Warriors draft look: Power forwards


Warriors draft look: Power forwards

Programing note: Tune in to the Chronicle Live Warriors Draft Special tonight at 5 and 11 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area!

The Warriors headinto Thursdays NBA draft with four selections: The No. 7 pick, the No. 30pick, the No. 35 pick and the No. 52 pick. While the Warriors would seem tohave four positions pretty much set point guard, shooting guard, powerforward and center the reality is that they could go in any direction comedraft day.

VIDEO: Steinmetz and Jean make their Warriors draft predictions

Leading up toThursday, well rank the top players at each position, and see whether or notthey could fit into the Warriors draft plans.POWERFORWARDS
Anthony Davis,Kentucky, 6-10, 220 pounds: There is no doubt Davis will be the No. 1selection by the New Orleans Hornets. What there is doubt about is how goodDavis will be. Most NBA executives think Davis will be an elite defender atthe very least.And if he comesaround at the offensive end, watch out.Warriorsangle: The only angle with Davis as it pertains to the Warriors isthis: If he turns into the player many expect him to become, well, then, theNew Orleans Hornets just leap-frogged the Warriors in the standings.ThomasRobinson, Kansas, 6-9, 240 pounds: He is a prototype power forwardand he plays with tons of energy. The knock on Robinson is he might be a touchundersized for power forward, but he makes up for that with a 7-foot-3 wingspanand a perpetual motor.Robinson is going tobe good, just a matter of how good.Warriorsangle: In a perfect world (well a world less perfect than if theWarriors could acquire Davis), the Warriors would find a way to move up and getRobinson.Early in his career,Robinson would be the perfect complement to David Lee and Andrew Bogut ahighly energetic, highly athletic player to come off the bench. Then, down theroad if Robinson turns into something, youll have Lee and his expiringcontract to work with.But the reality ismoving up to No. 2, which is where youd have to move to ensure gettingRobinson, is quite a jump and will come at a cost.<b>RELATED: Steinmetz's NBA Draft scouting report for Robinson<b>
TerrenceJones, Kentucky, 6-9, 250 pounds: Jones stock has seemed to slip inrecent weeks and the reason is because there are concerns about whether he hasan NBA niche. Hes not a true power forward and doesnt have the skill set toplay much small forward.Warriorsangle: It wasnt long ago that the Warriors were looking at Jones atNo. 7, but as the draft approaches that may be too high of a spot to takehim.The concern is thatJones could be a classic tweener, and thats something the Warriors arentreally interested in. If the Warriors pull the string on Jones at No. 7, itwould have to be considered a surprise at this point.John Henson,North Carolina, 6-11, 220 pounds: When it comes to Henson, there isgood: length, athleticism and the ability to block shots. But theres also thebad: questions about inner fire and his lack of strength.Warriorsangle: Henson is not in play for the Warriors unless they end upmoving back say into the mid-teen area. There are just too many unknowns totake him at No. 7.JaredSullinger, Ohio State, 6-9, 280 pounds: Before he was red-flagged fora back issue, Sullinger was considered one of the most coveted big players inthe draft.What he lacks inathleticism, he makes up for in court savvy and the ability to pass the ball.Hes a solid rebounder and would seem to have an ability to play bothfrontcourt spots under certain circumstances.Warriorsangle: Sullinger was someone the Warriors were very much consideringbefore his back became an issue. Its obvious now the Warriors will not takehim at No. 7. However, if his fall is drastic and Sullinger is still there atNo. 30, the Warriors would likely take a stab at him. But he doesnt figure tofall that much.

Stojakovic won't be surprised if Curry, Klay finish Top 2 in career 3s

Stojakovic won't be surprised if Curry, Klay finish Top 2 in career 3s

SACRAMENTO -- The NBA game is changing. League records are in jeopardy all over the place, but it’s hard to imagine a bigger statistical shift than that of the 3-point shot. Instituted to start the 1979-80 season, the 3-pointer isn’t just a gimmick, as first thought. It’s the lifeblood of a league that is growing at an incredible pace.

The ability to make the long distance shot used to be a rarity, now it is a prerequisite to enter the league. Even centers like DeMarcus Cousins and Marc Gasol are letting it fly as the game shifts to the perimeter.

The leaderboard is being rewritten and it’s will likely continue to change as more and more players are lining up from behind the arc.

Sacramento Kings executive Peja Stojakovic knows this fact all too well. Out of the league just six years, the Serbian-born sharpshooter has seen his place in the standings diminished almost every season.

“Every decade, every 10-15 years, there is some new, great player that comes in that take the game to a different place we haven’t seen before,” Stojakovic told CSN California earlier this week. “That’s what’s so special about this game.”

When he retired following the 2010-11 season, Stojakovic ranked fourth all-time in made 3-point shots with 1760, trailing only Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Jason Kidd.

Since leaving the game, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Jamal Crawford, Kyle Korver, Joe Johnson, Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant and Rashard Lewis have all passed him, leaving Stojakovic in 13th place on the list, but only for another game or two.

Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry is hot on Stojakovic’ tail, trailing the 3-time All-Star by just 11 makes coming into Wednesday night’s matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Be it Wednesday or sometime late in the week, Curry will almost assuredly surpass the former Kings star.

“Records are meant to be broken,” Stojakovic said. “Steph is definitely a guy, that if he continues to shoot - him and Klay (Thompson), if they continue to stay on the same pace, they can climb all the way to one and two.”

Curry, 28, has led the league four straight seasons in makes, setting new standards multiple times. His 402 triples last season is an NBA record and he holds three of the top four spots all-time for 3-balls in a single season.

Thompson is right behind Curry in most seasons. His 276 makes during 2015-16 is the third most in a single season and he is on pace to hit over 250 shots from deep this year. Through five-plus seasons in the league, Thompson has hit 1182 3-pointers and at age 26, he has plenty more left in him.  

“Our league in general has shifted,” Stojakovic said. “It’s more of a guard’s league and the pace is different. A lot of teams are shooting a lot of threes and Golden State - it suits them pretty well with the personnel they have.”

Both Curry and Thompson are a long way from tracking down Allen’s top spot of 2973, although Curry can get there quickly if he continues to drop in 400-plus bombs a season.

Injuries could play a role in where each of these players end up career-wise, but they are well on their way to shattering the record books.

“They are young enough and the way the league is going, I think if they stay healthy, they can really climb up there all the way to the top,” Stojakovic said.

NBA Gameday: Round 2 of Durant vs Westbrook

NBA Gameday: Round 2 of Durant vs Westbrook

Programming note: Warriors-Thunder coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- The Warriors close out their midseason 24-day Northern California residency Wednesday night with yet another game accompanied by drama.

Two days after thumping LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers completely out of Oracle Arena, the Warriors will face MVP candidate Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder -- AKA Kevin Durant’s former team.

The Warriors (35-6) may have to do it without shooting guard Klay Thompson, who went to Portland to visit a gravely ill family member but hopes to return in time for the game.

The Warriors are playing their ninth game out of 10 at home; the other one was up the road in Sacramento. They’re 8-1 since returning from Cleveland on Dec. 26.

Oklahoma City (25-18) is on the fourth leg of a seven-city road trip that spans 13 days, though the Thunder will return home for three days of workouts before going to Utah next Monday.


Warriors by 13.5


Stephen Curry vs. Westbrook: Though the point guards won’t often be in direct matchup -- Thompson, if available, will spend the majority of time defending Westbrook -- each is crucial to his team’s performance. Regardless of who gets the primary assignment on Westbrook, the Warriors will have to rely on team defense and make him a volume shooter. If Curry outplays Westbrook, OKC has no chance.


Warriors: No injuries listed; G Klay Thompson (family issue) listed as questionable.

Thunder: C Steven Adams (concussion) is listed as out.


Warriors: 8-2. Thunder: 5-5.


The Warriors won the first meeting this season, 122-96, on Nov. 3 at Oracle and have won seven of the last eight meetings. The teams met last postseason in the Western Conference Finals, which the Warriors won in seven games.


KD: Durant has made it clear that facing his former team is different than any other opponent. There is evidence behind this. Playing with visible intensity, he torched OKC for a season-high 39 points in the Nov. 3 game in Oakland. Don’t be surprised if he delivers another impressive performance.

THE PAINT: With Adams out, the Thunder’s interior defense is appreciably weaker. OKC could start backup big man Enes Kanter, who is vulnerable, but more likely will go with a smaller lineup, with Jerami Grant at center. In either case, expect the Warriors to attack at every opportunity.

OKC O: The Thunder offense is weakest in two specific areas: turnovers and 3-point shooting. Westbrook’s ball domination contributes to both. He averages 5.4 giveaways a game and the Thunder, as a team, ranks 29th in 3-point shooting percentage (32.6). The Warriors lead the league in steals and in 3-point defense.