Coach Steve Kerr kept out of the loop so he could concentrate on a postseason that lasted 67 days while Warriors general manager Bob Myers and his front-office assistants evaluated players for the 2022 NBA draft.
However, there was an exception. It happened when Kerr was allowed to see a practice that featured second-round pick Ryan Rollins during the NBA Finals.
Ryan Rollins Standout Great Fit For Warriors
“During the draft, I tend to be more of an observer. And there won’t be any time to participate in any of it when we travel to The Finals,” Kerr said to NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday.
However, I also happened to see Ryan Rollins work out. One day after practice, I was working out on the elliptical machine when I noticed six men on the ground. He literally leaped off the page.
Kerr rarely expresses an opinion, and the front office rarely bothers to ask him for one either. He still gave it in this case.
“I asked, “Who’s that guy?” to (assistant GM Mike Dunleavy),” Kerr remembered. “And Mike claimed that they adore him. Then he sorts of related Ryan’s tale to me.”
In the second round, the Warriors, who had the 51st and 55th overall picks, loved Rollins enough to trade a million for the Hawks’ 44th overall pick in order to secure his rights.
After the draft, Myers stated, “We didn’t anticipate he’d make it that far (to No. 51). “There wasn’t much of a gap between Rollins and the next guy we had. And for that reason, we moved to try to climb up to No. 44.
On Sunday, Rollins will turn 20 years old. He spent two seasons at the University of Toledo, where he was the Freshman of the Year in the Mid-American Conference and later the team’s leading scorer as a sophomore.
He announced his intention to enter the draft in April, and in May, he stood out during team workouts at the draft.
He aspires to follow in the footsteps of mid-major guards like Ja Morant (Murray State), CJ McCollum (Lehigh), Damian Lillard (Weber State), and Stephen Curry (Davidson) in becoming an NBA great.
Three months will pass before Rollins, who turns 20 on Sunday, reports to his first NBA training camp.
Kerr never saw Patrick Baldwin Jr. or Gui Santos, the Warriors’ other picks in the first and second rounds, but his initial impression of Rollins was enough to win him over.
Steve Kerr’s Past Highlights:
Stephen Douglas Kerr, an American professional basketball coach, and a former player were born on September 27, 1965. He currently serves as the head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors (NBA).
The only NBA player to win four straight championships after 1969 was Kerr. For any player with at least 250 made three-pointers, Kerr has the highest career three-point field goal percentage (45.4 percent) in NBA history.
Prior to Kyle Korver breaking it in 2010, he also held the NBA record for the highest three-point percentage in a season (52.4 percent).