The Warriors introduced their trio of rookies Monday -- a cast highlighted by North Carolina sophomore small forward Harrison Barnes, the seventh overall pick. But what also was revealed was the Warriors' draft plan, which sounds like their free-agency strategy as well.
"You want to be impatient but not imprudent," general manager Bob Myers said.
The Warriors walked away from the draft with three players who weren't supposed to be on the board when they selected.
Barnes, a projected top-five pick, was suddenly there at No. 7. Vanderbilt senior center Festus Ezeli, who tempted the Warriors to trade up to get him, wound up lasting until the 30th pick. Michigan State senior forward Draymond Green, who was expected by many to be taken late in the first round, landed in the Warriors' lap at No. 35.
Myers and his three draft picks were all smiling at the Warriors' practice facility as if they knew they got away with something.
"It's been absolutely great for me to come here," Barnes said.
The Warriors, who don't have any draft picks next year, got three first-round talents to bolster their bench. And the trio of rookies expressed pleasure at landing with a franchise on the upswing. They all came about as a result of waiting for other chips to fall and pouncing when the opportunity presented itself.
Myers said the Warriors are taking the same approach with free agency. They have only the midlevel exception to offer, and they can use only part of it without going into luxury-tax territory. So the Warriors can't get into a bidding war.
The salary cap for last season was $58 million, and the luxury tax threshold began at $70.3 million. The limits for 2012-13, being figured out now, probably won't differ by much. So the Warriors will have only about $4 million to work with before getting into luxury-tax zone.
"We just don't have the resources," Myers said, later adding, "As you can see, I'm here. I wasn't on a midnight flight to another city, and it's probably because agents aren't meeting with teams that are cap restricted, like us, mostly.
The Warriors' priority is to re-sign swingman Brandon Rush, with whom they have already begun discussions. Rush is a restricted free agent, which means the Warriors have the right to match any offer sheet he signs. He reportedly is drawing interest from the Los Angeles Lakers, who need the bench help. But Rush said he wants to stay with the Warriors.
Other than trying to sign Rush, the Warriors are playing it cool. Far from desperate but hardly idle, the Warriors plan to see what bargain emerges as the offseason unfolds.
Myers said he would like to add a veteran. The Warriors have at least three second-year players returning and now are adding three rookies.
Fortunately for the Warriors, the three rookies are expected to be able to contribute right away. And, being overlooked or doubted by some, they may have a chip on their shoulders, too.
"For me, it's always been about what he can't do," Green said. "They only light more fire under me. ... My whole mission is not to go out and prove people wrong. However, if me going out and playing well is proving people wrong, then, yes, I'm definitely looking forward to doing that."
"I love it," Ezeli said. "They can keep sleeping on me."
The Warriors have until the start of the season to extend Curry's deal. Myers said they will talk extension if Curry gets healthy.
Howard, in the final year of his contract, reportedly wants out of Orlando, and it is believed he will sign an extension only if he is traded to the Brooklyn Nets.