The Warriors entered the 2013 NBA Draft without a pick and, through a series of trades that led to much confusion and a 20-minute Warriors career for Malcolm Lee, came away with Serbian guard Nemanja Nedovic, the 30th overall pick of the draft.
We cobbled together some more info on the newest Warrior and the long, strange trip that led the Warriors to acquiring the 30th overall pick from Phoenix.
CASE OF NEMANJA
Nedovic spent last season in Lithuanian’s top league with Lietuvos rytas, where he averaged 11.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 49.6 percent from the field in 18 games. Nedovic’s most recent club has a couple of loose ties to the Warriors: In 2006-07, Brandon Rush’s brother, Kareem, helped the team to the Baltic Basketball League title; and before beginning his career with the Warriors, Sarunas Marciulionis played for the club when it was called BC Statyba in the ‘80s.
Prior to his stint with Lietuvos rytas, Nedovic spent three years with Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda (2009-12), where he was briefly teammates with former NBA Lottery Pick Adam Morrison in 2011-12.
There have been 14 Serbian-born players in the NBA, most notably Vlade Divac, Darko Milicic, Marko Jaric and Nenad Krstic. But only one Serbian-born player has suited up for the Warriors, Zarko Cabarkapa, who averaged 4.4 points over 98 games in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Coincidentally, Cabarkapa was also drafted by Phoenix (17th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft) and traded by the Suns to Golden State, though not until after appearing in 52 games for the Suns.
In addition to Cabarkapa, two other Serbs born outside of the country have played for the Warriors: Kosta Perovic in 2007-08 and Vladimir Radmanovic in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
A STERN ANNOUNCEMENT
Nedovic has the distinction of being the 839th and final player announced at the NBA Draft by departing Commissioner David Stern, who has revealed the first round selections in the last 30 NBA Drafts. The Warriors would be thrilled if Nedovic came close to the impact made by the first player the Commish announced back in 1984: Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.
As the final pick of the round, Nedovic was also the last of 12 players born outside of the United States to be taken in the first round, which is a new NBA record.
The Warriors acquisition of Nedovic gives them the 30th overall pick in each of the last two drafts after they selected Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli with a pick acquired from San Antonio in 2012. That gives Golden State a total of three players selected with the final pick of the first round, which includes All-Star forward David Lee, who was taken 30th overall by the New York Knicks in 2005.
TRADE WINDS BLOWING
The Warriors went from not having a pick in the draft, to then acquiring the 26th pick (Andre Roberson) and Malcolm Lee from Minnesota in exchange for a 2014 second rounder and cash considerations, to then flipping pick No. 26 for the 29th overall pick (Archie Goodwin) and cash considerations from Oklahoma City, to finally acquiring the 30th overall pick in exchange for sending No. 29 and Malcolm Lee to Phoenix, all in a matter of about a 20 minutes. Technically, though, the Nedovic pick was made by the Suns, meaning that the Warriors finished the 2013 NBA Draft without actually selecting a player—a first in franchise history.
The trading frenzy gave the Warriors a chance to strike deals with teams they haven’t swapped commodities with in a while. Golden State traded with Minnesota for the first time since 2002 (sending “the other” Marc Jackson to the Wolves), with Phoenix for the first time since 2005 (the aforementioned acquisition of Serbian Zarko Cabarkapa), and with Oklahoma City for the first time since they were still in Seattle back in 1994 (a swap of Sarunas Marciulionis and Ricky Pierce, among others).
For more on Nedovic and how he might fit in to the Warriors' plans, click here.