GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS MEDIA CONFERENCE
July 26, 2021
San Francisco, California, USA
Q. Just, I guess, a few days out, your overview on how this pre draft process has gone and sitting at 7 and 14, how much you like that range.
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, as to how far it's gone or how it's gone, it's better than last year. There was a Combine, which was helpful. We've had a few guys through our facility, which is helpful. Different workout here, as opposed to going to see players in their own gyms. We actually have our coaches run it and just makes it more normal, which is good.
With having 7 and 14, we've been lucky enough to get a lot of players through our facility which I think isn't true for every team so we're fortunate to have that. I think our front office did a good job of getting some really high-level workouts, some competitive ones for this players that are in our range. So that is helpful. So in the way of comparing to last year, it's been better.
As far as how it's shaping up, it seems to me that the league, more than ever, it's faster than ever and I also think that decisions are made much closer to deadlines than they ever were. You see how fast -- how many things happen the day of a trade deadline or the day of the draft or the first or second day of free agency.
When I'm talking to an agent or somebody else, they find it hard to believe that we haven't decided how we're taking it with the draft three days out but that's the honest truth or if we are making a trade or not because a lot of real offers don't come in until right before.
That's a distinction as far as what's gone on the last ten years. It's not new as far as last year to this year. Teams are waiting a lot longer, and decisions are being made much closer to deadlines. So kind of some differences.
Q. Along those lines, you know, last year presented so many challenges of even getting to meet some of the guys face-to-face the way you typically do it, right. I mean, was this process almost more normal in terms of getting that time like you mentioned and getting to go to their gyms, and did it start to feel like what you're used to in a lot of ways?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, much more. Last year was kind of an aberration for all of us. This resembled pretty close to a normal year. We had the Combine. We interviewed players there. We had a ton of guys in. We went to see a couple guys in Miami. Because the media knows what we are doing before we do; you guys are so good at your jobs, we went to Miami and saw a couple guys.
And so, yeah, much more normal, whereas last year we were going everywhere, nobody came through the facility. You know, like I said, I don't know if I answered Anthony's question sufficiently, but I like our picks. We have a lot of good voices in the room and it's different, though, having two lottery picks, but we're excited about it.
Q. And just to follow up, guys who you may have seen last year who were on your radar but didn't have a full season now had closer to, you know -- had a full season. How valuable was that for scouts or for the evaluation process to maybe look at a guy in a greater volume of games and opportunities.
BOB MYERS: It's always better to see -- to get more information. Last year we did see some guys scouting. This year wasn't that easy, though, either. Scouting was still hard as far as getting to college games was still difficult.
You all know that by just getting to our games, and I don't -- it's always harder, so it wasn't normal in that respect. I would say that that was the biggest challenge, scouting real games, not the Combine, not the workouts, but going to college games, even going to foreign games, all much, much harder.
But the previous year, I guess we got to see some games in 2020 until that abruptly ended. But I was hoping to obviously see conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament, and it was all canceled.
I'm hoping next year is totally normal. I think we all are.
Q. Is the workout process pretty much done and what do the next three days look like for you and the rest of the front office?
BOB MYERS: I think it's coming to a decision point. The workouts are done. We've talked about having one more guy in tomorrow which didn't come to fruition. We always want more. But at some point, it has to end and you make a decision. We're up there meeting right now and going through medical information as far as any issues that might be there or apparent.
That's a big deal because you'll see guys either, one, elevate themselves in the draft or drop based on the last few days before the draft. I've been in that position as an agent, represented players and thought they were in a good spot and then two to three days before the draft, teams will call and say they can't draft him because of X reason, his knee or something that shows up. That actually happens pretty close to the draft.
Or you're scrambling to say to an agent, I need to get an MRI of his left hip, we have got a concern there. So much money at stake, guaranteed money. So it will be medical processing.
Analytics have never played a bigger role than they do now, certainly in basketball, and they are a much bigger part of our draft than they ever were and probably will be in the future. It's going to continue in that direction.
Everything is a little more sophisticated, but eventually you have to pin it down and that comes down to processing everything we've seen and done and heard.
And I was on the phone with a college coach today and at some point, you want all this information, but at some point you want to say, okay, that's enough; now we have to decide and get some clarity of thought.
So the next three days will be what the previous 30 have been which is: Do we want to draft? Do we want to draft two picks? What if you draft a young guy at 7, do you want to draft a young guy at 14? What do we want our team to be? All the things you write about we're trying to figure out, and there's no perfect answer to that. There's no perfect solution.
So we try to do the best we can and with what's put in front of us, whether it's take the best trade, take the best picks. So that's what we're trying to figure out.
Q. This is the first year where you were evaluating, G-League prospects, guys from the Ignite. How different is that process versus the college guys or the European/international guys?
BOB MYERS: Different. We went down there myself, Joe Lacob, I think Dunleavy went with us, and obviously we had our G-League team there. So we had our G-League staff there, Ryan Atkinson, David Fatoki was down there. I think Kent Lacob was there, as well. So we had, like a lot of teams, had a pretty good contingent. But we flew in to watch thinking we might have a high pick.
It's different. Same way you watched it. It's not the same way as college but what does that mean? I mean, lines are maybe a little further back. Rules are or NBA rules. But game's longer. I mean that's where the analytics help, you try to compare apples to apples. It's different. Same as the international game. You watch our USA team now, it's not the same game, but what do you draw from that? You and I might argue or disagree on whether stats are inflated or deflated; whether international stats, because it's 40 minutes, and because you can play different kind of defense, have more weight or have less weight.
So some bias is in there, some subjectivity. But this is the first year, I believe, where you're scouting the G-League with lottery picks in it. I think that's going to be the norm. So in three or four years, I could give you a better answer as to how we weight it.
But it's going to be there, right. That's the way things are going. There will be a few guys every year in it. The good news is, for us, we got to see two games in three days, which was nice. And decent seats, not great. Nobody had great COVID seats.
It's helpful but it's not the same as college. Different game.
Q. How would you describe the potential urgency level to try to find veterans via trade and what have your conversations been like with Steve and Draymond over in Tokyo, but even Steph and Klay?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, Steve and Draymond, their time zone isn't great for in. But I got a text from Steve Kerr at 3:00 in the morning, which is great. I don't have my phone near my bed, so I don't -- I didn't get it until 6:30 or something like that.
But Draymond and I spoke the other day. Ironically, he's less -- one year he actually sat in on the draft, which you can't be more involved than that, and we would be fine if he wanted to sit in on this draft. He's doing something more important, trying to win a Gold Medal. Steph is in a little bit of a different time zone right now.
Klay was here rehabbing. I think he's down in L.A. But Klay is always the least engaged on these things. Doesn't mean we don't love him, and I'll listen to what he has to say.
But yeah, I know there's a narrative that they are involved and I'm not being defensive here. They have always kind of given me their thoughts. They continue to do so.
As far as urgency, we want to win; so do they; so does Steve. But do you draft a player that makes it better in one year that might not be better in the second year? And these are things we get paid to try to get right. They are short-term decisions that are good. They are short-term decisions that you regret. And fans and ourselves will blame us, which we would deserve if we get it wrong.
So that's what we are trying to figure out. It's never easy, the stuff isn't easy -- it isn't always clear. You'd like clarity. I do -- last year -- I've said this before: Klay being injured made it hard to see what we were, and I really hope next year, and I think we all do, let's find out where we are, whatever that is, whatever -- whatever it comes out looking like. Can a rookie help us; can rookies help us quicker, later. Rookies traditionally don't help early. I don't care who they are.
But you'd like to find guys that can play a little bit, with what we are limited to do in free agency, which minimums, maybe text-pyramid level. Maybe that's a chance to grab some vets, we've done that before, but that was a team everyone wanted to come to. Will veteran players want to come now with Klay coming back? We'll see. So we have to balance all that stuff.
But we hear it all. The idea that we don't want it to happen soon in the front office or Joe doesn't want it to happen soon is inaccurate. We all want the same thing. But we have to kind of figure out how to go about doing that.
Q. Along what you just mentioned about rookies helping you at some stage of a season, how much pride do you take in what everybody did to prepare James and Nico, and they both learned through the process last year, getting time, you know, to develop but also time to get in there right in the fire pretty early on and show what they could do.
BOB MYERS: Yeah, last year was -- you know, let's just put the COVID stuff aside, which was more difficult for everybody, even for all of you. Separate from that, which I guess it's hard to actually separate.
To me, and again, I believe, and I think you would agree everybody -- when you draft a player, ideally you put them in Summer League. Whoever we draft, we're going to play in Summer League, which is next week, I think, or the week after. That kind of matters. It's important to learn our system, and then they go to training camp, and that really matters as a young player.
And then you start the season out and you actually have a preseason. Maybe you play four games. Sometimes you just play more. And then you kind of see what you have.
The hard part about last year is none of that happened. I think James practiced one time before the regular season. And then we also after his first game, you're kind of like, wow, he can do this, he can do that, but how does it all fit with what we're trying to do? That's the challenge of kind of skipping those steps.
But overall, I would have loved to have seen him get to finish the last part and even Nico. Nico did a great job down in Orlando or at the G-League. We're excited about player development. We haven't had to do it in a decently long time. I know Jordan Poole is a product of it. But it takes the course it takes. We drafted Harrison Barnes however many years ago and he was kind of ready to play and Festus Ezeli was older and ready to go.
It's one thing that we all speculate on, and we do it, too. And there's no -- I don't know, it's hard to figure, right. I don't know if I'm answering your question appropriately but I do think that we have now a good foundation and hopefully some lead time with those rookies, with the rookies we take, and rather than throwing somebody, even in this draft kind of right into the fire, having a Summer League, a training camp and a preseason, it's really important. Maybe more than people realize it's important to us.
And our system is not pick-and-roll and everybody stand in the corner. We're probably the antithesis of that. I've had players that are veterans, even I was talking to Zaza Pachulia, and he said, "It took me a long time to figure out how I was supposed to play." And he was a long -- he was veteran.
I like our system. I think it's great. But it takes a little time to figure out, and we need these young guys to pick that up as soon as they can.
Q. You know that anything can happen obviously given that, but this point, it's reported likely that you're going to use both 7 and 14 and you're not going to trade them. Would you say that's the way it looks right now, you're going to use both picks?
BOB MYERS: As of -- what time is it, two o'clock today? Yeah. But here's the problem with that answer. At 2:45 that can change or 3:15, and before you jumped on -- there's never been -- the leagues had never operated closer to the deadline than it does now, and things have never happened faster.
I mean, today I got some trade stuff that it's Monday, the draft is three days away; that had never been discussed, but I knew. We, I can blame myself, too, in the GM community, we've kind of squeezed all this action the last two days, and it maybe it's the concept of, I'm not going to get a real offer unless it's close to the draft.
But today, right now, yeah, we're drafting 7, 14. Don't get mad if we don't in three days because that means something changed. But right now, yeah, it looks like we're going to draft.
Q. Does it get as specific as, "If this player is there at 7, we'll make the trade"? Is it that specific right now?
BOB MYERS: Yeah.
Q. Are there one or two players more live at that spot that teams are mentioning?
BOB MYERS: Well, that's what we're trying to figure out, one for ourselves, and you guys do mock drafts, who is valued, who isn't, what other teams want. You never really know. Our job is to get our part right. I had three conversations this mornings and I said, is this trade on the clock or is this trade you do something now. So you almost preface it with that.
A lot of times it will say, it depends how the draft goes, which then pushes the decision for both teams all the way to the draft, right. Even into the draft. So when you make deals at the stop or any big deals, you want as much certainty as you can get. So that's why you do that.
Now, look, there was a deal reported 30 minutes ago, but they didn't do that. Just made the deal. So that happens. We did the Monta Ellis deal a couple days before trade deadline. Sometimes you do it.
But most of the time, you guys know this, it happens at the draft. Which means it is predicated on who's there. At least in the NBA. You guys cover other sports. That's how it's been going and even I think more pronounced.
Q. How necessary do you think it is at 14 to get somebody that you can play right away and how do you feel, how comfortable do you feel you can find somebody at the late lottery that can play right away?
BOB MYERS: I think we like more than 14, depending how the whole thing shakes out and we think who we get there has a chance to play. I mean, you never really know how if you draft a 23-year-old, just because they are old, doesn't mean they are going to be great or ready to play.
Young players now, some of them are more physically mature and can get in there, too. You've seen some players come into the league and do well.
I was talking to Steph, and it's almost like: I don't care who we draft, is that guy going to take minutes from Steph? No. So he's got his 35 minutes. You going take minutes from Klay when he's back? No, probably not. When Klay's back playing his minutes. Draymond? Probably not. Wiggins, probably not going to be better than him. And you've got Juan who is playing well, Jordan, James is going to play, other guys.
So we liked this draft pick, whether it's 7 or 14 to come in and play. And I don't know whether they beat those guys out but we would like them to provide depth. I think realistically having them as beating out our Top-4, five, six guys is going to be a challenge no matter who we take, even if we were draft, one, two, three, four, five, that's a challenge for even those guys.
But we would like, whoever we take, to be supplemental and to be playable. We would like that. We would. If there's a player that stand out, but if there's a player that we think can be better, and you say, you know what, we could go short-term and take this guy and maybe gives us eight minutes a game, but if we do this guy, yeah, he may not give us those eight minutes, but next year he could start, or could he give us 20 minutes. And some would say, well, that's your window.
Well, I don't know that our window is just one year. I would like to think it's not. All our major players are probably going to be playing and being paid for more than one year. I know they are getting older. They know they are getting older. But I think they are all going to be productive the next year and the year after that.
I think it does those guys a disservice to say you have a one-year window. That's kind of how we do it. Again not knowing exactly how every player we draft will fit in or what rotations Steve would like to use, so that's what we are trying to sort through.
Q. Speaking of that, how does Jordan Poole factor in? I'm sure you watched him at the Jamal Crawford --
BOB MYERS: Was that even real -- was that a fake game?
Q. The highlights were good but I imagine it kind of blew up your draft board.
BOB MYERS: Changed everything.
Q. Curious, how does what you already have in Jordan impact who you might take? There are some guys that might be similar. Are you okay with taking a guy similar? What's the Jordan Poole impact?
BOB MYERS: I think it's a good question. I mean it, matters, but even if you get another player exactly like him and he turns out to be really good, then you can use those guys.
Yeah, and I don't think any player is exactly alike. If you draft a player that someone say is like him, I think that's fine. I think what you more look at is can this player play -- again, how complementary or they or not. If they are exactly the same, yeah, exactly the same, but I don't know if anybody in this draft is exactly the same as Jordan or different.
More importantly than the draft, how we would view a guy like Jordan who did finish well is we look at him as part of our rotation. So that's helpful to have some clarity. We went into last season with I think not much clarity on anything. So I think we have more clarity, whether it's you can play Juan, you can play Jordan, and these guys have established themselves.
Then you say, well, what does the second unit look like or until Klay comes back, who should we start? If we draft this guy, would you actually start him? Or would you start Jordan?
So it's more in the context of knowing more who Jordan is than what we thought he was going into last season, and that's helpful. That's really helpful to say, we think he can at least give us this and he might even give us that. And that's what you gain from last season, even though we didn't make the playoffs, for me and our front office, the chance to evaluate our team in some meaningful games.
I mean, that's what Steve would say, he's probably said to you, is the last 20 games were meaningful games, fighting for the playoffs you watched and they mattered, and we got to find out some stuff about who was who, and that's where seeing Jordan grow is helpful. And I don't think it would affect kind of somebody that we drafted that was like him.
Q. You think it will be tough to find a player better than Jordan now? Do you put him on that list -- obviously he's not with Steph and Draymond, but do you feel like one of these players can come on and be better than what you expect from Jordan Poole?
BOB MYERS: It's all subjective. I'm happy that you're drafting 7 and 14, and we like Jordan enough to pause at that kind of question and go like, you know, he's not going to beat out Jordan.
I'm hoping whoever we take works as hard as Jordan, because he's a good story of a guy that really didn't do much. Actually was pretty criticized and not thought much of, to kind of turn it around and I credit Jordan and our coaching staff.
But yeah, I mean, I don't know. He finished pretty well. If somebody does then that's a good problem. If somebody comes in and beats him out, then that means that person's pretty good.
Q. You mentioned getting some trade calls even today. What sort of return would it take to move off of 7 or both 7 and 14?
BOB MYERS: Well, you know, it's hard because it has to really matter, I think, to me. It has to be -- I hope we're not drafting 7 again, you never know. Hope we're not drafting 14.
So you have to value the opportunity but then what we're trying to figure out is who is going to be there. You know, and I think we look at it like anybody would. Those picks have valued us.
Now, you have to find a partner in these things, and that's the challenge, right. You have to see what's available to you. But we like those picks. I think the league likes those picks. To me it would have somebody something material. Obviously you don't move them for something marginal.
Q. How much of a factor is age? These days, it seems like the 18- and 19-year-olds are highly valued, much more so than the 21-, 22-year-old guys. How much of a factor is age for you guys?
BOB MYERS: It's a factor. We could draft a 22-year-old, we could draft a 23-year-old, and I could preface what I say with that and not have a problem doing it.
It's not so much age being a negative as if -- you look at 2015 on, and the players that were taken in the lottery that were older, struggled a little bit, right. It's just -- that's where the evidence is. That doesn't mean that these players in this draft will.
So it's not so much old is bad. But the evidence would support maybe going younger sometimes. And that's what you have to cipher out. You have to say, well, is this an exception to the rule? Because if you look at the rule, player is 22 years or older or 23 or whatever your line of demarcation is, go back ask do it yourself. That's information, right. You can say, whatever, this guy's unique. So we don't care what that says and there are good players that have been that age and drafted in the lottery.
So I think it's more of -- our job is to look at that information and then decide if we want to value it, just like analytics. You look at these things and we rank guys analytically. You might if you were me say, that guy is ranked sixth analytically and say, I don't see it and somebody might press you on it and say, "Why not?"
Or somebody might say, "I like the 22-year-old" or "I like the 23-year-old."
"Well, let me tell you what the history of all those guys are."
And then I hear all that and say, "You know, this guy's different."
So that's more what it is rather than a number. It's our job, and this is why it's, again, it's going to be more and more sophisticated in the future than it even is now, is it's just information and you have to decide how you want to value it.
Q. Do you think there might be any opportunity to move up in the draft?
BOB MYERS: I think it's going to be tough based on conversations. I think it's going to be hard. I don't -- and I don't see that specific to the Warriors. I just think that's probably the league. I think it's going to be tough. I mean, you just saw a team move up to 10, purportedly. But you know, you may be talking about up from us, which is I think a different challenge. Those teams are wanting young players, wanting young stars, and rightly so.
I guess, Anthony, right now, they seem to be hanging on pretty tight, but we'll see what happens.
Q. Have you had any talks with Wiseman, if for nothing else, to give him a heads up about this process and what he might be hearing?
BOB MYERS: I haven't directly said anything to him. Is that something I should -- he's here every day, should I grab him, say, "Welcome to the NBA. Klay went through the same thing. Klay got traded 735 times his third year in the league."
I don't know, it's hard. I can. I don't. I haven't. Not for any reason. I don't know players' minds because I'm not one. I guess it's a rare players these days that's not mentioned in a trade. If the roster of 15 and you're a rotation guy or a starter, unless you're somebody that's kind of untradable, whichever those guys are, there's not many. Most players fall into the tradeable category.
And the way the media is now, again, this isn't any criticism at all, but there's a ton of sources and heard this, league source, that puts a lot of players in trades. And you know what? None of it's true, but a lot of it isn't. I think it's hard to respond to all that and kind of, hey, I saw this Tweet; that's actually not true. That one, I don't know. You can't do it. It's kind of a no-win situation.
Q. I would totally need you to say something to me by the way.
BOB MYERS: Yeah?
Q. Yeah, I'd be all over everything. I'd be falling apart.
BOB MYERS: If we sign you one day, I'll remember. We do need vets. We need vets, and a local kid, too. There's vets. We might need you.
Q. Steve kind of valued rest down the stretch of the season, not practicing every day necessarily. Given, now, I know the COVID pick-and-rolls made things even a longer routine every single day, but rest was valued, and it seems like as NFL training camps start, there are fewer two-a-days and baseball players are no longer taking 300 swings every day. Is it sort of a change in thinking in terms of volume these days in professional sports and what's necessary and more of a focus on recovery and rest?
BOB MYERS: Yes. But I don't know that we've figured out what's right. Pull back from the shootarounds every day, and sounds like you know other sports have, too, or football teams don't hit as much. I think that's a question that may never be answered because you have to -- to get better, you have to play and practice hard, not have speed.
But what's the tipping point where you're risking injury or what are the diminishing returns. But that's why they all wear devices now, right. Now they have something in Klay's shoe where it measures the weight in each step. That's new stuff, right. So you're favoring your leg or not.
Me running a mile -- actually, I'd probably be more tired than you running a mile right now. Maybe they say, "Oh, Bob's heart rate is way up. Get him out. Janie's is just fine. She can keep going." And that we do.
Fair question. I think we still need to figure out ways as a league to make the regular season matter, and I think that's where the play-in game -- but obviously we got the bad end of that one. We lost, and so what, I think a play-in game is fine. But it makes it more competitive and entertaining and that's a way to make the regular season -- so I think things like that are good and they make you want to value that stuff more.
Q. There seems to be sort of an increasing amount of doubt regarding Kelly's return, and some of it's based on what he's saying to people. Where do you guys stand in terms of clarifying your future with Kelly?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I'll talk to his agent who I've spoken with before. And you know, he was good. And the question is does it work for us? Does it work for him? And we haven't really dug into that as much. We'll wait for the right time. Right now we're focused on the draft and can't do anything now even if we wanted to really. So it's about seeing if it's a fit and we haven't ruled that out. I haven't read anything he said. Hopefully he hasn't ruled it out completely.
But I don't begrudge any player for wanting to play, wanting to start, never had a problem with that. I actually think that's a positive.
At some point if the time is right, we'll sit down or I'll speak with his agent and say, this is what we can do economically, this is how we view do it; post-draft, and hear what he has to say and see if it works for both of us.
But right now for me it's too early to say one way or the other.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports