OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Don Nelson said before Monday's exhibition contest that the media could judge for itself how things were going with rookie center Kosta Perovic, who was set to start against Lithuanian Zalgiris Kaunas.

After watching Perovic collect two points, one rebound, two blocks and a steal in 15 minutes' worth of a Golden State debut, the media's assessment squared up with what Nelson has been saying about all his rookies for the past 10 days or so: not ready for prime time.

While some players have shown flashes of being able to contribute for the Warriors, Perovic has yet to face an NBA-level opponent. On Monday, he looked overmatched at times against bruising Zalgiris center Eurelijus Zukauskas, including the first play of the game, when Zukauskas spun around Perovic for an easy layup.

"Kosta is just not ready," Nelson said. "It's going to take a few years for that guy, or he could get it like (Patrick) O'Bryant did. I don't know when they're going to get it, but when they do, then they can become players."

Perovic, who's 7-foot-2 and 240 pounds, shares some of the same attributes O'Bryant had last season: soft hands, great wingspan and not enough physical strength.

"I'll work on that every day," Perovic said. "For some players, it takes five years just to grow up and finish their development. I don't know how long it's going to take for me. I hope it's going to be soon."

With 15 players under contract and only 12 eligible to play in any game, it seems a given that barring injuries, Perovic will be joining the Bakersfield Jam -- Golden State's affiliate in the NBA Development League -- on or near Nov.


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23, which is opening night in the D-League.

"We're definitely going to send him to Bakersfield," Nelson said.

In retrospect, would the Warriors have been better off letting Perovic, the 38th overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft, prepare for another year in Europe -- even if it meant having to pay a larger buyout fee than the $1.5 million that freed him this summer from Partizan Belgrade?

"No," Nelson said. "He wanted to come over. It's time for him to learn. He's 7-1, got a good body and a good brain. He'll figure it out."

Off the glass

For those folks who are fantasizing about a "Twin Towers" look with O'Bryant at center and Andris Biedrins at power forward, forget it. "I don't see that they'll be good enough together," Nelson said. "Maybe someday, they're both really young, but not this year." ... Injury update: Stephane Lasme (sprained left ankle) went through Tuesday's entire practice. Biedrins (sore left big toe) did some drill work but was not involved in five-on-five action, although he hopes to play in San Antonio on Thursday. Mickael Pietrus (midback strain), Troy Hudson (sore left groin) and Monta Ellis all did various levels of individual work. For Ellis, it was his most extensive workout since suffering a sprained neck Oct. 5, but it's still expected to be a week before he begins doing drills.

-- Geoff Lepper