OAKLAND -- The 2013 NBA draft turned out to be a crazy ride with multiple surprise selections and several trades. And the Warriors, who began the night with no draft picks, found a way to contribute to the madness.

Golden State landed the pick it wanted, buying the No. 26 overall selection, then trading down twice to the No. 30 pick. There, the Warriors threw another twist. Instead of filling a need and drafting a big man, the Warriors selected a combo guard from Serbia.

Nemanja Nedovic -- a 6-foot-3, 192-pound 22-year-old -- was the result of the Warriors' exhaustive efforts to secure a draft pick. It was a head-scratching end to a wild first round.

"This was a different one," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said of this year's draft. "There was a ton of movement, a lot of teams looking to make deals. ... It was exciting. We kind of watched it as spectators for the first part of the draft. ... This was a rare moment to grab a first-round pick (without having to give up one), and we realized that halfway through the first round."

The first round saw UNLV forward Anthony Bennett become the surprise top pick. Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, the projected No. 1, dropped to New Orleans at No. 6 and was then traded to Philadelphia for point guard Jrue Holiday. Sacramento, now led by former Warriors assistant Michael Malone, had Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore fall in its lap at No. 7.

And through it all, outgoing NBA commissioner David Stern, who hosted his final draft, playfully taunted the jeering crowd.

"We had to explain to our international audience that the 'boo' is an American sign of respect," Stern said to the crowd, provoking another round of boos.

The Warriors then concluded the memorable first round with a whirlwind of moves.

First, Golden State acquired the No 26 pick from Minnesota, along with former UCLA guard Malcolm Lee, by sending $1.6 million and a 2014 second-round pick to the Timberwolves.

The Warriors had their eye on Nedovic, but their research indicated they could get him as late as No. 30. So they started maneuvering to move down.

Next, the Warriors traded that No. 26 pick to Oklahoma City, getting the No. 29 pick and $1 million in cash. And they weren't done. They sent the No. 29 pick and Malcolm Lee to Phoenix for the 30th and final pick of the first round.

In the end, the Warriors were in position to fill what Myers deemed their biggest need -- to bolster the front line. Starting center Andrew Bogut, who has battled ankle issues the last two seasons, is always a question mark. His backup, Festus Ezeli, will miss at least the first three months of the season after knee surgery. And power forward Carl Landry, who played some center last year, opted out of his contract to be come a free agent.

Kansas center Jeff Withey and Bucknell's Mike Muscala, two big men projected to be late first-round picks, were on the board. But the Warriors instead went with the little-known guard who was picked by many to go middle-to-late second round.

"This was talent we couldn't pass on," Myers said. "We felt like Nedovic was a better talent than any of the bigs that were on the board."

Myers said his staff rated Nedovic -- who is considered one of the best young guards in Europe via various scouting reports -- high on their draft board. Already stocked with shooters, the Warriors see Nedovic as a sizable guard who can consistently get in the lane.

He's been dubbed the "European Derrick Rose" because of his athleticism and size (and his tendency to dunk on defenders). But he's a bit of a tweener. He's a slashing type of scorer who is too small to play shooting guard but currently lacks the skills to thrive at point guard.

The entire Warriors front office was at the 2013 adidas Eurocamp and got a good look at Nedovic, who showed improved playmaking skills. But he needs some work, especially with his shooting and defense.

Playing for Lithuania in the vaunted Euroleague, he averaged 9.8 points on 36.7 percent shooting with 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 23.2 minutes.

"He's not a finished product," Myers said. "But he's got a brashness about him. He's competitive. ... He's fearless."

The Warriors are not yet clear on whether they will keep Nedovic in Europe. Myers said he has a contract buyout that needs to be negotiated with his team overseas.

The Warriors are hoping he joins them for Summer League in Las Vegas next month. As for the big, that need will have to be addressed during the free agency period. The Warriors have limited funds and a few minor pieces they are willing to move.

"It's going to be tough," Myers said of finding a good big man. "We're going to have to work every relationship. We're not gong to be the biggest spenders. ... We think we can come up with someone in the frontcourt to help this team."

Inside
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