Could Ezeli have more impact than Harrison Barnes?


Could Ezeli have more impact than Harrison Barnes?

So, the Warriorscome away with Harrison Barnes (No. 7), Festus Ezeli (No. 30), Draymond Green(No. 35) and Ognjen Kuzmic (No. 52), and that haul seemed to very much pleasegeneral manager Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob.Myers said headinginto the draft hed rather not use all four picks because the Warriors werealready young. Not to mention they have nine players under contract and thatsnot counting Brandon Rush. So where does that leave each of the selections? Lets figure it out:HarrisonBarnes: It was clear after hearing Myers and owner Joe Lacob talklate Thursday night that they very much like Barnes, were hoping hed be on theboard and isnt part of any kind of larger trade scenario.STEINMETZ:Warriors select Harrison Barnes seventh overall in 2012 NBA DraftNo, the Warriorsvery much believe Barnes is the small forward of the future, and dont besurprised if that future starts sooner rather than later.The one thing thatboth Myers and Lacob tried to stress on Thursday is they dont believe Barnesis a finished product. They think hes going to get better, and maybe even alot better.Thats a littledifferent point of view than many others share. Theres sentiment out therethat Barnes, who played two years at North Carolina, is what he is and doesnthave a lot of upside.Most have Barnespegged to be a solid pro, but maybe never an all-star down the road. Hes avery good shooter, but has trouble putting the ball on the floor and finishing-- and making plays for teammates is not a strength.RELATED: Barnes welcomed by Warriors on TwitterBut hes going toplay, make no mistake about it. And the Warriors will likely try to give Barnesmore of a window by trading Dorell Wright, one of a number of small forwardswho are on the roster.Simply put, itdoesnt seem to make a lot of sense to have Wright, Richard Jefferson andBarnes on the same roster. Thats toomuch overlap and too much money being paid out at smallforward.FestusEzeli: In the aftermath of the draft, Lacob called Ezeli a beast,and he more than suggested Ezeli dominated his workout against Tyler Zeller atthe Warriors practice facility on June 11.When Lacob was askedabout whether Ezeli was similar to Ekpe Udoh or in that same kind of role, hesaid Ezeli was a center and that Udoh was more of a power forward.Lacob might be rightabout that, but Warriors coach Mark Jackson had Udoh playing mostly center lastseason before he was traded to Milwaukee. In any event, I think theres ascenario in which Ezeli could help the Warriors more than Barnes.STEINMETZ:Warriors draft C Festus Ezeli with final first-round pickI think theres achance Barnes will come in, do some nice things, have a solid rookie year andmaybe even start a few games for the Warriors. But at this point, hes not allthat dissimilar from Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush and even Stephen Curry in thathes a player whose strength is at the offensive end of the floor.Theres apossibility Barnes could simply be a blend-in player at least for a littlewhile.Ezeli, however,gives the Warriors something they dont have: a frontcourt player who is mostlyabout defense, rebounding and shot-blocking. If you watched the Warriors at alllast year, you saw that Kwame Brown had a positive impact on the team beforehis injury.You also saw thatwhenever the Warriors played their best basketball of the season, Ekpe Udoh wasusually a part of it. The Warriors, of course, traded Udoh last season in theAndrew Bogut deal. But it appears the teams front office realized quickly thatwhen it gave up Udoh, it gave up something tangibly important.The reality withEzeli is this: If hes competent enough to play good help defense, take somefouls at the rim, block a shot or two and rebound, hell be the first big manoff the bench, and hell get more minutes than you think.He may have to there are going to be nights when Bogut picks up fouls early, and the Warriorsbetter have someone capable of replacing him.DraymondGreen: Green had a remarkable career at Michigan State, putting upnumbers that rival some of the numbers put up by the schools all-time greats.Green was Michigan States all-time leading rebounder; he ranked 17thall-time in scoring; second in career blocked shots and second in careersteals.Why then did he fallto the second round? Well, hes considered a classic tweener a little toosmall to play power forward and not quite athletic enough to play smallforward.But thats whatsgoing to be interesting to find out about Green. There are instances whereplayers like Green thrive, and sometimes theres a fine line. What if Greenbecomes the other kind of tweener the kind of small forward that is too bigand strong for small forwards and too quick to be guarded by opposingfours?Its not outside therealm of possibility. The thing about Green is that he has a complete game andcan do a little bit of everything. Yes, he was Michigan States all-timeleading rebounder, but he also shot 39 percent from beyond the arc lastseason.The other thingabout Green is he can pass. He averaged 4.1 assists as a junior and 3.8 assistsas a senior. Thats pretty nice production out of your three-four man.OgnjenKuzmic: You wont be seeing Kuzmic anytime soon in a Warriorsuniform. The Warriors selected him for two reasons; first because they like himand second because theyll be able to keep him overseas for now.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.

Is JaVale McGee coming back to Warriors? 'I hope so'

Is JaVale McGee coming back to Warriors? 'I hope so'

JaVale McGee spent the first eight years of his NBA career bouncing between four different teams.

Then the Warriors came along and took a flier on him prior to the 2016-17 season, signing him to a one-year contract.

He played a career-low in minutes per game, but he made the most of his time on the court, as he recorded the highest field goal percentage of his career.

And he became a cult hero with Warriors fans due to his numerous high-flying alley-oop dunks, garnering some of the loudest cheers among fans.

Now the free agent center hopes that he's found a home in Oakland.

Prior to his JugLife Celebrity Softball Game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, McGee was asked if he think he's coming back to the Warriors for the 2017-18 season.

"I hope so, I hope I'm coming back," McGee said, according to KTVU.

Free agency begins July 1.