Drummond, Barnes work out for Warriors' brass

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Drummond, Barnes work out for Warriors' brass

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Catch the Warriors Draft Preview show Wednesday, June 27 at 4 & 7:30pm and again on Thursday, June 28 at 3:30pm, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

Late last week, Warriorsgeneral manager Bob Myers told the media hed have no problem drafting a playerthat he had not seen in an individual or small group workout. He was probablytelling the truth, too.But given a choice, itsclear Myers would rather see a guy than not.According to multiple leaguesources, Myers and owner Joe Lacob traveled to New York on Monday to watchseparate workouts of Connecticut center Andre Drummond and North Carolina smallforward Harrison Barnes.Over the past month, theWarriors have held approximately a dozen workouts, involving more than 60players, at their downtown Oakland practice facility. But Drummond and Barnesnever made it there.That Lacob and Myers took a lateSunday red-eye flight across the country to watch Drummond and Barnes work outthe following day would seem to suggest that one or both of those players couldbe available when the Warriors select at No. 7 in Thursdays NBAdraft.Myers declined comment when reached at his Oakland office late Tuesday morning.There are indications thatDrummond, who is intriguing but also young and raw, could be slipping into theWarriors range. Ditto for Barnes, although it seems less likely that theWarriors would get a crack at him.Of course, its also possiblethat neither will be available at No. 7. Obviously, Myers and Lacob figure itsbetter to be safe than sorry.Drummond is considered ahead-scratcher for some. Hes got terrific size and strength, but not muchbasketball skill at this point. He showed enough in one year at Connecticut toput him near the top of the draft, but hes not someone who is likely tocontribute immediately. Hes far more of a project than a finished product.Drummond is 6-foot-10,270-pounds, and hes got an upside, as they say.Hes also got a lot ofquestions. Of course he does. Hes not yet 19 years old and doesnt have muchof a body of work behind him. He played one year at Connecticut 34 total games and averaged 10 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 28 minutes pergame.Drummond has natural size andathletic ability, can run the floor and has excellent timing. But there arealso concerns about his motor and whether he can stay committed to basketballfor the long haul.As recently as a few weeksback it didnt seem likely Drummond would fall to Golden State and he stillmight not.Most figure Portland, withthe No. 6 pick, will give Drummond a real look at that spot if hes still available.But the Blazers, who have the No. 6 pick and the No. 11 pick, are also said towant a point guard, and if they go small first its possible they could take DamianLillard.If the Blazers take Lillard and Anthony Davis, Thomas Robinson and Bradley Beal are all gone, which is widelyassumed it would mean that at least one of the following players would beavailable to Golden State: Drummond, Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Of thosethree, Kidd-Gilchrist is the least likely to be there at No. 7.RELATED: NBA Draft scouting report -- Bradley Beal
If Barnes were to fall to theWarriors, it would be tough for Lacob and Myers to pass on him. Barnes is oneof the most polished players in the draft, and he just happens to play aposition that many believe is Priority No. 1 for the team: small forward.The organization believes ithas four locked-in starters with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee andAndrew Bogut. Conventional wisdom would suggest that if the Warriors were ableto draft Barnes, he would be the future starter at small forward.The only issue would seem tobe how quickly that would happen.A few weeks back, neitherDrummond nor Barnes figured to be there at No. 7. Now, with the draft just twodays away, the Warriors believe one or both of those players could be available.Myers and Lacob have to thinkthat, you figure, or they wouldnt have taken a red-eye flight across thecountry to get a look-see at those two.

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES -- Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Utah controlled the paint, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Hayward returned after missing most of Utah's win in Game 4 because of food poisoning that caused him to lose weight and energy.

Chris Paul's 3-pointer drew the Clippers within two with 5 seconds left. After George Hill hit two free throws, Paul struggled getting the ball under control near the sideline and couldn't do anything as time expired.

The Jazz made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three by Rodney Hood, who finished with 16 points.

Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and J.J. Redick added 26 with injured star Blake Griffin watching from the bench, his right foot encased in a black walking boot.

The Jazz can clinch the series with a victory in Game 6 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth to tie the game. They made 12 of 15 free throws in the final period, but never managed to take the lead.

Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah's bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.

Joe Johnson's step back jumper extended Utah's lead to 92-87.

Neither team shot well, but the Jazz were better at most everything else. They owned a 34-28 edge in the paint, and the team that has done so has won each of the first five games in the best-of-7 series.

Utah outscored the Clippers on second-chance and fast-break baskets.

Utah took the game's first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.

The Clippers clawed back with an 11-0 run featuring five straight free throws by Redick and two consecutive 3-pointers from Paul that tied the game at 69-all.

Suddenly, the quiet crowd was on its feet cheering and Utah called time out.

The Jazz regrouped to take a 77-69 lead. They ran off eight straight, capped by Haywood's 3-pointer after the Clippers' defense shut down Hill inside and forced him to pass out to the perimeter with the shot clock winding down.

TIP-INS:
Jazz: Neither team has won by more than eight points so far in the series.

Clippers: Griffin's injured big right toe needs further evaluation before it's decided whether he'll require surgery. ... G Austin Rivers played 17 minutes in his return from a strained left hamstring. He was 0 of 4 and had two points. ... They fell to 1-11 all-time in Game 5 of a playoff series that was tied 2-2.

 

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Festus Ezeli will not be back with the Blazers next season, Portland GM Neil Olshey said on Tuesday.

Last summer -- after the Warriors let Ezeli walk in free agency following the addition of Kevin Durant -- he signed a 2-year contract worth just over $15 million.

But Year 2 was essentially a club option with a $1 million buyout.

A knee injury prevented Ezeli from ever suiting up for the Blazers this season.

He underwent cadaver ligament replacement surgery in early March.

The Warriors drafted Ezeli 30th overall in 2012.

Over 46 games (13 starts) with Golden State in 2015-16, he averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds over 16.7 minutes per contest.