More Warriors News

Word leaked out a couple days before the NBA draft that the Warriors had pegged Baylor power forward Ekpe Udoh as the No. 6 pick.

But Warriors general manager Larry Riley, who introduced Udoh at a news conference Friday at the team's practice facility in Oakland, revealed Udoh has been his guy for a while.

Since March 2 to be exact. That's when Riley went to Lubbock, Texas, to see Udoh against Texas Tech.

"There were people with bigger media presence," Riley said. "But he was the favorite coming in, and he was a guy that just went through his own (predraft) workouts and proved that he was what we thought he was."

The next step is for the Warriors to sign Udoh. Per the NBA rookie pay scale, the No. 6 pick gets two years guaranteed at about $6.5 million. The team holds the option for the remaining two seasons.

Udoh will play on the Warriors' team at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

"I'm just going to go out and work hard," Udoh said.

Riley said the workouts only confirmed what he already suspected, that Udoh would be the best player available. Riley said he liked others, including Georgetown center Greg Monroe and Kansas swingman Xavier Henry. But none knocked Udoh off the top spot.

Udoh said he looks forward to playing with point guard Stephen Curry. But Riley said Udoh needs development to run the pick-and-roll, and Udoh acknowledged he needs some strength before he can adequately defend most power forwards in the league.

Still, the Warriors were impressed that Udoh wasn't extremely deficient in any area. Riley said he believes Udoh can build on his game because he has a little something to offer in just about every area. He said Udoh eventually can shoot from 3-point range and score with his back to the basket.

That runs contrary to the popular perception, which is that Udoh, 23, has limited potential.

"He's a little bit of a complete player," Riley said. "Now, he's not an All-Star level complete player. But there's a lot to his game. It's not that he comes in here and is broke in certain areas, where he's so bad off he can't get on the floor."

Notes: The Warriors are holding several weeklong basketball camps for kids ages 7-15. The next session starts Monday at the team's downtown facility. For more information, go to www.warriors.com. "... Power forward Brandan Wright and swingman Reggie Williams will play on the Warriors' summer league team. Point guard Stephen Curry and power forward Anthony Randolph may join the team in Las Vegas to work out but aren't expected to play. Assistant coach Keith Smart will coach the summer league team as he has for the past few years. Coach Don Nelson was expected to coach this summer but won't since Curry isn't playing.

inside
  • Deadline for ownership bids is looming. Page 2