HANG TIME WEST – It would have been a big deal no matter what. Many of the Western Conference teams at the bottom of the 2012 postseason pack or those trying to push into the playoffs have improved, and so Golden State had to get better as well just to keep up.
But it’s a bigger deal than just that with the belief, stated just before the draft, that a rookie general manager with zero track record in a front office needed a good first impression. Bob Myers, new as a personnel boss, pretty new in any management role after years as a prominent agent, needed some quick credibility in a market that has grown increasingly, and understandably, frustrated by letdown.
He got it.
The Warriors did well in the draft by adding Harrison Barnes at No. 7 as the possible starting small forward, Festus Ezeli at 30 for a need at backup center, and Draymond Green in the second round for his forward versatility and experience as a four-year player at Michigan State. They needed a backup power forward and signed Carl Landry. They needed a backup point guard and traded for Jarrett Jack. They re-signed Brandon Rush.
It was not the perfect summer – they were aiming for Dion Waiters in the draft, but he went fourth to the Cavaliers, and no addition to significantly help heal the defense. (In-season arrival Andrew Bogut can be considered the new addition in that regard.) But it has been a good one.
“If you were to ask me prior to the draft whether we could have ended up with guys like Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green, I would’ve said that would be a great result for us,” Myers said. “And then subsequently if you would have asked me would Landry and Jack be a good offseason, I probably would have laughed and said, ‘There’s no way we’re going to be able to do that’ just with the constraints we had going into free agency, really only being able to spend the mid-level.
“But the fact that we were able to get Jack in the trade with Dorell (Wright) and then add Landry through some luck on our side, the fact that he wasn’t able to command the (salary) his group wanted to (and had to accept the smaller Warriors offer). Our patience paid off. And then being able to bring back Rush. From the way we see it, it was a successful offseason and we think we put ourselves in position to be much more competitive in ’12-13 in what is already a brutal Western Conference. We feel like we’ve made ourselves a lot more competitive, but we’re not going to make any guarantees or promises.”
Backed by an ownership group willing to go into the luxury tax, though not so far that the Warriors would have to work too hard to get back under by the deadline at the end of 2012-13, Myers hit several areas of need. Which makes a big deal a bigger deal.