By Marcus Thompson II, CONTRA COSTA TIMES
After the Warriors went on one of their crowd-stirring runs at the Arena in Oakland, point guard Baron Davis would form a "W" with each hand and high five his teammates as he went to the bench.
Davis said the" "W" symbol, which signifies West Coast in the hip-hop world, now stands for Warriors. And, Davis said, if the Warriors get lucky and land one of the top three picks in today's draft lottery, he'll happily throw 'em up.
"Absolutely," Davis said in a conference call last week with Bay Area media. "I'll have a W shirt underneath my suit."
Davis will be at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, N.J., today to represent the Warriors at the lottery, which will determine the order of the top 14 picks in the NBA draft June 28. The Warriors, slotted at No. 9 entering the lottery, are a long shot to land one of the top three picks. Save for slot No. 14, which was created last offseason with the addition of the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, No. 9 is the only pre-lottery position never to land in the top three.
The Warriors can go a number of ways in the draft. They have the pieces to trade up: extension-seeking small forward Mike Dunleavy, budding talents Mickael Pietrus and Zarko Cabarkapa, and two second-round picks. Because the top of their roster is set, they can afford to select the best-available player or draft for need and give that player time to develop. Considering they are over the salary cap, the Warriors also can try to trade down to a less expensive spot.
Davis, the unquestioned leader of the team, said he doesn't see any holes to fill -- though he said he wouldn't mind another player he can run with.
"I don't think that we're lacking anything except for practice time on the floor and just playing together," Davis said. "A need for us, I'm not sure. I'm confident with the players we have.
"(I say) take the best available player."
If the Warriors get one of the top three picks, they'll have a crack at Utah center Andrew Bogut, Wake Forest point guard Chris Paul or North Carolina freshman swingman Marvin Williams -- the unofficial consensus top three picks.
If the Warriors stay at nine, they could have a shot at some highly regarded players such as high schooler Gerald Green, Pittsburgh post Chris Taft, North Carolina point guard Raymond Felton, Arizona center Channing Frye, Connecticut forward Charlie Villanueva or power forward Fran Vazquez of Spain.
Workout update: The Warriors held two sessions of workouts Monday for potential draftees. The first group included two Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -- center Luke Schenscher, a second-round bubble projection, and point guard Will Bynum. The workout also featured two local players in St. Mary's point guard E.J. Rowland and Stanford center Rob Little, who played under Warriors coach Mike Montgomery. The second group was highlighted by Syracuse forward Hakim Warrick, who is expected to go mid-first round. Warrick, who worked out with Pacific center Guillaume Yango, Kansas point guard Aaron Miles and Texas Tech guard Ronald Ross, said he would love to go with the Warriors at No. 9.
"It would be a great opportunity. (Davis) would help my game," said Warrick, who won the 2004 national title with the Carmelo Anthony-led Orangemen. "I definitely think it will be a nice fit. They're a young and up-and-coming team. They've really got a lot of talent."
WARRIORS LOTTERY HISTORY
Year Pre-lottery position Drafted Movement Selected
1985 1 (tied) 7 dropped 6 Chris Mullin
1986 4 3 moved up 1 Chris Washburn
1988 3 5 dropped 2 Mitch Richmond
1990 9 11 dropped 2 Tyrone Hill
1993 7 3 moved up 4 Anfernee Hardaway*
1995 5 1 moved up 4 Joe Smith
1996 11 11 no movement Todd Fuller
1997 8 8 no movement Adonal Foyle
1998 4 5 dropped 1 Vince Carter**
1999 9 10 dropped 1 Jason Terry***
2001 2 5 dropped 3 Jason Richardson
2002 1 (tied) 3 dropped 2 Mike Dunleavy
2003 11 11 no movement Mickael Pietrus
2004 11 (tied) 11 no movement Andris Biedrins
* Traded to Orlando for rights to Chris Webber
** Traded to Toronto for rights to Antawn Jamison
*** Traded Bimbo Coles, Duane Ferrell and the rights to No. 10 pick to Atlanta in exchange for Mookie Blaylock and the No. 21 pick
Team Record Chance at No. 1 Chance at No. 2 Chance at No. 3
Atlanta 13-69 25% 21.46% 17.74%
New Orleans 18-64 17.8% 17.36% 16.46%
Charlotte 18-64 17.7% 17.29% 16.42%
Utah 26-56 11.9% 12.58% 13.25%
Portland 27-55 8.8% 9.64% 10.64%
Milwaukee 30-52 6.3% 7.09% 8.09%
Toronto 33-49 3.6% 4.16% 4.9%
New York 33-49 3.5% 4.04% 4.77%
WARRIORS 34-48 1.4% 1.65% 1.99%
L.A. Lakers 34-48 1.4% 1.65% 1.99%
Orlando 36-46 0.8% 0.95% 1.15%
L.A. Clippers 37-45 0.7% 0.83% 1.01%
Charlotte* 18-64 0.6% 0.71% 0.87%
Minnesota 44-38 0.5% 0.59% 0.72%
* From Cleveland
HOW THE LOTTERY WORKS
• Fourteen Ping-Pong balls are numbered 1 through 14 and placed in a drum. There are 1,001 possible four-digit combinations, 1,000 of which will be assigned to the 14 teams in the lottery.
• The teams with the worst records get the most combinations. The Atlanta Hawks, owners of the worst record, were assigned 250 combinations. The Minnesota Timberwolves, the team with best record in the lottery, have been assigned five combinations. The Warriors have been assigned 14 combinations. No. 1 Atlanta can't fall lower than the fourth pick, No. 2 New Orleans no lower than fifth and No. 3 Charlotte no lower than sixth.
• Four balls will be drawn and the team that has been assigned that four-digit combination will get to select first in the draft. The balls are placed back into the drum and the process is done twice more to determine which team gets the second and third picks. If the one unassigned combination is drawn, there will be a do-over.
• Picks No. 4-14 will go to the remaining 11 teams and be determined by inverse order of regular-season record. After the drawing, team logos will be placed in envelopes marked 1 through 14. The sealed envelopes will be brought on stage, where NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik will announce the results.
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