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2008 DRAFT BLOG

During the weeks leading up to and following the 2008 NBA Draft, warriors.com will feature complete coverage from a variety of Warriors sources. With submissions from basketball operations, the training staff, Warriors PR and the rest of the full-time Blog Squad roster, the Warriors 2008 Draft Blog is the best place for Warriors fans wanting the inside scoop on this year's draft.

VISIT WARRIORS DRAFT CENTRAL

Monday, June 30 (5:13 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors.com

Randolph & Hendrix Meet The Media

Earlier today, the Warriors 2008 draft picks met with the media at a press conference at ORACLE Arena. Lottery selection Anthony Randolph and second-rounder Richard Hendrix patiently answered questions from a number of Bay Area media members and also spent some quality time with the winners of warriors.com's "Meet the Draft Picks" contest before meeting up with a group of kids from a local community group.

Watch the entire introductory press conference below:

And find out even more about the day's events by viewing the photo gallery below:

Get to know Randolph and Hendrix a little bit better with the following off-the-court facts about the newest Warriors:

Anthony Randolph:

  • Born in Worzbach, Germany
  • Attended three high schools in three different states (California, Arkansas, Texas)
  • Enjoys shooting pool
  • Didn’t play basketball until the eighth grade
  • Favorite sport was football growing up
  • Favorite food is pizza
Richard Hendrix:
  • Graduated from the University of Alabama in three years with a degree in communications
  • Was the sixth member of his family to graduate from UA
  • Was a member of Alabama’s Student Athlete Advisory Council
  • Enjoys playing original Nintendo video games
  • Voted "Mr. AHS" & "Senior Class Favorite" at Athens High by the student body
  • Would like to get into broadcasting following his basketball career

Friday, June 27 (4:17 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors.com

Wrapping Up The Last Two Days Of Draft Coverage

In case you haven't heard, the Warriors added a pair of forwards in yesterday's NBA Draft. Golden State selected LSU freshman Anthony Randolph with the 14th selection before taking Alabama junior Richard Hendrix with the 19th pick of the second round (49th overall). Get to know the two newest Warriors by viewing the photo gallery below:

On Monday, the Warriors will hold an introductory press conference for their 2008 draft picks at ORACLE Arena. This will allow both Randolph and Hendricks to meet local media members in person for the first time, not to mention give them a chance to tour a place they will call home for upcoming seasons. We will provide audio and video of the press conference as soon as it becomes available, and if you can't wait that long, the following list of multimedia features should be enough to get you through the weekend.

Video Links

Audio Links And in case you missed out on any of our draft-day coverage, please scroll below to get all caught up.

Friday, June 27 (8:52 a.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors.com

Mullin Press Conference, Player Interviews

Following the conclusion of last night's draft, Chris Mullin took to the podium at the Warriors practice facility and spoke to the assembled media. Watch his entire press conference by clicking the image below.

Mullin also appeared on last night's special draft edition of Warriors Radio Roundtable, as did the team's two draft picks, Anthony Randolph and Richard Hendrix. Listen to their interviews below.

RANDOLPH ....... | ....... HENDRIX ....... | ....... MULLIN

We'll be back with much more throughout the day, so stay tuned.

Thursday, June 26 (11:02 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors.com

Wrapping Things Up, More To Come Tomorrow

What a night! From beginning to end, we hope you enjoyed all of our coverage. We'll be back tomorrow with Chris Mullin's entire post-draft press conference and much more.

Also, if you missed tonight's special draft edition of Warriors Radio Roundtable, you can download clips of Tim Roye's interviews with Chris Mullin, Anthony Randolph and Richard Hendrix on our Draft Multimedia Page.

And if you're looking for full coverage of all of tonight's activity, check out all the posts below and stay tuned for much more in the coming days.

Thursday, June 26 (8:35 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors.com

Warriors Tab Richard Hendrix In Second Round

After taking Anthony Randolph with the 14th pick of the NBA Draft, the Warriors used their second-round selection (49th overall) on Richard Hendrix. A 6-foot-9 forward from Alabama, Hendrix earned First Team All-SEC honors as a junior after averaging 17.8 points and leading the conference with 10.1 rebounds per game during the 2007-08 season.

During the pre-draft process, Hendrix was one of several prospects to work out for the Warriors at the team's Downtown Oakland practice facility. Get to know Hendrix a little more by watching his pre-draft interview below:

RICHARD HENDRIX PRE-DRAFT INTERVIEW

WATCH RICHARD HENDRIX HIGHLIGHTS

Check out tonight’s special draft-night edition of Warriors Radio Roundtable, sponsored by Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, which will shortly on KNBR 680 at 9 p.m. and include interviews with Hendrix, Randolph and Warriors Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin.

Thursday, June 26 (6:18 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors.com

Chris Mullin on Anthony Randolph

Just moments after the Warriors took Anthony Randolph with the 14th pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, Warriors Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin discussed the selection with Tim Roye. Watch the interview below:

And for Anthony Randolph's interview on KGO, watch the video below.

Thursday, June 26 (5:55 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors.com

Warriors Select Anthony Randolph With 14th Pick

The Warriors just selected Anthony Randolph with the 14th pick of the 2008 NBA Draft. Randolph, a 6-foot-10 forward, averaged 15.6 points and 8.5 rebounds during his recently completed freshman season at LSU.

WATCH WARRIORS SELECT ANTHONY RANDOLPH

WATCH ANTHONY RANDOLPH HIGHLIGHTS

Stay tuned to Warriors Draft Central, as we will bring you much more as the evening progresses, including interviews with Randolph and Warriors Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin.

Thursday, June 26 (3:55 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors.com

Less Than An Hour Away

The Warriors' War Room is where all of the team's draft-night decisions will be made. (warriors.com photo)
It’s getting close to Draft time, and Warriors headquarters in Downtown Oakland is abuzz. As rumors swirl about whom the Warriors will pick at No. 14 or whether or not they will make a trade, the team’s decision makers are working away in the War Room, deliberating over prospects and making and fielding calls with other teams around the league regarding potential trades and maneuvering.

We’re less than an hour away from the Chicago Bulls making the first pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, and nearly every TV in the facility is tuned in to some pre-draft programming.

The level of excitement is building every minute. Like a child waiting to open presents on Christmas morning, Warriors employees are anxiously awaiting the decision about the 14th and 49th picks.

The anticipation is killing us, but we shall find out soon enough. In fact, if all goes as planned, NBA Commissioner David Stern will be announcing the 14th pick of the draft at 5:40 p.m. (Pacific).

As excitement builds at Warriors headquarters, media members are beginning to filter into the team's practice facility. (warriors.com photo)
As we anxiously count down the minutes until draft time, members of the local and national media are starting to filter into the Warriors Practice Facility.

Even though the team has yet to make an announcement, the likes of beat reporters Geoff Lepper (Contra Costa Times), Janny Hu (San Francisco Chronicle) and columnists Marcus Thompson III (CC Times) and Tim Kawakami (San Jose Mercury News) are hard at work preparing their stories for tomorrow morning’s newspaper.

Joining the media contingent is the Warriors’ very own Tim Roye. Just a short time ago, the veteran radio broadcaster guided a tour of the Warriors’ facility as the team gets ready for the draft. Watch the video below:

Fans will have their chance to catch more of Roye later on tonight when he hosts a special draft-night edition of Warriors Radio Roundtable, sponsored by Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria. Tonight’s program, which will air at 9 p.m. on KNBR 680, will feature interviews with the Warriors draft picks, as well as a one-one-one discussion with Chris Mullin.

Keep returning to Warriors Draft Central, as we will be providing updates as soon as they become available.

Thursday, June 26 (10:45 a.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors PR

Behind The Scenes At Warriors Headquarters

Last year, Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli were both in attendance at the draft. Will the Warriors' first round pick be there this year? (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty)
I received a call in the office this morning. Reportedly, the Warriors are moving up in the draft.

I received another call in the office this morning. Reportedly, the Warriors are moving down in the draft.

I received another call in the office this morning. Reportedly, the Warriors are making a trade.

And, finally, I received another call in the office this morning. Reportedly, the Warriors are pretty excited with the 14th pick in tonight's draft and plan to add another piece to the puzzle. Who might that be? We'll, that's about 27 additional phone calls and, reportedly, one of 27 different guys.

Ah, you gotta love this time of the year. The NBA Finals ended a week ago and the rhetoric and rumors are hot and heavy, if not accurate. Just check out who the 'experts' are predicting the Warriors will select with the 14th pick on our Mock Drafts page. There are a dozen players listed there, so a wide majority, if not all of these predictions, will inevitably be wrong.

However, the picture will become much clearer later today, when the annual NBA Draft will be held at New York's Madison Square Garden. The Warriors hold the 14th and 49th selections in the first and second rounds, respectively.

The club's entire Basketball Operations Staff has settled in a conference room near the Warriors' practice facility over the last 48-72 hours, breaking down the different possibilities in the draft and ranking the players. Generally, they come up with a pecking order among the guards, forwards and centers and are quite confident that the players at the top of that list and still available in each category (at #14 and #49) will be the best selections for the team. The staff has spent endless hours scouting players in person, observing tape, talking to former coaches and conducting individual workouts. Now, it's just a matter of coming to a consensus. The ultimate decision, of course, will be in the hands of Chris Mullin.

After a late night debate on Wednesday, the staff will reconvene later today in the infamous War Room, typically the Warriors' Player Lounge at the practice facility. The room is pretty basic and not much different than a nice lounge in your home, but trust me, it will suddenly become colorful and filled with enough energy to end our gas shortage around 4:30 p.m. Robert Rowell, Chris Mullin, Don Nelson and various scouts and coaches will gather around a large square table in the room and begin to fidget with the items in front of them ---- NBA draft guides, scouting reports, medical information, salary cap numbers, contractual figures for every player and team in the NBA and, of course, several phones. And, more phones.

The phone lines at the Warriors practice facility will be buzzing all day today. (Chris Desmond/NBAE/Getty)
This would not, quite honestly, be a good day for AT&T to experience any issues. The phones will be busier than a ticket-taker at a Warriors game. GMs talking to other GMs...and other GMs....and other GMs. Agents calling GMs. GMs calling agents. Scouts calling coaches. Coaches calling scouts. Media trying to call GMs. It's like the New York Stock Market ---- fast, furious, frenetic and fun.

While the team's Basketball Operations staff is sequestered in the War Room, the Warriors' PR staff and members of the media will be gathered in a separate room, where the likes of Janny Hu, Geoff Lepper, Tim Roye, Tim Kawakami and Bob Padecky will watch the proceedings unfold and debate the decisions. Of course, some will approve of the Warriors choice and some will not, citing either the huge upside or apparent shortcomings of a player they have seen, oh, once or twice and probably never in person.

After Commissioner Stern announces the Warriors first round selection at approximately 5:40 p.m., Roye will venture down to the hallway outside of the War Room and conduct a quick two-minute interview with Chris Mullin. We arrange for this because the chances of Chris having the opportunity to address the assembled media prior to the end of the draft is not good. In fact, he might have difficulty finding time to catch his breath. As a result, we will replay Tim's interview with Chris for the media in attendance a few short minutes after it is conducted. Portions of this brief interview will also be heard on KNBR during the Ralph & Tom show prior to 7:00 p.m.

Shortly after the player is selected and slips on his new Warriors hat (if he is in attendance at the draft in NY), he is scheduled to do two live TV interviews with Bay Area media from Madison Square Garden ---- one at 6:47 with KGO-TV (Larry Beil) and one at 6:53 with KPIX-TV (Dennis O'Donnell). If the player is not at the Draft, these interviews will not take place.

However, the media on hand at the practice facility will have an opportunity to speak to him regardless of his proximity during a conference call around 7:00 p.m. Before he speaks to the media, the newest member of the Warriors roster will have also spoken briefly on the phone to Chris Mullin, Don Nelson and, hopefully, chosen his new uniform number.

Chris Mullin will do a live interview on ESPN following the Warriors' selection in the second round. (warriors.com photo)
Golden State's second round choice (#49) is slated to be announced at roughly 7:45 p.m. Immediately following the selection, Mullin will do a live interview with ESPN, which sends camera crews/reporters to roughly 15 NBA team draft headquarters each year to elicit the reaction of team decision-makers.

And, while Mully will be at the practice facility to conduct his interview, finding the whereabouts of second round picks for media interviews on draft night is sometimes a chore. The player will not be at the draft in New York but, hopefully, he'll be in the United States. Nonetheless, through the magic of agents, we will eventually speak to the player, have him chat briefly again with Chris Mullin and Don Nelson and ask him to select a jersey number (we need to have the new jerseys available for our press conference on Monday at ORACLE Arena). Eventually, he will also conduct a conference call with the media types at the practice facility.

Both players (#14 and 49) will also participate in interviews with Tim Roye during the Warriors special draft night edition of the Radio Roundtable on KNBR at 9:00 p.m. Mullin will also chat with Roye on the Roundtable Radio show once the draft has been completed - approximately 8:30 p.m. - but his first order of business will be to speak to the curious media at the practice facility. It is here where the questions will begin. Did you get the player you wanted? Were you surprised that he was available at #14? Can he help you next season? Were you close to making any trades?

And, with the start of the free agency frenzy set to begin on Tuesday, July 1, I'm sure I'll receive an additional call or two in my office over the next couple of weeks. The nature of those calls? Probably someone claiming that the Warriors are reportedly........

Wednesday, June 25 (9:35 a.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Tim Roye

Tim Roye's Pre-Draft Journal - Part 4

Warriors Radio Broadcaster and long-time warriors.com contributor Tim Roye will be submitting entries to this year's Draft Blog. If you have a question you'd like Tim to answer, feel free to e-mail him at tjroye@gs-warriors.com and stay tuned as he answers fan's questions. Be sure to tune in to KNBR following the draft for a special edition of Warriors Radio Roundtable featuring live interviews with Chris Mullin and the Warriors draft picks.

The NBA Draft is now less than 36 hours away and already the trade rumors are building and the speculation is intensifying. Everyone has revised their mock drafts and they are fine tuning their thoughts on the 2008 affair.

I spoke with Chris Monter of the Monter Draft News on Tuesday and got this update on who is heading to the top of the draft. To listen to the interview, click below.

LISTEN TO CHRIS MONTER INTERVIEW

And for the latest updates on the draft, be sure to visit monterdraftnews.com.

LET’S MAKE AN EXCEPTION
I have received a number of questions about the Warriors’ trade exception that they acquired last year in the trade with the Charlotte Bobcats. To properly answer the queries, I went straight to the source, Warriors Assistant General Manager Pete D’Alessandro, who gave me this rundown on the ins and outs of the exception business. Click on the link below to listen to the interview. Hopefully, this will answer all of your questions about the trade exception.

LISTEN TO PETE D’ALESSANDRO INTERVIEW

BY THE WAY
Without doubt, the worst look of the playoffs went to…..Samuel Dalembert of the Philadelphia 76ers with his late first-round series mohawk.

CH-CH-CHANGES
It seems the Warriors’ pick at 14 changes almost every day when I check the different draft sites and mock drafts. Depending on who you're reading, the Warriors can go in more than a dozen directions with their first-round selection, which is almost comical considering only 13 players will be selected before Commissioner David Stern announces Golden State's pick.

Chris Mullin will be interviewed by Tim Roye as part of the special draft night edition of Warriors Radio Roundtable. (warriors.com photo)
THURSDAY NIGHT
I will be hosting a special NBA Draft night edition of Warriors Radio Roundtable – presented by Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria – that will air on Thursday, June 26th from 9 to 10 p.m. on KNBR 680.

The show will feature interviews with Warriors Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin and the two players selected by Golden State in the 2008 NBA Draft. The Warriors currently own the No. 14 overall selection in the first round and the No. 49 selection overall in the second round.

MAILBAG

Hi Tim,
Great Job!! How do you feel about Jason Thompson from Rider? I think he’s a 6-foot-10 center who might work at the four spot. It has always been my observation that when a guy averages 20 points and 10 rebounds in college, he will turn out well in the pros. This guy had some 20/20 games as a senior.
Thanks,
Bud in Felton, CA

Bud,
Mr. Thompson is a player that is moving up the ladder as we speak. Thompson is a unique talent because he was originally a guard when he learned the game, but then he went through a major growth spurt as entered college. The result is that you have a big man with some small-man skills, which is really unique in today's NBA. Thanks for the e-mail and I hope you enjoy our draft show on Thursday night.
Thanks a lot,
Tim

The various mock drafts on the Internet have the Warriors selecting a wide variety of players.
Hey Tim,
Long time Warriors fan, based out of Los Angeles now. What moves do the Warriors have to make to continue to be competitive in the Western Conference? Do you see the Warriors signing Baron Davis and/or Monta Ellis to long-term deals to lock them in?
Thanks,
Warriors fan stuck down here in L.A. -- Timothy Bouey

Timothy,
Well, the Warriors have a number of avenues that they can pursue. They can find someone in the draft at Nos. 14 and 49, they can develop their young players like Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli, and they can resign their free agents and try to add someone via free agency who can come in off the bench. Chris Mullin has been quoted as saying that Ellis is not going anywhere, and provided he does not opt out of his deal, it appears that the Baron issue will be tabled until next season.
Thanks for the e-mail,
Tim

Tim,
What are the chances of the Warriors acquiring a pass-first point guard to spell Baron Davis? Can we get one in the draft at 14? Or do we need to make a deal and/or sign a free agent?
John

John,
It’s a great question as the Warriors need to address that spot for the upcoming season. Let’s check out where Chris Monter lists this years point guard crop, albeit not as strong as those in recent years:

    1. Derrick Rose, Memphis
    2. Jerryd Bayless, Arizona
    3. Russell Westbrook, UCLA
    4. DJ Augustin, Texas
    5. Mario Chalmers, Kansas
If one of those doesn’t fit the bill, then a veteran back-up with a quality NBA pedigree is required so that the Warriors do not burn out Baron.
Thanks and Take Care,
Tim

Hey Tim,
I hope you are having a great summer! I know the Warriors are trying to get younger and more consistent, so I can't help but think of Javaris Crittenton. I think he could play under Baron for a year. Could that be a possibility? The Grizzlies have too many point guards anyway.
Thanks,
John

John,
Crittendon is a player with question marks all over him because he really has not proved anything. He has some potential but after last year and what happened when Hudson was injured, I don't think that they will go in that direction. They need to pick up a proven NBA back-up point who can give Nellie a consistent 20 minutes a game. There is no doubt that Memphis has their share of point guards, but I'm not sure any of them are the answer for the Warriors.
Thanks for the e-mail,
Tim

E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR QUESTIONS…CHECK FOR AN UPDATE BEFORE THE DRAFT AND DON’T FORGET TO LISTEN TO THE SPECIAL EDITION OF WARRIORS RADIO ROUNDTABLE ON THURSDAY AT 9 P.M.

Monday, June 23 (3:24 a.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors PR

Practice Facility Buzzing

The 2008 NBA Draft is just around the corner and things are beginning to heat up at the Warriors Practice Facility in Downtown Oakland. After orchestrating a large multi-team NBA pre-draft workout last weekend in the Bay Area, Executive VP of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin, several scouts and other members of the Basketball Operations department have congregated at the facility to get a look at even more potential future Warriors. The assembly will collect some final thoughts before heading into the “War Room” on Thursday to deliberate which two players will be added to Coach Don Nelson’s roster.

The Warriors hosted a mult-team pre-draft workout at their practice facility on June 13 and 14. (warriors.com photo)

So who will the Warriors select with the 14th overall pick in the first round and the 49th overall pick in the second round? Well, your guess is as good as ours at this point, but to gain a little insight, check out Mullin’s exclusive warriors.com interview with play-by-play man Tim Roye at Thursday’s annual pre-draft luncheon in Downtown Oakland.

LISTEN TO CHRIS MULLIN INTERVIEW

The draft is, obviously, at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now. However, it has been some of the “veterans” who have created the most chatter around the gym in recent days. 2007 NBA Draft picks Brandan Wright (No. 8 overall) and Marco Belinelli (No.18 overall) have become staples around the facility. Those two, along with guard C.J. Watson, have been working tirelessly over the past month, arriving at the facility at 10 a.m. to work with the Warriors assistant coaches and training staff.

The trio has been participating in a variety of on-court drills in addition to some conditioning work. The guys are leaving it out there, too. By the time they are done with the on-court work, each is dripping wet. That’s just the start, because they then head to the weight room to get in some more work with Warriors Strength & Conditioning Coach John Murray. The guys will probably stick around for another week or so and then head home to get some rest, as each is expected to be a key contributor to the Warriors Summer League entries in both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City next month.

Speaking of key contributors, every once in while a guest will grace us with an appearance during the early part of the summer. On Thursday, it was guard Baron Davis’ turn. He stopped by to work out with some of the younger guys. BD was in great spirits, flashing his trademark smile all afternoon. This summer he’s been doing quite a bit off the court, but said that he has been training hard and can’t wait for the 2008-09 season.

When the Celtics defeated the Lakers last Tuesday to win their 17th championship, the NBA officially closed the books on the 2007-08 season. Despite not making the playoffs, it was a pretty good year for the Warriors, who won 48 games, the most for the club since the 1993-94 season. And, ready or not, there won’t be much rest for the weary, because attention on the 2008-09 campaign starts next Thursday, June 26, when the 62nd annual NBA Draft is held at Madison Square Garden in NYC. October will be here before you know it.

Friday, June 20 (3:31 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Tim Roye

Tim Roye's Pre-Draft Journal - Part 3

Warriors Radio Broadcaster and long-time warriors.com contributor Tim Roye will be submitting entries to this year's Draft Blog. If you have a question you'd like Tim to answer, feel free to e-mail him at tjroye@gs-warriors.com and stay tuned as he answers fan's questions.

LESS THAN ONE WEEK AWAY
Well, here we are, less than a week away from the 2008 NBA Draft and the rumors are starting to increase in intensity. The Warriors are continuing to prepare and work out players, and they will hold meetings over the next few days to make sure everyone is ready for next Thursday.

CHRIS MULLIN INTERVIEW
On Thursday, I sat down with Warriors Executive VP of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin, who helped break down the process of getting ready for the draft.

LISTEN TO CHRIS MULLIN INTERVIEW

CHRIS MONTER INTERVEW - PART 3
As they like to say in advertising: BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!!!

It’s the third installation of our interview with Chris Monter of the Monter Draft News. Today, Chris gives us an overview of the draft, position by position, as well as a look at the top international players.

LISTEN TO CHRIS MONTER INTERVIEW

Chris is one of the hardest working guys in the business and you can check out his updates at collegebasketballnews.com.

NBA FINALS
The Boston Celtics won their 17th Championship in high fashion, as the Lakers crumbled in Game 6. Paul Pierce was by far the best player in the series, but you have to respect the efforts by Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in the deciding contest, especially Allen’s record seven three pointers. It was a good series with some great storylines and great performances.

The challenge for the Warriors and the rest of the NBA is that the Celtics will have most of their key contributors back next season. The Lakers will also be back, and they have a young core that will only get better. However, in my opinion, we can all stop the comparisons between Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan at this point.

E-MAIL ME
As the Warriors continue to prepare for the draft, I will be doing my best to answer questions from the fans. Feel free to e-mail me at tjroye@gs-warriors.com and I'll do my best to answer.

WORKOUTS
The Warriors are gearing up for summer league play, and this year they will play in both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Marco Belinelli and Brandan Wright have been in Northern California since the end of the season. They are both working out hard, which will help them both in summer league and next year’s regular season.

As stated before, the Warriors are also continuing to host workouts at their practice facility with a variety of draft prospects. On Friday, Syracuse forward Donte Greene was in Oakland, and you can watch his exclusive warriors.com interview below.

MAILBAG

Tim,
Why isn't anyone talking about Serge Ibaka? From what I've seen, he has a very high skill set and more physical ability than many of the players mentioned to be drafted ahead of him. I hope Mullin drafts Ibaka because I believe that he will be the next KG!
Noel

Noel,
Ibaka is an intriguing prospect from the Congo who is slated by many to go mid-to-late first round. You can check out one Web site profile of him right here. If you are right about thinking he’s the next KG, then I am sure Mully is keeping an eye on him. Thanks for the e-mail and best of luck
Tim

Brandan Wright has been a consistent sight at the Warriors Practice Facility this offseason. (warriors.com photo)
Hi Tim,
I'm a big Brandan Wright fan. I have been hearing rumors that the Warriors are looking to trade him. Is this true?
Isaac

Isaac,
Right now there are countless rumors circulating thought the NBA, so I would not give every single one credibility. I believe that Chris Mullin would consider trading any player if it would improve the team both short-term and long-term, but trade rumors are mostly rumors and not much substance. Thanks and take care,
Tim

Tim,
Can you tell me why the Warriors second-round pick is No. 49 instead of No. 44? Every other team (who hasn't traded their pick) has their second-round pick roughly 30 spots after their first-round pick…what gives?!? Five spots doesn't seem like a lot, but there are several intriguing prospects available in the early second round who could drop to No. 44, but seem much less likely to drop to No. 49.
Trevor

Trevor,
In my humble opinion, this is a great example of why the NBA needs to revamp its playoff seeding. Not only did the Warriors get shortchanged by not making the playoffs despite having a better record than FIVE Eastern Conference teams, they also get hurt by their excellence in the draft. In the first round, the Warriors pick 14th because they were part of the lottery, but in the second round, the league reverts back to sorting by record, so that's why the Warriors slide back five spots. Here's hoping the league rewards position by record and not record plus or minus geography. Thanks for the e-mail.
Tim

Tim,
It seems like the Warriors two biggest needs this offseason are a big rebounder and a backup point guard. Most fans are expecting the team to use the draft to gain size, but what about the backup point guard spot? Do the Warriors have enough cap room to add a player like Jannero Pargo, T.J. Ford or Ben Gordon? Could you provide any insight on what the realistic possibilities are for the Warriors? Thank you for your time and consideration.
Jason in Concord

Jason,
You obviously study the Warriors closely. I think that at No. 14, the Warriors can draft a solid player, but no one can be sure whether it will be a big man, a backup point guard or a wing. So free agents and trades are certainly two options to consider. The names you mention are ones that can be had this year, especially T.J. Ford, as reports from Toronto have him being shopped by the Raptors. However, his medical problems (spine and back issues) require that you proceed with caution. Thanks for the query.
Tim

E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR QUESTIONS…CHECK FOR AN UPDATE SOON!

Monday, June 16 (12:04 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Tim Roye

Tim Roye's Pre-Draft Journal - Part 2

Warriors Radio Broadcaster and long-time warriors.com contributor Tim Roye will be submitting entries to this year's Draft Blog. If you have a question you'd like Tim to answer, feel free to e-mail him at tjroye@gs-warriors.com and stay tuned as he answers fan's questions.

CHRIS MONTER INTERVEW - PART 2
The NBA Draft is less than two weeks away, and the anticipation of a draft that is deep in good players continues to build.

Today, it’s Round 2 of my interview with Chris Monter of the Monter Draft News. In this edition, Chris discusses the pre-draft camps, as well as whom he believes the Warriors will be looking at with the No. 14 and No. 49 selections. We also took the time to discuss several local Bay Area college players. Click below to listen.

LISTEN TO CHRIS MONTER INTERVIEW

Don’t forget to check out Chris’ work on collegebasketballnews.com.

Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce have made this year's NBA Finals very exciting. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty)
NBA FINALS
Games 4 and 5 were interesting as the Celtics put together some great comebacks and the Lakers lost a great chance to go back to Boston up three games to two. The Celtics have shown in this series that for all intensive purposes, they are a better team, as they have fought through injuries to come within one game of a NBA championship.

In what was either the greatest comeback in Finals history or the biggest collapse, Boston stormed from 24 down to win Game 4, but lost center Kendrick Perkins in the process. They have defended Kobe Bryant well and have not lost faith when falling behind. As TV analyst Mark Jackson noted in Game 5, “Doc Rivers is in a coaching zone right now.”

I have a couple of questions, though - like what was Chris Mihm doing in the game last night? Where did that come from? Will the loss of Perkins continue to hurt the Celtics in Game 6? Will the Lakers be able to build a big lead in Boston with their season on the line?

E-MAIL ME
As the Warriors continue to prepare for the draft, I will be doing my best to answer questions from the fans. Feel free to e-mail me at tjroye@gs-warriors.com and I'll do my best to answer.

TODAY – 2 P.M. (PDT)
That’s the time that early entry draft candidates have to decide whether or not to keep their names in the draft. As of Sunday, these players were heading back to school:

Antonio Anderson, Josh Carter, Alonzo Gee, Danny Green, Stefon Jackson, Leo Lyons, Jerel McNeal, Josh Shipp, Lee Cummard and Lorenzo Wade.

On Monday morning, a few more players withdrew their name from the draft: UAB junior guard Robert Vaden, Gonzaga junior guard Jeremy Pargo and Alabama redshirt senior guard Ronald Steele. North Carolina players Wayne Ellington and Danny Green are also expected to go back to school.

REFS

A lot has been said about the comments surrounding Tim Donaghy’s testimony and games in question that were potentially influenced by the league. In my opinion and what NBA Commissioner David Stern mentioned in his press conference, is that by releasing this now, during the NBA Finals, Donaghy gets more bang for his buck in deflecting the attention away from his guilt. He’s trying to distract everyone from his wrongdoing. Stern called the allegations “sour grapes” and said it was so "all of you guys (in the media) come running in breathlessly to see whether there's something new that the NBA should respond to from a convicted felon who really violated the most sacred trust in sports." If you’re Donaghy, what have you got to lose by saying this? You know you are going to jail, so why not try and take down David Stern and the NBA with you. It’s not the right thing or the moral thing, but you have to consider the source. I have to believe that if the league brings in an independent review board to go over the officiating policies, confidence and order will be partially restored.

MAILBAG

Tim,
Do you think that Memphis' Joey Dorsey would be a good fit with the Warriors? I think he can help defend and block some shots for them, but he is limited offensively. Do you think he will he be around when the Warriors pick in the 2nd round?
Dave

Monta Ellis was a second round 'gamble' who has come up big for the Warriors. (AP photo)
Dave,
Thanks for the e-mail. I think if Dorsey is there at No. 49, then he would not be a bad gamble for the Warriors. From what I can tell, he is a good inside guy, but not a great offensive player. For me, using a late pick at No. 49 is a time to take a chance. Look how Monta Ellis worked out when other teams backed off. Take Care.
Tim

Tim,
I think the Warriors should select Roy Hibbert out of Georgetown because he is mobile and he is 7-foot-2. He is underrated because he stayed all four years, and he just needs a little improvement. What do you think?
Kevin from San Jose

Kevin,
Hibbert is legitimately big, big and very big. The scouts love his size, but I don't think he would be a great fit for the Warriors. He is not very athletic according to most who have seen him, and he is not very fast, which would not fit here. However, he has skills and good hands and most mock drafts have him pegged for the 20's of the first round. We will see where he ends up. Thanks for the e-mail.
Tim

Tim,
I've been thinking long and hard about which player would be one of the biggest sleepers in the draft this year, and I came up with Chris Douglas-Roberts from Memphis. If this guy goes late in the draft, some playoff contender is going to get away with a very solid NBA-ready player. Why is it that no one is really talking about him? He was the leading scorer on a team that nearly won the national title this year. I think he'd be a great fit for the Warriors.
Steve

Steve,
I think that Chris Douglas-Roberts is an interesting prospect who definitely likes to hit big shots. And just in case you missed it, he was one of the players the Warriors brought in for the big multi-team workout they held at their facility over the weekend. He sat down for an exclusive interview with warriors.com, which you can watch below:

He is skinny and needs to get stronger, and I have perused a number of mock drafts and it looks like everyone has him pegged for the early to mid 20s. If you believe that, then a team like the Warriors might be able to trade down to get him. Throw out where his team finished in the NCAAs, as it has no bearing on NBA talent and ability. Thanks for the input and we will see where he ends up. Thanks.
Tim

E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR QUESTIONS…CHECK FOR AN UPDATE SOON!

Thursday, June 12 (4:04 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Tim Roye

Tim Roye's Pre-Draft Journal - Part 1

Warriors Radio Broadcaster and long-time warriors.com contributor Tim Roye will be submitting entries to this year's Draft Blog. If you have a question you'd like Tim to answer, feel free to e-mail him at tjroye@gs-warriors.com and stay tuned as he answers fan's questions.

RELAXATION
I’ve spent my month off relaxing, working on some talk shows, playing golf and helping out with some family issues, but I have resolved to make this two-week period before the draft a busy one for the Journal so we can all be ready for the summer ahead. To help in that regard, I have called upon an old friend (and the hardest working man covering the NBA Draft). Chris Monter is the writer and editor of the Monter Draft News and I called him recently for an interview. In part one, we touched on a general overview of this year’s draft, a look at whose stock is going up and down at the moment, and finally, we took a look back at the 2005 Draft (Check out where he ranks Monta Ellis).

LISTEN TO CHRIS MONTER INTERVIEW

In our next session, Chris will tell us who he expects to be on the board for the Warriors at 14. For a complete look at the Monter Draft News, click here.

Tim Roye is still upset that Stephen Jackson and the Warriors were left out of the playoffs. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)
STILL BITTER
I can’t help it, but I am still bitter because a 48-win team like the Warriors did not make the playoffs, while some below .500 Eastern Conference teams got the chance to enjoy the post-season.

WORKOUTS
To prepare for the draft, the Warriors have been working out a variety of players at their practice facility, including a big forward from Australia. Check out his warriors.com interview here.

Warriors.com will hold several more of these interviews in the coming weeks, so keep checking the site for updates.

THE FINALS

GAME 1
Game 1 of the NBA Finals had drama, good hard play and an interesting finish. The Celtics came in underrated, if you can believe that. I think a lot of people forgot how well Boston plays defense and how good Kevin Garnett is. Many have criticized KG for his chest thumping, but he has always been a demonstrative player. He plays the game with passion and for the right reasons, which is why I have always liked him.

If you’re a Lakers fan, Bryant's performance was cause for concern, especially when considering his struggles against the Celtics during the regular season. But I don’t think he will struggle all series long. Plus, this vaunted Lakers bench was a no-show in Game 1.

GAME 2
The Celtics roared out to a big lead and then hung on for dear life, leading by only two in the final minute before Paul Pierce got to the foul line and helped seal the Boston win. Los Angeles lost the game in two ways. First, playing five subs to start the second quarter was a bad coaching move and the resulting 10-0 run gave the Celtics a solid lead. Second, guarding Leon Powe with Luke Walton was a disaster, as the Oakland native torched the Lakers with 21 points. The free throws favored Boston big-time, but they played harder and better in the first two games, and they deserved the wins no matter what Phil Jackson said.

GAME 3
The Lakers came out with better energy, used their home court advantage and picked up 20 unexpected points from Sasha Vujacic. Boston played and shot poorly but still had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. Good series, good drama, good fun.

BARON INTERVEWS KOBE
Prior to the start of the Finals, Baron Davis interviewed Kobe Bryant, Chauncey Billups and Tony Parker to pick their brains about their experiences in winning an NBA title. Read Baron's article and watch his interview with Kobe by clicking here.

E-MAIL ME
As the Warriors continue to prepare for the draft, I will be doing my best to answer questions from the fans. Feel free to e-mail me at tjroye@gs-warriors.com and I'll do my best to answer.

MAILBAG

Tim,
How are the Warriors players doing this offseason? Are they doing their offseason training in Oakland or in their home states/countries? Also, do you think Marco Belinelli can be the next Manu Ginobili? Thanks and Go Warriors!
Larry from Fremont

Marco Belinelli has been a fixture at the Warriors Practice Facility recently. (warriors.com photo)
Larry,
I would say that most of the players returned home following the end of the season and are gearing up their offseason workouts as we speak. A few players, namely Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli, are currently training here in Oakland and getting ready for the two summer leagues that the Warriors will be participating in next month. As far as Marco goes, I don't know if he can be the next Ginobili, but I think he can be a good NBA player with his shooting ability and his ability to distribute. Thanks for the e-mail and please write again.
Thanks,
Tim

Tim,
How’s your summer? Do you think there’s any chance of Kevin Love of UCLA slipping to the Warriors at number 14? Also, how much college basketball do you watch?
Ryan
Concord

Ryan,
I think the Warriors would be very happy if Love is one of their options at 14, but all reports indicate that he is more than likely to be taken early. He is very talented and has shown serious work ethic by losing 15 pounds following his college season. I don’t get to watch the NCAA as much as I would like to during the season, but I have most of the Tournament taped, and I usually go through that before the start of the season to get familiar with the draft prospects.
Thanks,
Tim

Tim,
Do you think they will ever change the rule requiring draft prospects to be one year removed from high school? Do you think the NBA will eventually increase the age minimum even more, or maybe go back to having high schoolers be eligible?
Todd from Hayward

Todd,
I think that the rule was a compromise between the NBA and the Players Association. The league wanted to hand the NCAA an olive branch and the players wanted free access to jobs for anyone of working age. In my opinion, it seems like the NBA would like to have an age minimum of 21 years, but I am afraid that will not come to pass.
Thanks,
Tim

The Warriors went for size when they acquired Brandan Wright on draft night last year. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)
Hey Tim,
I hope you are having a great summer. As the draft approaches, I can't help but think that the Warriors should look at the players they already have in order to address size and rebounding issues. I would like to see an effort by the organization to re-sign and play the seven-footers they already have on the roster, such as Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright and Kosta Perovic. I can't help but think that if the big men focused solely on blocking shots and rebounding, the shooters on the team could easily focus on doing most of the scoring.
Thanks,
Rich in DC

Rich,
There is no doubt that size is something that is always good to have. Brandan and Kosta will both be in their second year and could see more playing time, but I also think the Warriors might add some size, either in the draft or via a trade. Here are some of the centers that Chris Monter lists at the top of his draft board:

TOP CENTERS
1. Brook Lopez 7-0 260 SO Stanford
2. DeAndre Jordan 7-0 255 FR Texas A&M
3. Marreese Speights 6-10 245 SO Florida
4. JaVale McGee 7-0 237 SO Nevada
5. Kosta Koufos 7-0 265 FR Ohio State
6. Robin Lopez 7-0 245 SO Stanford
7. Roy Hibbert 7-2 275 SR Georgetown
8. Ante Tomic 7-2 237 21 Croatia
9. Trent Plaisted 6-11 245 JR BYU
10. John Riek 7-2 230 PREP Prep School

Thanks,
Tim

Tim,
Michael Sweetney didn't play in the NBA last season and was limited to 47 games with the Bulls in 06-07. At 6'8" and 260 pounds, do you think he’d be an interesting player to look at for next season? Take care and keep up the great work.
Steve

Steve,
Numerically, Sweetney adds up, but realistically, he would not fit a Don Nelson team unless he went through a drastic body change. He is a player whose game is more suited for a slow down, walk-it-up style rather than get-the-ball-and-go. It’s an intriguing idea and please keep those thoughts on possible Warriors coming.
Tim

REMEMBER TO E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR QUESTIONS…CHECK FOR AN UPDATE SOON!

Monday, June 9 (5:23 p.m.)

WARRIORS.COM Q&A WITH:
Mitch Richmond: Warriors Director of Player Personnel

Preparing For The Draft: Then And Now

Warriors Director of Player Personnel Mitch Richmond took the time to answer a few questions about his experience with the pre-draft process, both as a player and as an executive. The Warriors selected Richmond with the No. 5 overall selection in the 1988 NBA Draft. The Kansas State product went on to win 1988-89 NBA Rookie of the Year honors.

1) Can you talk about how the team is currently preparing for the draft, including the role you play?

Richmond represented the Warriors at this year's NBA Draft Lottery in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty)
As you can imagine, things tend to heat up around here during the offseason. During the regular season, we have an outstanding group of scouts who put in a lot of time and miles and cover players from all across the country --- and the world. Around this time each year, the scouts, the coaching staff and the basketball operations staff get together and go over everything to make certain we have a handle on every single player coming into the draft. When guys come in for a workout, we already have a good idea of what they can do on the court, but it gives us a chance to see things with our own eyes.

2) Are there certain attributes that you look for in players during a workout?

Every player is different. Our scouts will point things out about certain players, and then during the pre-draft workout period, we can see that certain skill set for ourselves. When you watch players during a game, you can get a feel for what they can and cannot do on the basketball court. But sometimes with college players, it’s hard to get a complete view because college schemes are completely different from NBA schemes. Some guys aren’t able to play up to their potential in certain sets, so you have to really look through that and see if he is able to adapt and run NBA sets. A lot of times you see these guys at the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp - or in individual workouts - and you find out they are able do some other things that you didn’t see when they were playing in college.

3) How is the pre-draft process different than when you went through it in 1988 coming out of Kansas State?

It has changed a little. When I came out, almost every guy who was entering the draft played in the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp, even those players who were expected to go in the lottery. There was no one telling a kid – agents, friends, etc. - that he shouldn’t play and risk a chance of lowering his draft stock. I’m not suggesting that either way is right, but that is one of the biggest differences between 1988 and 2008.

4) How many workouts did you attend? Did you come to Oakland? Do you have any specific memories?

I did individual workouts with Golden State, Phoenix, Philadelphia and a couple of other teams. I do remember my Golden State workout. I was there with Rony Seikaly and I thought I had a really good workout. It was fun.

Richmond took home Rookie of the Year honors after the Warriors selected him with the 5th overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft. (Tim DeFrisco/NBAE/Getty)
5) Were you nervous going into the workouts?

The workouts didn’t make me nervous. Entering the process, I had the mindset that I could play in this league and I felt confident about my game and ability. As a result, I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself. You just go out and play. For me, there wasn’t any nervousness. I always felt comfortable about going in and competing and showing teams what I could do.

6) How helpful do you think the workouts were as far as improving your draft stock?

The pre-draft camp in Orlando really helped me. Coming into my senior year, they had me listed between 15th and 25th in the first round. Then after my senior year, they had me ranked as the third or fourth best two-guard in the draft. The pre-draft camp gave me the chance to go up against some of the other notable two-guards - like Hersey Hawkins and some other guys - and I played very well against them. Coming from a smaller school like Kansas State, I knew that some teams hadn’t seen me very much and really didn’t know what I could do on the floor. The pre-draft camp really helped me because after it was over, they told me that I’d probably be drafted with one of the top 10 picks.

7) You also played in the 1988 Olympics in South Korea shortly after you were drafted. How busy was your schedule over those spring/summer months?

It was an exhausting summer to tell you the truth. I had to get ready for the draft with all of these workouts, then we had the draft and, finally, I went right into preparing for the Olympics. After going to the Olympics in Seoul, I had to come right back for the start of Training Camp with the Warriors. It was a busy summer to say the least. But, I’m not complaining. It was a great experience.

8) Take us through your draft night experience. Did you have an idea of what range you’d be picked or which teams were looking at you? How nervous were you going into that night?

I thought the highest I would go would be to Philadelphia with the third overall pick. I worked out really well in Philly. But I didn’t know if they wanted to take a shooting guard at my size at that position in the draft. I talked to Phoenix before the draft and they told me that they wouldn’t let me fall below their pick at number nine, so I knew I was going to go at least in the top nine.

I thought I worked out well at Golden State (who had the number five selection), but I didn’t really know the situation there because Nellie did a great job of not letting me know that he was interested.

I was definitely nervous on draft night. I couldn’t sleep the night before because I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up or what city I would call home for the next few years. It was really interesting because playing never made me nervous. I played football before I played basketball, so I think it came naturally for me to enjoy the contact, enjoy the competitiveness, enjoy the spotlight. However, something about draft night made me nervous. I think it was a good mix of excitement and nervousness.

9) What is it like for a player knowing that your fate rests in the hands of NBA general managers and scouts?

More than anything, I think that young kids coming into the draft just want to play in the NBA. On occasion, agents get involved and they might not want you to go to a certain team. But for the most part, these guys just want to play ball in the NBA. It’s what they have dreamed of doing since they were a kid. They’re nervous, but they’re also excited to wear that NBA jersey, regardless of what team winds up selecting them in the draft.

Tim Hardaway, Richmond and Chris Mullin made up the popular 'Run TMC' trio during Head Coach Don Nelson's first stint with Golden State. (NBAE/Getty)
10) Nellie was the GM and head coach when the Warriors selected you with the 5th overall pick in the 1988 draft. How has he changed since that time?

I think he has some of the same philosophies that he instilled in our teams. We probably ran a lot more motion when we had Tim (Hardaway) and Chris (Mullin) and Mario (Elie) and Sarunas (Marcuilionis). Teams really couldn’t adapt their defenses to it. He is the same in a lot of ways too, but he’s changed and adapted to the territory a bit over the years. I can still tell how his mind is working at certain points in a game, though. I can see things before they happen when he’s coaching today. I know how he’s going to react, so I guess he hasn’t changed a whole lot.

Friday, June 6 (8:00 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Warriors PR

Familiar Faces And Summer Plans

After impressing onlookers last summer, Marco Belinelli is expected to participate for the Warriors Summer League team this year as well. (warriors.com photo)
Get ready to see plenty of the kids during the Summer.

As the Warriors prepare for the NBA Draft on June 26, it was confirmed that the club will take part in two (2) Summer Leagues this July -- one in Las Vegas and one in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Warriors have participated in the Las Vegas league each of the last three years and this will mark their first return trip to Utah since the mid '90's. Golden State will play a five-game schedule in Las Vegas (July 11-19) and four additional contests in Salt Lake City (July 21-25). The exact dates and opponents will be announced in the next week or two.

From the Warriors perspective, the two Summer Leagues will provide a good chance for the young players on the roster -- the likes of Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli, C.J. Watson and our 2008 draft picks - to receive a lot of on-court time and experience. It is widely assumed that most NBA players improve during the summer and this will certainly be a time when the kids can benefit from the extra work, coaching and competition. If you have never had a chance to experience the Summer League, I would highly encourage you to make the short trip to Vegas or Salt Lake. The atmosphere is very relaxed (and hot!) and provides fans a chance rub elbows with almost every GM and coach in the NBA.

Assistant coaches like Keith Smart play an important role during summer workouts. (warriors.com photo)
Wright, Belinelli and Watson have all returned from early-summer vacations and have been working out at the practice facility daily for each of the last two or three weeks. A typical off-season workout will consist of about an hour of time in the weight room with Mark Grabow and another 60 or 90 minutes on the court, either participating in shooting drills or playing 2-on-2.

We are fortunate in the fact that we have some tireless workers - Grabow, Keith Smart, Stephen Silas, Travis Schlenk to name a few - who are willing and eager to help the youngsters at any time of the day or night.

Mr. Belinelli arrived at the practice facility today (Friday) sporting a new, fresh haircut. The old look was getting a little too long and bushy for his liking. Early results indicate that he's much quicker since the trip to the barbershop.

Several members of the Warriors staff are scheduled to appear on KGO-TV's NBA Playoff Post-Game show with Larry Biel. Russ Turner, Matt Barnes and Sidney Moncrief have already enjoyed their time in the hot seat (Moncrief was very good and opinionated last night). Meanwhile, Brandan Wright (Tuesday's Game 3), Larry Riley (Thursday's Game 4) and Keith Smart (next Sunday's Game 5) are scheduled to provide their expertise over the next 7-10 days of The Finals.

As The Finals continue, the Warriors will continue to work out potential draft prospects in Oakland. As an added bonus from previous years, warriors.com will interview selected players who work out for Chris Mullin and Company. This past week, we spent a little time with Nathan Jawai following his audition and found out, among other things, what he considers to be his strengths and why he is referred to as "Baby Shaq" in his home country. Our next Q&A with a draft prospect will take place at some point next week. And stay tuned for more coverage from this Draft Blog, including an upcoming interview with Director of Player Personnel Mitch Richmond.

Kelenna Azubuike attended a special convention in Africa and has been blogging about his experiences for warriors.com. READ BLOG (warriors.com photo)
And speaking of blogs, Warriors swingman Kelenna Azubuike has been blogging all the way from Africa, where traveled to take place in the Leon H. Sullivan Summit. The five-day convention in Arusha, Tanzania, brought together the world’s political and business leaders, delegates representing national and international civil and multinational organizations, and members of academic institutions in order to focus attention and resources on Africa’s economic and social development. Read about Kelenna's experience at the Summit, as well as his time spent on safari and with one of the local tribes, by reading his blog.

Finally, if you get a chance this Sunday afternoon, venture by the Dragon Bar in San Francisco (473 Broadway), where you can participate in a charity auction in honor of Adrian Ruiz. Adrian was a San Francisco resident - and best friends with Warriors Equipment Manager Eric Housen and Assistant Equipment Manager Brant Helms - who was tragically killed by a shark in Mexico in late April. The auction will include some incredible sports memorabilia (e.g. autographed basketballs from Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant; autographed shoes from Allen Iverson and a ton of other items), including a road trip with the Warriors next season (on the team plane/at the team hotel). For more information and a list of the items, log onto www.thefrontsteps.com.

Wednesday, June 4 (12:45 p.m.)

WARRIORS.COM Q&A WITH:
Mark Grabow - Director of Athletic Development

Preparing For This Year's Pre-Draft Workouts

Warriors Director of Athletic Development Mark Grabow took the time to answer a few questions prior to the first day of pre-draft workouts at the team's practice facility. In addition to overseeing the team's training and conditioning throughout the year, Grabow conducts the Warriors' pre-draft workouts each season.

1) Can you describe exactly what happens during a typical pre-draft workout?

Grabow conducted an hour-long session today that was attended by Australia's Nathan Jawai. (warriors.com photo)
WATCH JAWAI'S WORKOUT INTERVIEW
We usually bring in four players at a time, although I believe the rules have changed now and you can have up to six players working out at any one time. Our workouts usually start around 10:00 a.m. at our practice facility and we have the players do various warm-up drills. We have a good idea of what position each of the guys play – if they can handle the ball, if they’re perimeter players or big men.

We’ll break the warm-ups down by position. For example, we’ll have a smaller player do some sort of ball-handling drills for about three to five minutes – some dribbling, some change of direction. On the other end, if we have a couple big guys, we’ll have them do some back-to-the-basket work. We’ll see what kind of post moves and footwork they have. From there, we stretch them out and start to do some competitive shooting at different spots on the floor, both on the move and stationary.

2) As an organization, do you choose which players you want to see on which day? Do you try to match certain players against one another?

You do what you can, but that is handled by the guys upstairs (Chris Mullin, Pete D’Alessandro). Most of these players are being pulled in different directions by different teams and it is difficult to make the schedules work perfectly. We generally set things up through their agents, and we usually prefer to have two ‘smalls’ and two ‘bigs’ or all ‘smalls’ and all ‘bigs.’ If they’re playing two-on-two, we’d prefer to have some sort of balance.

3) And in these two-on-two games, do you have them play for a set amount of time or to a certain score?

We want to put them in a competitive situation, but sometimes we may only have them play up to three points. On occasion, there are limitations put on the players and what they can do. A lot of times we’ll have guys play one-on-one, but we’ll dictate where they start on the floor – the wing, the top of the key, the elbow – or how long they have to get up a shot, or how many dribbles they are allowed to take. We try to mix it up.

4) Is there a set amount of time from the beginning of the workout to the end?

The guys will generally be out on the floor for about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. Everything is pretty concentrated and pretty demanding and we certainly don’t want to waste their time. We don’t have them do a lot of conditioning work, but we definitely get a pretty good idea on what type of condition they are in by the end of the workout. If a player is not in great shape, we’ll know.

5) How long have you been involved in the process? And since the time you started, how has the process changed?

Grabow will be entering his 21st season as the Warriors Director of Athletic Development. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)
I’ve been doing it for 20 years with the Warriors. The process hasn’t really changed that much. Every team runs their workouts a little differently. A lot of the official testing (measurements, athletic tests, strength tests) is already done in Orlando at the pre-draft camp, so we don’t have to do as much testing as we did several years ago. That being said, we still do some conditioning and athleticism tests, but we also focus a lot on what they can do with the ball in their hands.

6) Are there any particular workouts that stick out in your mind from any time in the last 10-15 years?

I specifically remember Dwyane Wade’s workout prior to the draft in 2003. He was pretty impressive. We could tell that he was a finished product, head and shoulders above a lot of the players we’ve brought in over the years. With those types, you just try to match them up as best as possible and make the workout competitive.

7) How many members of the coaching staff and/or basketball operations staff usually attend these workouts?

At every workout we’ll have Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, Pete D’Alessandro, the coaching staff and our scouts. A pretty extensive evaluation takes place after each workout between all of us. We huddle up and compare notes to see what everyone thought. Additionally, our prior scouting reports also play a big role in these meetings. When it comes to these workouts, the more eyes, the better, especially since everyone may see things differently.

8) And do each of you focus on certain things during each workout?

I think that more than anything else is the fact that you can find guys who are great in drills, but as soon as you put a body on them, it changes everything. With us, I think a heavy emphasis is put on looking for how they react to a challenge, another player pushing them around and seeing if they can really play. Also, we like to see if they have a high basketball IQ, which is important.

9) Are most of the workouts pretty fierce and ultra competitive, especially when you consider how many workouts these prospects are going through?

We try to space things out to the best of our ability, but you have to remember a lot of these guys are going to multiple workouts in multiple cities. At certain times, we might have a player come in for a second workout if we really want to get a good look at him. And, of course, sometimes players will be nicked up, so they have some limitations, and either the player or his agent will inform us of that up front.

10) Do you get a sense that some of these players might be a little nervous about the entire draft process considering the fact that there are so many workouts in a short period of time and their futures are at stake?

We know that these guys are going to experience some nervousness, but most of them have been through high pressure situations in college and have played in front of a lot of people. And, with the continued growth of ESPN, most of them have participated in quite a few games that have been nationally televised. The bottom line is the players usually relax a bit as the workout moves on throughout the day. We just tell them to go out there, compete and have fun.

Friday, May 30 (2:30 p.m.)

WARRIORS PR Q&A WITH:
Pete D'Alessandro - Warriors Assistant General Manager

Answering A Few Pre-Draft Questions

For the second-straight day, Warriors Assistant General Manager Pete D'Alessandro took time out of his busy schedule at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando to discuss exactly how the Warriors are preparing for this year's draft. Today's blog entry features a Q&A session with D'Alessandro. Stay tuned for much more in-depth coverage from various members of the Warriors front office over the coming weeks.

1) Approximately how many players are participating in the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp?

There are 64 players participating in the actual workout sessions at this year's Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando. In addition to those players, approximately 15-16 other players - notably those expected to be first-round draft picks - elected to participate in only the strength, skills and agility portion of the camp. Many players, for strategic reasons, choose not to attend the Orlando camp in any capacity. The strength and skills testing for the top players draws many of the league personnel away from the scrimmages, which are taking place on the adjacent court.

Many of the players here are underclassmen who made themselves eligible for the draft. The NBA and NCAA allow these players the opportunity to "test the waters" and the option to pull out of the draft (if they have not hired an agent) after they have had an opportunity to participate in the Orlando camp or individual team workouts. This year's withdrawal deadline date is June 16.

It is important to note that while Orlando marks the first opportunity to see both underclassmen and seniors, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which preceded this camp in April, is a seniors-only camp featuring many of the best college seniors. I'd say about 25 players who participated in the Portsmouth camp in April also earned a position in the Orlando camp.

2) When can NBA teams start holding individual workouts with potential draft picks? Has this date fluctuated over the years?

We can begin private workouts with players at our practice facility next week on Tuesday, June 3. Our basketball operations support staff has spent the last few weeks - and will continue to spend the next couple of weeks - feverishly scheduling players and working with their agents to coordinate an itinerary that works for both sides. It is a tricky and difficult proposition to create a conducive schedule with the players, especially those who might end up doing as many as 8-10 workouts in 8-10 different NBA cities over a three week-period.

In previous years, NBA teams were allowed to hold individual workouts with players prior to the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. However, that policy has changed. The condensed period of time for private workouts (June 3 to June 25 this year) has put an even greater emphasis on scouting college games, watching extensive game films and viewing pre-draft camp workouts.

3) What are some of the rules of the individual team workouts? Is there a limit to the number of players you can work out? Can you work out a player more than once?

Under league rules, we can work out no more than six (6) players on the floor at any one time. Additionally, we can have no more than two (2) private workouts with any one player. This year, the NCAA has allowed underclassmen to accept one (1) trip for a workout from each NBA team. If a team elects to bring an underclassman in for a second workout, the player must pay his own way or put his college eligibility at risk (if he has not already hired an agent).

4) What are the chances that a few of the players participating in the Orlando camp actually making it in the NBA?

Considering that 60 players are drafted each season, there is a good chance that several of the players in Orlando will hear David Stern or Adam Silver call their name on June 26. There is a also a chance that some of them could potentially be first-round picks, which would mean a guaranteed two-year contract. Additionally, Orlando provides a great opportunity for those players who do not get drafted to build their case for a potential job in a Summer League. At the conclusion of every draft, NBA teams will closely scan the names of those players not drafted and see if any of them will fit on their Summer League roster. It would probably be a safe bet to assume that we'll have a player on our Summer League team who participated in Orlando and did not get drafted.

5) How many members of the Warriors staff are attending the pre-draft camp in Orlando?

Chris Mullin and the rest of the basketball operations staff will keep a watchful eye on all the proceedings at the pre-draft camp.
In addition to Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond and myself, our entire scouting staff and most of our assistant coaches are in attendance at the Orlando camp. From our perspective, the more eyes that can see a player, the better.

Chris will be the individual who will ultimately make our decisions on draft night, but he seeks and encourages the input and expertise of our entire staff, many of whom have seen these players numerous times throughout their college careers.

Orlando provides a great opportunity for us to get away as a staff and discuss the talent pool. In addition to their basketball analysis, our staff is utilized as a resource for gathering information about the players and Orlando provides a chance for all of us to compare notes, debate and discuss our thoughts and opinions.

6) Do the team executives at the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp have a chance to speak to the players and get to know them on a personal level?

The players' time to chat at the camp is extremely limited because, for the most part, they are busy for a good majority of the day (workouts, media obligations, rest, etc.). However, there are numerous conversations with agents outside of the gym and in the hotel lobbies. We try to spend as much time as possible with prospects during our private workouts in Oakland. On many occasions, we will eat dinner with the players the evening prior to our workout in an effort to get a sense of who they are off the court (e.g. a little about their family, their friends, their college life, their upbringing). When we draft a player, it is a big investment. The more we can find out about a player's personality, attitude and character, the easier our decision process will be. These traits are all major factor for us - and all NBA teams - when going through the draft process.

7) Is the media allowed to watch the entire camp in Orlando?

I am not certain of the exact rules in regards to the media coverage of the camp here, but I have seen many members of the media, including ESPN's Chad Ford and Andy Katz, at several of the workouts. I will give these guys credit --- they really do their homework and try to build as many relationships as possible. Additionally, I know that many beat writers from various teams - especially those in the lottery - are in attendance. And, I believe that NBATV has been present at the Orlando camp and have made it part of their programming.

The media has become a staple at this event in recent years, with the numbers of electronic and print media seemingly increasing each season. Of course, with the advent of the Internet, there are literally hundreds of mock drafts floating around every June and those media members who cover the Orlando camp probably have a better idea of what will transpire in the draft than those who do not make the journey to Florida. But, in truth, most teams - and certainly most media members - do not have a complete grasp on what will transpire in the draft this early in the process. A lot can change, and probably will change, between May 30 and June 26.

Thursday, May 29 (4:04 p.m.)

SUBMITTED BY:
Pete D'Alessandro - Warriors Assistant General Manager

Kicking Things Off At The Pre-Draft Camp

Front office members from every NBA team have assembled at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida for this year's Pre-Draft Camp

Greetings from beautiful and steamy Florida, where the NBA’s annual Pre-Draft Camp is currently underway at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando. The complex is located in Lake Buena Vista, just outside of Orlando, and provides a nice setting for NBA executives from all 30 teams. The four-day camp officially began on Tuesday and will conclude on Friday. This marks the first workouts for potential draft prospects prior to the 2008 NBA Draft, which will be held on Thursday, June 26 in New York.

This camp consists of two (2) daily sessions – the morning and the evening sessions. The morning session begins at 9:00 a.m. with a typical practice. During these practice sessions, we watch players perform shooting drills, one-on-one and two-on-two drills, fast break drills and some light scrimmaging. After the drills have been completed, two of the six assembled teams will square off in a game (the other four teams are finished until the evening session).

During the afternoon break, agents, scouts, coaches and front office personnel congregate outside of the gym to discuss many of the players in Orlando as well as those prospects (i.e. the higher prospects) who are not participating in the camp. As you can imagine, there is a lot of information shared at this time – some serious and some posturing.

Prospects will look to improve their draft stock with their performance at the four-day camp. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
The evening session consists of two (2) games between the four teams who did not play during the morning workout. Following the evening session/games is when the real work begins for the team personnel. Our scouts use this time to discuss what transpired in the games, compare notes and discuss (and debate) the skill level of the individual players. Our international scouts will also utilize this opportunity to provide additional relevant information and videos of top overseas talent.

Our entire traveling party from the Warriors will have a number of personal and group meetings concerning the draft during the evening sessions. These meetings allow us to refine our player ratings – rate some higher and rate some lower - and we will continue that process throughout the next four weeks. Our work will culminate approximately one (1) week prior to the draft when our entire staff will have a mini-retreat in our Oakland draft room (also known at the War Room).

At the conclusion of the Orlando camp, many of the players will fly to various NBA cities to participate in private workouts with individual teams. Our calendar in Oakland is filling up quickly for these private workouts, especially when you consider that there are approximately three weeks for each team to see as many players as possible.

Well, that's all for now because the evening games are about to tip-off. I will be back tomorrow morning for a Q & A session with warriors.com.

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