championship or something and you could forego maybe the future, but it's hard to even say -- it's not so clear. There's no Tim Duncan where a guy was a senior and he's going to be great automatically and you win now and you win for the next 20 years. You kind of have to guess on both ends of that question.
You're also guessing -- we could argue who's the win-now guy. We could think it's a guy, you could, and you could be wrong. Most of these guys aren't seniors.
I know there's a narrative about who is and who isn't, but at the same time, I think you owe it to the organization to build towards the future if there's not an obvious win-now guy, and if the win-now guy helps you win four regular-season games, what's the point of that. You're talking win now, for us you're really talking about win now in the Playoffs, and what rookie is going to come in and help you win now in the Playoffs. Maybe.
We saw last year some guys on some teams that did that. I don't know if the teams expected that to happen. We didn't know that Eric Paschall could do what he did. Now, he hasn't done it in the Playoffs, but he was the 41st pick. It's one of those where I always think you have to hope you get both. Not sacrifice the future in picking just for a guy that might be better than a guy for a year or something like that, and it's hard to even see who that is.
Q. How are you handling the medicals, given all the uncertainty with not being able to see picks and get guys in the door?
BOB MYERS: Some of them went through the NBA kind of combine system where they had a local doctor do it, an NBA-affiliated doctor that was designated, and then other times agents will just get a physical in their market and send it to us. But we can't dictate -- in the CBA we don't have control -- we can't demand that. What we get we are given mostly through the agents and working with them.
It's comprehensive. Sometimes you get more than -- as much as you'd like, sometimes you'd like a little bit more, but like I said, it's a little bit different as to when they would normally come in our facility and we would physical them or we would get an additional follow-up X-ray or MRI. That's kind of sometimes the harder stuff.
Q. How big a priority is just pure athleticism this off-season, not necessarily just the draft but in the off-season and the need to really juice the roster up with that?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, it's interesting, I don't know if we've ever been a super athletic -- I don't know, I view us more as a skill -- when we've won, we've won a lot with skill. We've had some athletes, too. I think you probably need all of it. It depends on the player. You don't just want an athlete that can't play, and you do have to have some baseline of athleticism to compete in the league. So we'll see.
The league seems to get more athletic every year, but you also have to have shooting. You also have to have guys that can make plays, and if you run a guy off the line or you force a guy into the decision with all these switching defenses, you want basketball players that can think the game. Ideally you want all of it, but athleticism will always be important to us and almost every team, it just depends on what our options are, depends on what we're forced to look at or whether that's free agency or the draft, who you're choosing, are you choosing athleticism over what, or you're choosing skill over what. I'd like to think you can get both, though.
Q. How do you look at the cost benefit of on one negative consequence, you guys weren't part of the bubble to get guys playing, but you've had this substantial amount of time to rest and get ready for this December start date?
BOB MYERS: I think you could look at it both ways. I think you were there. You know what it's like. Yeah, I think you could make an argument that it was -- I don't know, it would have been nice to go, and I understand why we didn't, to get some of our young guys more experience. I guess Steph would have played with Wiggins and things like that; maybe Klay could have gotten back. But I understand why we weren't there, but then we didn't -- we got that rest, I suppose. Maybe we were a team different than every other team that utilized that time off and needed it.
It's probably a question more for Steve and the players. It could cut both ways. The mini-camp gave us a little bit of that back to have some time, but bottom line is by the time next year's season matters, we'll have played enough. That's the whole point. Whether we start off -- however we start off, good or bad or in the middle, if we're not ready for the playoffs, it's not going to be because we played in the bubble last year or not, if we lose in the Playoffs or win. That's a weak argument I think from our standpoint if we say, well, if we would have went to the bubble, kind of is moot at this point.
But I think more importantly now, when camp starts up, we've got to focus on what do we look like, how in shape or out of shape are our vets, our rookies. Got to stay healthy. I think all the sports are dealing with the quick ramp-up, so it's really going to be health that's going to be a key at the start.
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