Bob Myers took the podium inside Chase Center on the main court, with the Jumbotron dropped to the floor, last night after picking Patrick Baldwin, Ryan Rollins and Gui Santos in the 2022 NBA Draft.
What struck me most was not the detail about the picks, it was the vibe that (1) Baldwin and Rollins are expected to occupy two new roster slots and (2) Myers did not seem confident all the free agents would come back. Mathematically, the championship roster “blueprint” for 2021-22 is not going to work for 2022-23, starting with the fact that not every one of your free agents will be a veteran’s minimum — Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II will certainly not get paid the minimum anymore, plain and simple.
Obviously the word “all” is far-fetched, indeed, especially as the novelty of an unexpected Golden State Warriors championship and parade wears off. As Myers mentioned last night, each free agent the Warriors had for 2021-22 was a veteran minimum contract and that cannot be duplicated this summer. He also said, “We do need to add veterans,” meaning new veterans — meaning he knows some of the old veterans are not coming back.
Another key learning point for students of the NBA: young players are highly coveted in free agency, but are difficult to obtain, therefore young players are best acquired in the Draft. Most importantly, no one can control free agency, i.e., it only takes one GM or owner to set market values on certain roles. One piece of good news: Bob does think it is quite do-able to add veteran free agents at the vet minimum level.
And through it all, we should also assume Myers and his staff have ears to the ground and have already chatted with Looney, Payton II, Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter, Nemanja Bjelica, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damion Lee. He’s probably got a sense of who he can keep and who has one foot out the door already.
I would assume the articles about the Warriors’ free agency are around the corner, as it officially begins June 30th at 3:00PM PDT, but the potential contract numbers for those named above should be analyzed a bit. There are Full Bird Rights, Early Bird Rights and Non-Bird Rights involved — I might get into that in more detail between now and 6/30. And I don’t know if you saw, but Toscano-Anderson signed with Klutch Sports. [UPDATE: see Comments below.] He and Klutch client Draymond Green have formed a closer bond, even as shown on Twitter, since the buzzer sounded in Game 6. They flew to the team party in Vegas together and Rich Paul was on the Draymond/Juan parade bus. If JTA hadn’t made an agent change, I would’ve been leaning toward him staying, but who really knows until the shoe drops. I’m sure Juan (and Dray and Rich Paul) would want to keep a lid on this even with family members. Speculate is all we can do, but I’m also here to report on the process, and as Stephen Curry always preaches, enjoying that process.
BOB ON DRAFT NIGHT
DISCLAIMER: These are all just notes for my main workflow of YouTube videos, tweeted by beatwriters. I used to transcribe every interview but it became too tedious and not worth the investment for the small amount of views we got on the soundbites on YouTube. The links to the tweets are not available because sometimes I don’t use the full tweet and just having a ton of tweets on this website imo isn’t aesthetically pleasing and gets away from the main goal: transferring information (not so much entertainment) asap.
• Bob Myers: “We’re excited, we’re tired but we’re happy with our guys.” He added that all three picks came in for workouts. (Madeline Kenney, CJ Holmes)
• On Patrick Baldwin: “Another Milwaukee guy. Guess we like Milwaukee guys.” On what Myers likes about Baldwin: “Size, skill, IQ, we watched some film with him — you can tell he’s a coach’s son…Checks a lot of boxes but he has to put it all together…it’s just about getting it all together, and he hasn’t quite done that yet.” (Shayna Rubin, Kate Rooney, 95.7 The Game, Dalton Johnson)
• On the Warriors’ off-season plans: “We do need to add veterans and we plan to do that in free agency.” (95.7 The Game)
• On what Draymond Green thought of the Warriors picking Patrick Baldwin Jr: “He liked it. If he didn’t, he’d tell me.” (Dalton Johnson)
• Myers said Patrick Baldwin Jr. was the best available player on the Warriors’ board at No. 28: “We had some pretty big fans in our front office group … It is definitely an upside swing.” (95.7 The Game)
• Myers said Baldwin’s ankle was checked out by Rick Celebrini before the draft, and deemed it wasn’t 100%. Still isn’t. Status for Summer League won’t be decided until meeting with Celebrini: “We think it affected it quite a bit…Rick will evaluate him, make that call.” (Kendra Andrews, Anthony Slater, Kate Rooney)
• Baldwin, still dealing with an ankle injury, didn’t do a full workout for the Warriors. He came out recently and did some shooting. Myers: “Nothing full speed.” (Tim Kawakami)
• Ryan Rollins was drafted with intention of having him on 15-man roster. (Anthony Slater)
• What do the Warriors love about Ryan Rollins? “Shot creation…A lot of the characteristics we like in players, length, skillset…like his attitude, like his competitive spirit.” (CJ Holmes, Kate Rooney)
• Gui Santos may be draft-and-stash option. TBD. (Anthony Slater)
• On second-round pick swap with Atlanta: “The gap behind Rollins and the next guy was pretty big, so that’s why we moved up.” (95.7 The Game)
• On Moody, Kuminga and Wiseman next season: “We think they can be part of the rotation.” (95.7 The Game)
• On Kevon Looney and the Warriors’ crop of free agents: “We’re gonna try our best to bring him back and all those guys back.” (95.7 The Game)
• On challenges of free agency, Myers says this year will be different, last year they were able to sign Bjelica, Porter, etc. to NBA minimum contracts. Doesn’t expect that to happen this year: “I don’t think any of them will be (minimum contract players). We gotta make an effort to bring ’em back. If not, we have to do our best to find other guys.” (Kate Rooney, 95.7 The Game)