By Justin Taylor
Draft talk in the Bay Area has been non-existent this year and it feels spectacular! When the ping pong balls got pulled at the lottery I didn’t even realize it till later that day. It is such a foreign concept not to feel like I need some sort of lucky charm in hand before they open those stupid envelopes on lottery night. I don’t know why I do that, it only works when a scrub like Joe Smith is the consensus number one pick anyways.
Point A on the “Reasons I’m glad we don’t have a draft pick” list is that this particular draft class is super weak. If you were rating it on a scale of 1-10, with one equaling dog shit, lets just say someone stepped in that dog shit, rubbed it into the carpet and tracked it all over the house. What I’m trying to say is that this isn’t the type of draft you give up anything of value to get into.
The one and only scenario that gets the Warriors a draft pick and still makes total sense is the one in which Joe Lacob pays cash for it. It wouldn’t be the first time Lacob shelled out for a pick and he is the guy that threw the possibility out there. As soon as I heard him say that I spent at least 20 minutes pouring over ESPN’s draft coverage, which led to a minimum of an additional 5 minutes looking at other ridiculous mock drafts around the internet.
After 26 minutes of hardcore research and I finally found an inconsistency that can be used taken advantage of. The strategy involves buying a late first round pick that a number of teams would be happy to sell, using it to bring in a player who attacks the basket like nobody on the Warriors outside of Harrison Barnes. He would also be Golden State royalty from the moment David Stern calls his name.
In case that last line didn’t say it all, the kid I’m speaking of is Tim Hardaway Jr. and he is the only youngster in this draft that I’d actually be excited to see put on a Warriors cap come draft day. There is much more to my Little Timmy love than just his name even if he’ll never be able to do the UTEP Two-Step. Seeing his Dad attending games is just another small bonus for a man who once had a Tim Hardaway Die Hard poster hanging in his room from approximately 1989-1997.
They don't make posters quite like they used to
There is a hole on this roster Timmy is capable of filling. We know this team needs a point guard whether it is Jarrett Jack or another free agent. No rookie is going to come in and fill that crucial role. We also need another big man or two to account for Carl Landry’s spot and Andrew Bogut’s inevitable trips to the doctors’ office. Again, no rookie (especially not one late in this draft) would make you feel good when either of those guys is missing. The one missing component on this roster is the one that Junior was born for. The role is for a guy that can, handle a little, pass a little and fearlessly attack the basket.
This isn’t a “by any means necessary” proposition, it is mostly a value proposition. The reason I spent that extra five minutes flipping through countless mock drafts was due to Hardaway being projected to go as high as 20th in only one of them. Most had him going somewhere between picks 24- 29 and a couple even had him slipping to the second round. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. In a draft full of mediocre role players at best, how is a kid with NBA size, skills, athleticism and pedigree not a lottery pick? If he were slotted where I think he should be I wouldn’t even be bringing this up.
I don’t pay much attention to college basketball but I watch the NCAA tournament to see the best teams and most of the draft prospects with my own eyes at least once. During March Madness this year it became painfully obvious what a piece of shit draft this was going to be. In case I haven’t mentioned it yet, this draft is going to be a real, hot, steaming pile of shit. In the midst of all the crappy players on all of the crappy teams Hardaway caught my eye as one of the few NBA caliber players in the bunch.
As with most draft picks, Hardaway would require the right fit to succeed in the league. The Warriors would be that perfect situation. There would be no unrealistic expectations that come with being a top ten pick, our needs fit his strengths and we are also very strong in the areas where he is deficient; mainly his outside shot. As long as he proves himself to be a hard worker who wants to get better he has absolutely nothing to worry about but his game in Oakland.
The only thing he could do or say to make us like his draft day acquisition anymore is if he were to proclaim, “I got Skeeellz” during his introductory press conference.