Without lottery luck, Warriors lose first-round pick

As their odds foreshadowed, the Warriors are giving up their first-round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The ping pong balls didn’t bounce the Warriors’ way, as their pick landed at No. 14 — where Portland will pick.

The only way the Warriors could have used the pick this year is if they had jumped from 14th into the top four of the lottery, an outcome that had just a 3.37% chance based on the lottery. The Warriors traded their 2024 first-round pick in 2019 to Memphis in a package that included Andre Iguodala. The pick has changed multiple hands since, from Memphis to Boston to Portland, and will now end up with the Blazers.

Because of its 46-36 record, Golden State was the last lottery team, with the lowest odds — less than 1% — at winning the top pick.

While the Warriors didn’t beat the odds, a different team did. Atlanta, who finished 36-46 and had a 3% chance at landing the top pick, won the lottery and will have the chance to select French center Alex Sarr, whom many experts consider the top prospect.

The silver lining for the Warriors is that next year’s class is considered much stronger than this one. If Golden State had landed in the top four this year, its 2025 pick (protected only in the No. 1 spot) would have conveyed to Portland.

The Warriors now have their own pick in every upcoming draft until 2030 (outgoing to Washington in the Jordan Poole trade). Teams must keep at least one first round pick in every other draft; for example, the Warriors could only trade future firsts in 2026 and 2028.

While catapulting into the top four of this draft would have given general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. more immediate options, some teams may value future draft capital more than present picks, anyway.

Not having a first-round pick, even in a weak class, makes some of the Warriors’ offseason objectives difficult. On the Warriors’ to-do list: getting younger and more athletic, adding a secondary shot creator next to Steph Curry, and either retaining or replacing Klay Thompson.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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