Inasmuch as they’re young, they’re deep and they’re champions, the Warriors aren’t seeking a savior in the 2015 NBA Draft. They’d be delighted to simply save.
As in saving themselves the inconvenience of paying David Lee’s $15.5 million salary next season.
The newly crowned NBA champs have been working toward precisely that in the days leading up to Thursday’s draft. They’d happily package Lee and their only available pick -- first round, 30th overall -- to another team simply to shed the financial burden. And there is a reasonable chance the Warriors will find a partner on Draft Day, and it likely would involve multiple teams.
But we know what kind of players they like. They lean heavily toward two-way players with character and a high basketball IQ. They’re in position to be patient.
If the Warriors are unable to make a deal and remain at No. 30, here are five players that might be available and would fit their profile:
1) R.J. Hunter (6-6 guard, Georgia State)
The son of Georgia State coach Ron Hunter, R.J. put himself on the map with superb performances in the first week of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. He’s a bit thin but has solid fundamentals, plays sound defense and has a beautiful outside shot. He’s projected to be taken anywhere from mid-first round to early second round.
2) Anthony Brown (6-7 wing, Stanford)
A solid player with a 6-foot-10 wingspan who can shoot the trey and defend, Brown is mature and comfortable at shooting guard or small forward. The Warriors met with him at the combine, something they wouldn’t have done if they weren’t interested. He’s projected to go late in the first round or anytime in the second.
3) Christian Wood (6-11 forward, UNLV)
A poor man’s Kevin Garnett, which is no insult, Wood has a 7-2 wingspan, a nice shot and a decent handle. He enjoys defending, particularly blocking shots. He’s skinny and needs to get stronger, but he definitely has the skills to be a stretch-4 in the NBA. He is projected to go in the second half of the first round.
4) Jonathan Holmes (6-9 forward, Texas)
Another player with the tools to develop into an NBA stretch-4, Holmes exhibits a commitment to doing whatever it takes to improve, including a 20-pound weight loss. He can play on the block or facing the hoop. He’s a not an explosive athlete but is a solid defender. Projected to go late in first round or early in the second.
5) Rashad Vaughn (6-5 guard UNLV)
Only 18 years old but with a pro-ready physique, Vaughn is a one-and-done prospect that scouts really like. He has a savvy and all-around game beyond his years. A good but not great athlete, he can shoot from deep and drive to the hole. He will need some time, but he has a high ceiling. Projected to go in the second half of the first round.