NBA Draft 2019: Warriors Need to Find Shooting, Key Rotation Players

OAKLAND – With two healthy starters, one rotation player, one occasional rotation player and a rookie with 204 minutes of NBA experience, the Warriors clearly have deep needs as they enter the draft Thursday night.

They have three picks: No. 28, No. 41 and No. 58.

If one of the three players crack the rotation, they'll be satisfied. If two can contribute, they'll be ecstatic. Three is, of course, is downright unrealistic.

"We're going to need . . . guys that can play big minutes and, hopefully, contribute and just eat up minutes as much as they can," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Wednesday.

Though Myers' comments refer to both the draft and free agency, the Warriors don't have the luxury of coming up empty for the second consecutive draft. They selected Jacob Evans III in the first round last season, and the guard rarely left the bench – unless he was with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Somebody besides Evans has to be ready to join All-Stars Steph Curry and Draymond Green, rotation mainstay Andre Iguodala and occasional starter Damian Jones. Rotation regular Shaun Livingston has only a partially guaranteed contract next season and is seriously considering retirement.

With seven unrestricted free agents and three restricted free agents – one being Jordan Bell – no one else from the current roster is a lock to return and be ready to play in October.

Which leaves, well, plenty of openings.

"Maybe next year we afford one opportunity for who we pick," Myers said. "Maybe we get a guy that can step in. We will have more opportunity next year. No matter what happens in free agency, we'll have more of an opportunity for a young guy."

The Warriors have not drafted a rotation player since 2015, when they took Kevon Looney, who needed two years of surgeries and recoveries before he began to contribute. Though there is mutual interest in his return, Looney will be an unrestricted free agent,

The last time the Warriors drafted a starter was in 2012, when they had four picks, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli in the first round, Draymond Green and Ognjen Kuzmic in the second.

Neither of their last two first-round picks, Jones and Evans, was an immediate contributor.

The one thing the Warriors know they must add is shooting. There were times in the NBA Finals against Toronto – particularly when without Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson – when they simply were outgunned. There were stretches of games during which the Raptors played five legitimate shooters, and the Warriors countered with two.

It wasn't enough in June and it won't be enough next season.

"Shooting is at a premium, maybe at the highest premium it's ever been," Myers said.

"It's becoming, more than ever, a skill that's in demand. People pay for it. People value it. We always have. We obviously are fortunate enough to have some great shooters. But you can never have enough of that stuff."

[RELATED: How mock drafts see Warriors using their picks]

One good shooter will get minutes. Two good shooters will find their way to the floor.

If the Warriors don't find that much, the season will be the greatest challenge they've faced since 2011-12.

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