Published June 28, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. – For a general manager who entered the day without a draft pick, Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors was awfully busy at the end of the first round on Thursday night.
The Warriors made three deals in a dizzying stretch that ended up with them taking Serbian guard Nemanja Nedovic with the 30th overall pick and giving up $600,000 and a 2014 second-round pick to do it.
"It all happened pretty quickly, but we're happy with the result," Myers said.
Getting there wasn't simple. The Warriors first acquired the No. 26 pick from Minnesota along with guard Malcolm Lee for $1.6 million and a 2014 second-round pick. They then traded No. 26 to Oklahoma City for No. 29, getting $1 million in the transaction.
Finally, Myers dealt the 29th pick and the rights to Lee to Phoenix and took Nedovic with the final pick of the first round.
Myers said he first saw the chance to get into the first round after Minnesota added two picks in an earlier deal. He felt comfortable moving down after that without sacrificing the chance to get the player he wanted in Nedovic.
"It's very unique and rare to be able to get a first-round pick without giving up a first-round pick or player," he said. "We jumped at that opportunity."
Nedovic, 22, played in Lithuania last season, averaging 9.8 points and 2.1 assists for Lietuvos rytas in 10 Euro League games. Nedovic, listed at 6-foot-3, 192 pounds, played the previous three years in Serbia.
Myers said the Warriors hope Nedovic will be able to join the team for summer league games in Las Vegas next month and expects him to be in the NBA either this season or next season.
"We like a lot of things about him," Myers said. "We like his size. One of the things we covet and value in all of our players is size at the position. We think a 6-4 point guard, who's athletic and can attack the basket is a great asset. We like his decision making. He played a lot of pick and roll. He attacks the rim."
Myers wanted to acquire a pick after the team had lost both picks in previous deals. Golden State's first-round pick (21st overall) ended up with Minnesota, finally paying off a debt from a series of complicated moves that started when the team sent a protected first-round pick to New Jersey for Marcus Williams in 2008. Williams played just nine games for the Warriors.
The Timberwolves got Louisville center Gorgui Dieng with the pick.
Golden State's second-round pick (51st overall) was shipped away in the trade to get David Lee from the New York Knicks in 2010 and ended up in Orlando's hands. The Magic took Oklahoma forward Romero Osby with the pick.
This is not the first time the Warriors have bought a draft pick under owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. The Warriors paid Charlotte $2 million to move up in the second round and select Jeremy Tyler 39th overall in 2011.
Myers said he wasn't willing to give up a player to get into the first round but this deal worked well for the team.
"When the price to add a first-round pick was money that our owners were willing to spend and a future second round pick, we thought it was worth getting into the draft," he said.
Tyler did not work out at Golden State but Myers did well in his first draft a year ago when he took three players — Harrison Barnes (seventh), Festus Ezeli (30th) and Draymond Green (35th) — who became immediate contributors to a team that made it to the second round of the playoffs for the second time since 1991. The Warriors also stashed Ognjen Kuzmic (52nd) of Bosnia and Herzegovina back in Europe.
The Warriors went from a 23-43 record during the lockout-shortened season to a 47-35 team in the second season under coach Mark Jackson. Golden State earned the sixth seed in the Western Conference for its second playoff berth since 1994 and knocked out Denver in the first round. The Warriors eventually lost to San Antonio in six games in the second round.
The team's young nucleus — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut — will all be back. But there will still be needs to fill.
Ezeli will be sidelined a minimum of six to nine months after right knee surgery two weeks ago, so finding another backup center has become a pressing need. Guard Jarrett Jack will be a free agent, and power forward Carl Landry informed the Warriors on Wednesday that he would opt out of the final year of his two-year, $8 million deal, to become a free agent.