OAKLAND -- The Warriors said all along that if North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes was there at No. 7, they would be comfortable selecting him.Well, Barnes was there at No. 7, and now Barnes is a Warrior.Were thrilled, we love this player, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in a brief post-pick statement on Thursday. The owner (Joe Lacob) and I saw him in New York earlier this week. Hes one of the best people in this draft and we think one of the best players.Connecticut center Andre Drummond was on the board when the Warriors selected. Myers and Lacob had flown back to New York on Sunday night to view separate workouts of Barnes and Drummond.But clearly after passing on Drummond it was clear he hadnt done enough in that workout to convince the Warriors to take a chance. Drummond went No. 9 to Detroit.The Warriors no doubt will expect Barnes to contribute right away. He may not be the teams starting small forward on opening night, but conventional wisdom is that hell likely be the starter and sooner rather than later.The Warriors have Richard Jefferson and Dorell Wright under contract, but Jefferson is winding down his career and Wright is on the final year of his deal.The Warriors also had interest in Syracuse combo guard Dion Waiters, and weeks ago it seemed as if Waiters would be there at No. 7. But Waiters started climbing in mock drafts a week or so ago, and he didnt stop climbing until the Cleveland Cavaliers picked him at No. 4.The Warriors dream scenario vanished early on Thursday, when the Charlotte Bobcats selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the No. 2 pick. Kidd-Gilchrist was a player the Warriors coveted, although they knew getting him would be a longshot.There was talk that Kidd-Gilchrist could possibly slip as far as Sacramento at No. 5. Had that happened, the Warriors likely would have tried to make something happen with the Kings to trade picks.But when Kidd-Gilchrists name was called at No. 2, it became apparent that the Bobcats were selecting Kidd-Gilchrist to keep him.
OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.
“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.
“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).
“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”
This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.
As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.
“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”
Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.
A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.
The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.
All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.
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.
Kevin really put a ring instead of a cherry on top of the cupcake 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/1GVaFNbQet— Julie Phayer (@juliephayer) June 24, 2017
Peep KD's hat.— NBCS Warriors News (@NBCSWarriors) June 24, 2017
Cupcake with a ring on top. 👀 pic.twitter.com/VmXAhRz8k5
So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.