The Warriors' organization and its fans had high hopes for the No. 1 pick before Tuesday's NBA draft lottery. But it only makes sense the pingpong balls didn't bounce their way.
Golden State, which had the fourth-best chance of landing the top pick, dropped two spots and will pick No. 6 in the draft on June 24. That's now 13 consecutive draft lotteries in which the Warriors have failed to move up.
"I did allow myself to have hope," said general manager Larry Riley, who represented the Warriors at the lottery in Secaucus, N.J. "That's the way I came into it. I'm not going to spend time thinking we should've been this number or that number. It is what it is. Now we go to work."
Two teams behind the Warriors moved up — Washington and Philadelphia.
The Wizards won the lottery despite having just the fifth-best chance at landing the top pick. It's expected they will select Kentucky point guard John Wall, widely regarded as the best player in the draft.
Washington president Ernie Grunfeld said winning the No. 1 pick doesn't affect the team's plans for Gilbert Arenas, a three-time All-Star guard who was suspended most of this season by the league after bringing guns into the locker room. The former Warrior has four years left on his Wizards contract.
Grunfeld told the Associated Press: "Gilbert is still with us. He's been down at our gym, working out and getting ready. The more good players you have, the better."
The Warriors weren't the only team to drop. New Jersey, Minnesota and Sacramento — owners of the three worst records in the league — also lost ground. They will select third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Picks No. 7 through 14 saw no movement. Detroit, the Los Angeles Clippers, Utah, Indiana, New Orleans, Memphis, Toronto and Houston rounded out the lottery picks.
Riley insisted it's business as usual despite the pending sale of the franchise. He said he's happy he can start planning moves now that the Warriors know where they are drafting.
But owner Chris Cohan, in his bid to sell the Warriors, wouldn't have minded a top-three pick for however much it would boost the value of the franchise.
Relief may even be in order for Riley, though. Landing the top pick would've created a quandary for the Warriors, who would've likely had to choose two from a trio of guards: Wall, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Now, based on where the Warriors are drafting, guards won't figure to be in the mix. The team can address other areas of need.
"I think we can make some improvement with the team with (the No. 6 pick)," Riley said. "I don't feel dejected. Now we know what we have to work with and we go to work on that. It does bring some clarity to what you need to accomplish."
Experts and prognosticators, however, have dubbed this draft as weak on elite talent. After the top four or five players, the potential diminishes noticeably.
"Some people view it as a top-five draft," Riley said. "What I look at in regards to the draft is you have to get one good player at the spot you're picking. That's what we're focused on. You may say well the pool has gotten a little tougher, a little smaller. Well it has. But we still can get a good player."
3. New Jersey
8. L.A. Clippers
11. New Orleans
DRAFT LOTTERY RESULTS
The order of the first 14 picks of the 2010 NBA draft:
Pick Team Movement
1. Wizards Up 4 spots
2. 76ers Up 4 spots
3. Nets Down 2 spots
4. Timberwolves Down 2 spots
5. Kings Down 2 spots
6. Warriors Down 2 spots
7. Pistons No movement
8. Clippers No movement
9. Jazz (via NY) No movement
10. Pacers No movement
11. Hornets No movement
12. Grizzlies No movement
13. Raptors No movement
14. Rockets No movement