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Warriors split tiebreakers, get No. 19 pick

Golden State lost a tiebreaker to the Miami Heat and won one against the Los Angeles Clippers and will pick at No. 19 in June’s draft

2022 NBA Finals - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Press Conference
Commissioner Adam Silver mimes pulling the strings on the NBA draft order
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have only one pick in the 2023 and 2024 NBA drafts. Thanks to some good and bad luck in the NBA tiebreakers, that pick will be No. 19 this year.

The Warriors, Clippers, and Heat finished the year with identical 44-38 records, so the NBA breaks the ties with coin flips to determine the draft order. Presumably there are conspiracy theories about frozen quarters, two-headed coins reserved for Lakers tiebreakers, and Pat Riley trying to trademark the phrase “Tails Never Fails,” but since the Warriors split their tiebreakers, they don’t concern us here.

Golden State finished second in the tiebreaker, so Miami will pick 18th, the Dubs pick 19th, and the Clippers have the 20th pick. However, thanks to the Eric Gordon trade, the Clippers will actually be picking at No. 30, because the Rockets have the right to swap the Bucks pick for the Clippers pick. Steve Ballmer loves trading pick swaps almost as much as he loves developers.

This is the Warriors’ lone pick, thanks to some trades from years ago. Their second-round pick belongs to the New Orleans Pelicans, part of the package they dealt for Kirk Lacob’s favorite player, Alen Smailagic, who is currently averaging 9.6 points per game for Partizan Belgrade. Next year’s first-rounder (protected 1-4) goes to Memphis, from the Andre Iguodala salary dump that infuriated Dillon Brooks and launched the Grizzlies dynasty. Next year’s second-rounder was traded for Eric Paschall, currently playing for Leones de Ponce in the Puerto Rican league, back in 2019.

It stinks not to have a first-rounder next year, but the Warriors managed to turn the extra cap space into Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga, so you’ll take that exchange. Memphis is just going to use the pick on another beefy rookie so they can ditch another veteran anyway.

How valuable is the No. 19 pick? There have been some pretty good players taken there in recent years, including the Sacramento Kings’ ginger sharpshooter, Kevin Huerter, the Lakers’ weed-loving sharpshooter Milk Beasley, and Atlanta’s perpetually-almost-traded forward, John Collins, who loves the Wright Brothers.

Other memorable 19th picks include Tobias Harris, Gary Harris (no relation), former Warriors Dorell Wright, Zach “Z-Bo” Randolph, Reebok Pump dunk champion Dee Brown, and Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald.

Will the Warriors keep the pick? That really depends on how many timelines Joe Lacob and company want to pursue. Tankathon projects them to take Iowa forward Kris Murray, who is basically a slightly worse version of the Kings’ Keegan Murray. Someone named Rex Foster thinks the Warriors will take NCAA champion Jordan Hawkins out of UConn. And an NBC Sports writer mocked Ohio State sharpshooter Brice Sensebaugh.

But most likely, this pick is getting traded. Will that stop us from reading 300 mock drafts and watching mid-major college highlights? No, no it will not.

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