Kirk Lacob explains Warriors’ draft approach, ways it can be improved

The Warriors’ playoff streak has come to an end. But it began with Golden State’s success in the 2012 NBA Draft.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green joined the Warriors as rookies for the 2012-13 season and helped usher in a new era of Golden State basketball. Yes, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson led the way, but the 2012 draft class provided the depth — directly and indirectly — that eventually would lead to five straight NBA Finals appearances and three NBA titles.» data-reactid=»17″>Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green joined the Warriors as rookies for the 2012-13 season and helped usher in a new era of Golden State basketball. Yes, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson led the way, but the 2012 draft class provided the depth — directly and indirectly — that eventually would lead to five straight NBA Finals appearances and three NBA titles.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Since then, the Warriors have had minimal success in the draft. For every Kevon Looney, there’s a Jacob Evans. Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell showed glimpses of promise, only to flame out and head elsewhere in short time. Their first-round pick in the most recent draft, Jordan Poole, had a disappointing rookie season, and Golden State already has invested a lot in Alen Smailagic for a still-raw second-round pick. Ironically, the Warriors’ most recent draft selection, Eric Paschall, might be their best since Green was selected with the No. 35 overall pick in 2012.» data-reactid=»22″>Since then, the Warriors have had minimal success in the draft. For every Kevon Looney, there’s a Jacob Evans. Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell showed glimpses of promise, only to flame out and head elsewhere in short time. Their first-round pick in the most recent draft, Jordan Poole, had a disappointing rookie season, and Golden State already has invested a lot in Alen Smailagic for a still-raw second-round pick. Ironically, the Warriors’ most recent draft selection, Eric Paschall, might be their best since Green was selected with the No. 35 overall pick in 2012.

You could say they got lucky with the Paschall pick. But as Warriors assistant GM Kirk Lacob explained on the most recent episode of the «Runnin’ Plays» podcast, it was the product of a consistent approach.

«I equate a lot of things — this is going to sound weird — to blackjack,» Lacob said. «You can play a blackjack hand perfectly and you can lose the hand. You can play it really, really poorly … and you can still win the hand and everybody at the table is like, ‘God, I’m an idiot’. So, it’s not binary. You can do everything right and lose. You can do everything wrong and win. But if you do the right thing over and over again enough times, that ledger is going to move enough where you’re going to be right enough.

«The hard thing about the draft is that it’s once a year, and the stakes are extremely high. And you often have one first-round pick and one second-round pick, something like that. So if you are wrong, you could be wrong 50 percent — that sounds like a lot. Most GMs don’t get the opportunity to draft for like 15 straight years or something.»

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[RUNNIN’ PLAYS PODCAST:&nbsp;Listen to the latest episode]

» data-reactid=»26″>[RUNNIN’ PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The upcoming 2020 NBA Draft might be the most important one for Golden State since Curry fell into their laps (big thanks to David Khan.) The Warriors are guaranteed to have a top-five pick, and if they don’t trade it, it’s essential they hit on it if they hope to get back to championship contention.

But regardless of who Golden State selects, the Warriors know they have to improve in certain areas of player development.

«We need to have better plans in place,» Lacob added. «We need to do a better job of setting the coaches up and saying, ‘This is why we drafted this player. This is how we think they will succeed.’ Then, they need to implement those plans and they need to have a player development program. And then, it’s on the player to, by the way, do all this stuff.»

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[RELATED:&nbsp;Where Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick from Mavs landed]» data-reactid=»30″>[RELATED: Where Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick from Mavs landed]

Obviously, the Warriors will be picking much higher in the draft than they have in a long time, but Lacob won’t use that as an excuse for the ones they’ve missed on.

«It is certainly harder when you’re drafting players late in the draft,» he continued. «It’s more of a crapshoot. I’m not going to use that as a crutch and say, you know, ‘Yeah, none of these players were going to make it anyways.’ Because even if that’s true that most of those players won’t make it, we still need to find some players who are gonna make it. That’s our job. That’s what we’re paid to do.»

The Warriors don’t want to be in the position they are, picking so high in the lottery coming off a season filled with losses. If they manage to have a successful draft, though, it’ll only be a temporary thing.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Kirk Lacob explains Warriors’ draft approach, ways it can be improved originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area» data-reactid=»34″>Kirk Lacob explains Warriors’ draft approach, ways it can be improved originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area