NBA Draft: Wofford picks 1-14

802310.jpg

NBA Draft: Wofford picks 1-14

Programming note: Catch the Warriors Draft Preview show Wednesday, June 27 at 4 & 7:30 p.m. and again on Thursday, June 28 at 3:30 p.m., only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area! YES BABY!

Im definitely ready for the NBA draft to find out which players the Warriors will select with their four picks this Thursday. But lets face it, the Warriors have already hit jackpot twice this offseason.

First, they won a coin flip against the Toronto Raptors to land in the 7th spot in the NBA Draft order. Then, on Lotto Night, the Warriors were able to maintain that 7th spot, allowing them to keep their draft pick instead of handing it over to the Utah Jazz.

Joe Lacob and the gang realize theyre playing with house money right now. However, the Warriors front office must step up and make the right picks. Here are my predictions for the 2012 NBA Draft lottery selections. Dont be shy, let me know what you think. HENRY WOFFORD'S NBA DRAFT PICKS: 1-14

1. New Orleans Hornets Anthony Davis C (Kentucky)
No brainer even my grandmama knows the Hornets are picking Anthony Davis. You would have to be drunk and stupid not to pick this guy first overall. Incredible shot blocker who led the Wildcats to the National Championship. Hes a future NBA All-Star. Davis is clearly the best player in the draft.

2. Charlotte Bobcats Thomas Robinson PF (Kansas)
Its extremely difficult for the Bobcats to pass on Kidd-Gilchrist, but Thomas Robinson brings toughness to the Bobcats. This guy can score, rebound and play defense. Hes one of the most consistent players in the draft and he made major improvements to his game over the past year.

3. Washington Wizards Michael Kidd Gilchrist SF (Kentucky)
I realize this Kidd can play, however Im not high on Michael Kidd Gilchrist. Hes not a good three point shooter (25). He shot 74 from the free throw line and he averaged 11 points a game. Also, he had several horrible games last season, @LSU (1 point), @Vanderbilt (4 points), vs Ole Miss(4 points), vs Iowa St. (2 points), vs St. Johns (5 points), vs Vanderbilt (5 points). Extremely talented, but hes a huge gamble in my book.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Bradley Beal SG (Florida)
The Cavs need big time help, therefore this is a difficult pick to predict. Dont be surprised if they move down in the draft. I think they will swap picks with the Portland Trail Blazers and eventually select Bradley Beal. Bad Brad can flat out shoot the ball. I love his mental toughness. He reminds me of Eric Gordon. One way or another hes going to find a way to score.

5. Sacramento Kings Andre Drummond C (UCONN)
Despite a poor attitude, DeMarcus Cousins delivered last season. He averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds a game. Sacramento will go after another big man who can rebound and block shots. Andre Drummond averaged 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks as a Freshman last season. He must improve his offensive game, but the Kings have other guys who can score (Evans, Cousins, Thornton).

6. Portland Trail Blazers Jeremy Lamb SG (UCONN)
I wouldnt be surprised if the Blazers work out a deal with the Cavaliers and move up to the 4th spot. Portland needs a big man who can help LaMarcus Aldridge rebound. Andre Drummond would be the perfect fit, but I doubt Drummond will be on the clock here. If they dont move up, the Blazers will take the best player available, shooting guard Jeremy Lamb.

7. Golden State Warriors Harrison Barnes SF (North Carolina)
One of the most hypedover hyped HS players in the last 20 years. Despite having a nice career at UNC, many analysts believe he did not live up to expectations. Barnes has a nice mid-range game and excellent athletic ability. Im convinced we have not seen him play his best ball yet. Hes going to be a good NBA player. Mark Jackson will be jumping for joy if Barnes is available when the Warriors are on the clock. Without a doubt SF Dorrell Wright will be trade bait on draft night. The Dubs would love to move Wright and Andris Biedrins, but theyre not trading the 7th pick to get those two guys off their roster. That would be ridiculous.

8. Toronto Raptors - Perry Jones III SF(Baylor)
This guy has great potential, but Ive watched him disappear in too many big games. Some scouts question whether he loves playing basketball. During the NBA combine Jones was on a mission to prove he has a new attitude and will always give a 100 percent. He had an opportunity to silence his critics during the Big Dance. I guess he couldnt find his dancing shoes because he did not show up. I do not like players who play poorly in big games.

9. Detroit Pistons Damian Lillard PG (Weber State)
Of course Im going to show the Oakland native love. The man played at Weber State and hes projected to go in the Top 15! Obviously hes doing something right. Lillard is a great shooter and with a high basketball IQ. He averaged 24 points, 5 rebs, 4 assists last season. Pistons have a young PG Brandon Knight, but that wont prevent them from drafting Damian Lillard. Welcome to the NBA. Go out there and represent Oakland.

10. New Orleans Hornets Terrence Jones PF (Kentucky)
With their second 1st round pick, the Hornets will go right back to the Kentucky Wildcats pipeline and draft Terence Jones. Hes not a great shooter but hes very physical and loves mix it up with the big guys. Jared Sullinger has a better offensive game, but he may be a liability on defense.

11. Portland Trail Blazers Tyler Zeller C (North Carolina)
This will be the Blazers second pick in the 1st round. If they cant land Drummond with their first pick, then theyre going with a big man with this selection. Tyler Zeller is not going to blow you away, but I like his game. He can run the floor, contest shots, score in the low post, and he has a good attitude. He averaged 16 points, 9 rebounds, while shooting 55 from the floor. At 70 and 250 pounds, youre getting a quality player with the 11th pick.

12. Milwaukee Bucks Meyers Leonard PFC(Illinois)
Meyers Leonard is a 71 Sophomore who averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds last season. He shot 58 from the field and averaged nearly 2 blocks a game. Im not sure why hes not getting more attention. He used to be a short tempered guy but it appears he has corrected the problem. Hes a sleeper, but I think he will be a decentreliable NBA player.

13. Phoenix Suns Austin Rivers SG (Duke)
Austin Rivers can play for sure, but he needs to be more of a team player. Its time for him to realize hes not the best player on his team. Austins running and gunning days are over otherwise he will have a difficult time getting off the bench. I love his shooting range, but sometimes I hate his shot selection. His dad, Doc, was a great defender. Austin has not looked good on the defensive end of the court.

14. Houston Rockets Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
I was shocked when I heard Sullinger was not invited to the NBA draft. I still believe hes a lottery pick. Houston is a borderline playoff team, looking for depth. I love Jareds low post moves, but he looks lazy while playing defense. He does not contest shots and does a poor job moving his feet and staying with his man. Many have questioned his stamina. Sullinger is solid player who needs to work on his conditioning.

ENJOY THE DRAFT! Check back here Friday for the 2012 Draft recap!Henry Wofford is a SportsNet Central anchor, reporter and host of A's Pregame Live

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

OAKLAND -- Though much has been said about the agonies and challenges facing Steve Kerr, including speculation about when, or if, he’ll return as head coach of the Warriors, little has been put into words that capture the significance of his absence.

This is perhaps because it can be difficult to explain how one man is able to influence a roster of supremely talented athletes, at the wealthiest point of life, with wildly divergent personalities, at different career stages.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, a man who knows perspective as well as anyone in the NBA, took a moment Saturday to cut through the palaver and pity to offer a clear and vivid illustration of Kerr’s value as a man and as a coach.

“It’s just his presence, his personality,” Livingston began. “His character, the way he fits in with us. He’s kind of the battery pack, in the sense that he makes everybody go. He keeps us all (in harmony), everybody from staff, training staff, coaching staff to the players.

“He bridges the gaps, in the sense of communication, and he makes it light.”

In short, Kerr’s value to the franchise is far greater than his duties as a coach. He has an easy, breezy charisma insofar as he’s so comfortable submerging his own ego while being remarkably good at making everyone matter.

Moreover, Kerr is decidedly inclusive, explicitly emphatically open to ideas. He’s an outreach specialist whose sensibilities are contagious.

All of which helps create a sprightly and genial workplace, something the Warriors sought when they hired Kerr to replace the swaggering and dogmatic Mark Jackson in May 2014.

“Every day it’s something new, in a sense, and that’s hard to do,” Livingston said. “We’re here for six to nine months for the past couple years, seeing the same faces. So it is kind of like a job. But (Kerr) makes it more like a game and tries to make sure we’re enjoying ourselves out there.”

Kerr wants to live his life and coach basketball around four basic tenets: joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition. Maintaining a balance of the four can be difficult, especially when Kerr is dealing with the searing pain that has him on the sideline for an indefinite period.

But Kerr never strays far. His players seem to see and, more important, feel that.

Draymond Green and Kerr, each volatile in his own way, don’t always see eye-to-eye. Yet Green on several occasions has noted that Kerr “always seems to find the right thing to say, at the right time.”

Veteran David West points out that anyone who spends any time around Kerr can sense his basic humanity. Veteran Andre Iguodala, one of the team’s co-captains, speaks of Kerr’s curiosity and desire to broaden his horizons.

Stephen Curry, the other co-captain, kept the ball from the Warriors’ Game 4 win over Portland last Monday night, punctuating a series sweep, and gave it to Kerr, who missed Games 3 and 4 while coping with this prolonged post-surgery pain.

Lead assistant Mike Brown, the acting head coach in Kerr’s absence, concedes he has benefited from being around Kerr and this team.

“The tone he sets is the best I’ve been around,” said Brown, who has been involved in the NBA since 1992. “This is a special, special situation, and he’s big reason why.”

So it’s not just Livingston who throwing rose petals at the boss. He just happened to convey in a few words the effect Kerr has on the team and within the building.

“He’s our leader,” Livingston said. “He’s somebody that we count on.”

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

OAKLAND -- One day after every member of the Warriors participated in a full scrimmage, the official health updates were released.

Veteran forward Matt Barnes, out since April 8, is listed as probable for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals that begin Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out since sustaining a finger/hand injury in Game 1 of the first-round series against Portland on April 16, is listed as questionable -- but with an asterisk.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ready for Tuesday,” Livingston said after a light workout Saturday.

Livingston informed NBCSportsBayArea.com earlier this week that he would have been available, hypothetically, if the Warriors were facing a Game 7.

As for Kevin Durant, who missed five weeks with a knee injury before returning April 8, only to sustain a calf strain in Game 1 against the Trail Blazers, he’s fully available.