Moment Revealed Warriors Had Eye on Rookie

Bob Myers, Steve Kerr

Getty General manager Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors hugs head coach Steve Kerr after defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It should not come to anyone’s surprise that the Golden State Warriors fell on a bit of luck with how the origins of their dynasty formed. Future Hall of Famers like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson was drafted by Larry Riley, a long-time executive that remained when Joe Lacob took over as owner.

After a career as a sports agent, Bob Myers came in as an assistant general manager in 2011, expected to be an apprentice for then general manager Larry Riley for a couple of years. However, after about a year, Riley was demoted to director of scouting, and Myers has been in charge of basketball operations ever since.

Since then, Myers has managed to find talent even when the draft picks were not lottery ones. Draymond Green was famously drafted in the second round, 35th overall, and has turned himself into a defensive savant and potential future Hall of Famer.

Kevin Looney was another player that Myers managed to pluck with the 30th overall pick in the 2015 draft. Looney has turned into a legitimate starting big man, that many would have laughed about just a year ago.

And then there’s Jordan Poole, whom everyone has gotten to know this past season. A future All-Star in the making, Poole was taken 28th overall in 2019 and looks like he could be a second or third option on many contending teams right now. Now this past draft, Myers and the front office has been looking for more bargain picks later in the draft, and they might have found their guy.

Warriors Brass Knew They Had to Get Rookie Since the Finals

With so many key role players leaving due to the Warriors’ rising luxury tax bill, there was bound to be some weakness on the bench. Because the team was so cash strapped to make many substantial moves, they realized the draft was a cost-effective way to improve the roster.

In a San Francisco Chronicle feature piece on the second round pick, Ryan Rollins, Connor Letourneau lays out the moment Rollins play jumped out to coach Steve Kerr, and the front office.

By the time Rollins declared for the NBA draft in early June, a breakout sophomore season and a slew of strong workouts had many projecting him as a late first-rounder.

One afternoon during the NBA Finals, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was on the elliptical at Chase Center when he turned toward assistant general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. and asked, “Who’s that?” The player in question was Rollins, whose ability to change speeds fluidly and thrive in pick-and-rolls had separated him from the five other participants at a pre-draft workout.

Outside of Curry and Donte DiVincenzo, the Dubs do not have a true guard who can operate the pick and roll. The need for this will allow the second-round rookie to contribute sooner rather than later.

Dubs Spent Chunk of Money to Acquire Rollins

The Warriors saw Rollins as a first-round talent, and when they saw that the young Toledo wing dropped down to the second round they pounced.

They were willing to include two million and their No. 51 overall pick to the Atlanta Hawks to acquire Rollins at No. 44.

The fact the Warriors were so tied up financially but were willing to take a risk on an unproven player that late in the draft shows the belief the team has in the young man. Evidence can be seen on July 28, when the Warriors gave him a three-year, $4.8 million contract, with the first two years guaranteed.

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