When the Golden State Warriors perform their in-person evaluations of 2021 NBA Draft prospects, the team’s decision makers could very well look around they gym and think: “Hey, isn’t someone missing?”
They’d certainly be on to something. That’s because coach Steve Kerr is with Team USA, which is ready to depart for the Tokyo Olympics. He’ll be in Japan during the NBA draft (and the start of free agency). While Kerr is still heavily involved in the Warriors’ draft process, he simply can’t be as dialed in as he’s accustomed to.
“I’ve talked to Bob (Myers) a lot. I’m not nearly as involved in the draft as I was last year because of my Olympic commitment. We’ve got some big workouts coming up. Our scouts and front office will get a good look at guys.”–Warriors coach Steve KerrThe Athletic
Now that’s what I call trust. It’s Kerr that will have to coach whomever the Warriors draft, not general manager Bob Myers.
But Kerr says he’s found other ways to stay on top of the situation. He told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater that he’s excited about the team’s two lottery picks (at Nos. 7 and 14) because there are players that can play right away, or at least appear that they can.
“But based on what I’ve watched on tape, I’ve seen a few guys who can play right now. You can go that route or go the younger route, get a prospect. Maybe you get one of each. Get one guy who is ready now and one guy who may pop in a few years. Who knows. But I think we’re in a really good position asset-wise to look at everything.”–coach Steve KerrThe Athletic
That sounds like a coach who’s putting in work to prepare for this draft. In-person evaluations can’t be beat, but watching footage of player highlights and lowlights are a worthwhile substitution, to be sure.
Plus, with Kerr’s excitement about players that could be ready “right now,” it appears very likely that the Warriors will select such a player, if they opt to use these selections for themselves, that is.
But will Kerr’s Olympic duties harm the evaluation process? It’s possible — without Kerr in the Bay Area, it’s simply different than it’s been in the past. Kerr appears up to speed, however, and you can bet on him wearing Myers’ ear out via telephone from half a world away to keep pace and get his roster right for 2021-22.