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Golden State doesn't have draft picks to make news


The Warriors will put out a tempting spread for the media tonight, a real fine dinner. They promised.

The meal is the only thing clear cut about tonight, NBA Draft Night. The Warriors are in the rare position of having no draft picks, as in zero, as in the two rounds of the draft could whiz by and yours truly could gorge out on food with no news. It's always good to season your food with news.

I mean, this headline hardly would stop the presses: "Warriors draft no one, but baked beans satisfy."

To explain why the Warriors don't have a single draft pick is almost too arcane for the normal brain. The short form is they lost their No. 1 pick in 2008 when they got Marcus Williams from the Nets. Williams then played only nine games for the Warriors because Don Nelson didn't think he could play. This year's second-rounder went to the Knicks for David Lee.

And in the Warriors' case, one plus one equals zero.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers has been operating as if he has draft choices. Over the phone Tuesday, he said he already had spoken to three-quarters of the teams in the league. By the time the draft starts at 4:30 tonight, he imagines he will have checked in with every team. He's also scouted players and even traveled to Europe.

That means he is conducting a shadow draft, doing every bit of due diligence in case something dislodges and a real, live pick slides the Warriors' way.

I asked Myers what his chances are of getting a pick.

"Oh, boy," he said.

Myers is the type of guy who says oh boy. He also says "wow." Says it a lot. There is a gosh-oh-gee quality about Myers which is infinitely attractive. He's also one hell of a general manager.

After he said oh boy, he added, "It's always hard to get a pick in the draft, especially in the first round. They are worth a lot, highly-valued assets. It's hard to do, hard without paying a high price. The day of buying a first-round pick is past. Now we are looking at the second round. It's possible. We have $1.6 million to spend. We're looking to get into the second round."

Well, that would qualify as a news item, certainly better than the baked beans.

If Myers is being totally honest — and most GMs reserve the right to fib and deflect — the Warriors are moving heaven and earth to get into tonight's second round by buying a pick with the $1.6 million available to them.

Right now, you and I are doing what Myers has done. We are conducting our own shadow draft by means of a shadow conversation about a pick that does not yet exist.

Are we having fun yet?

In the interest of shadows, I asked Myers what kind of player he would draft if he could draft a player.

He said a lot would depend on whether Carl Landry chose to opt out of his contract. Get this. On Wednesday, Landry chose to opt out of his contract. That means he left the team. That means the Warriors have holes in the front court, Landry now becoming a shadow player just before this shadow draft. Add to that Festus Ezeli who had surgery and won't be around a while. Another shadow.

And the Warriors have no idea if jack of all trades Jarrett Jack will return — he's a free agent. So the Warriors have needs.

"If Landry leaves, we could attempt to bolster our front line," Myers had said. Considering Landry left, the Warriors need to bolster.

"If Jack goes, we have to look at the backcourt, as well," Myers said. "So, it could be either a combo 4-5 guy or someone who can play both guard positions."

If we're keeping count, the Warriors need a center-forward and a versatile guard. That would require two picks.

What happens if Myers can't buy any picks?

"I deduce the player we coveted was gone or the price was way too high," he said. "We'd still be well set going forward. To have this draft in our rearview mirror, knowing we had to pay a debt at some point, is the silver lining. If we get no pick, we would look to free agency."

Or he could drop by and have dinner with me. I'll save him a chicken leg.