With the Warriors’ season officially over, they can now fully shift their attention to one of the most consequential drafts in franchise history.
On Thursday, the NBA’s board of governors approved a 22-team format to restart the 2019-20 season in Orlando on July 31, with the latest possible conclusion for Oct.12. The league also set dates for the NBA draft lottery (Aug. 25) and the NBA draft (Oct. 15), the latter possibly occurring just three days after the conclusion of the revised season, according to ESPN.
In the weeks following the postponement of play in mid-March, the Warriors did not anticipate being involved in a resumption of the season. Instead, the front office and coaching staff have used the last three months to prepare for the upcoming NBA draft.
“We all recognize that there are much more important and pressing issues in our world right now that need to be addressed and corrected,” president of basketball operations Bob Myers said in a statement. “Basketball is secondary at this point. Nonetheless, it is helpful to have a definitive resolution to our season. We can now focus our efforts on preparing for the 2020-21 season and, ideally, putting ourselves in position to be a very successful team.
“In many respects, despite our won-loss record, we had a productive season this year. Our rookies gained valuable experience, several of our young veterans showed marked improvement, our injured players progressed in their rehab, and our culture remained strong.”
Having been mathematically eliminated from the postseason with a league-worst 15-50 record, the Warriors have a 14% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in August’s draft lottery, and are guaranteed to select in the top five.
The Warriors have a 13.4% chance at the No. 2 pick, a 12.7% chance at the No. 3 pick, a 12% chance at the No. 4 pick and a 47.9% chance at the No. 5 pick. Either way, it will be their earliest draft selection since 2002.
Over the next four months, the Warriors will finalize their draft board. They’ve already seen several of the top prospects multiple times in person, and have conducted digital interviews while adhering to shelter-in-place guidelines, sources said.
It remains unclear whether or not the league will reschedule its draft combine, a vital event that draws hundreds of team representatives, agents and prospects for scrimmages, medical testing and interviews.
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