Warriors select draft picks Brandin Podziemski and Tracye Jackson-Davis

The Golden State Warriors have selected guard Brandin (Brandon) Podziemski (po-JEM-ski) with the 19th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Podziemski, 20, appeared in 32 games (all starts) during his lone season at Santa Clara, averaging 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.8 steals in 36.0 minutes per game. The 6’5” guard was named the 2022-23 West Coast Conference (WCC) Co-Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Illinois following his freshman season.

The Golden State Warriors have acquired the draft rights to forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, the 57th overall selection in the second round of the 2023 NBA Draft, from the Washington Wizards in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced today. Jackson-Davis, 23, averaged 20.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.9 blocks in 32 games (all starts) during his senior season at Indiana University. He was a consensus All-America First Team selection while ranking fourth in the nation in blocks, sixth in rebounds, eighth in double-doubles (18) and 16th in scoring. He became the only NCAA D-1 player in the last 25 seasons to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in a season. Overall, the 6’9” forward appeared in 126 games (all starts) at IU, averaging 17.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.1 blocks and 32.5 minutes per game.

THE MODERATOR: Welcome everyone. Up here with us today we have Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Brandin Podziemski, the No. 19 overall selection of the Warriors out of Santa Clara, and a Trayce Jackson-Davis No. 57 overall selection traded from Washington in the draft.

So we would like to introduce our guests as well. Joining Brandin here today in the front row is his mother Barbara, his dad John, stepfather Greg West, Coach Antonio Curry and agent Bill Duffy along with Chris Gilbert and Essegian Magatha.

Joining Trayce today is his agent in the front row, Max Lipsett.

So we’d like to take some of your questions in a little bit, but first, Mike, let’s start with your breakdown of Brandin and Trayce, obviously a couple guys you really liked.

What did you like about these guys when you scouted them and how do you see them fitting into what you see going on here with Golden State?

MIKE DUNLEAVY JR.: Yeah, I think first of all, we are really excited to have these guys, add them into the mix for us. Felt like coming out last night, just a really successful evening.

As far as these guys go, I think we are talking about two really productive college players that have a proven track record in terms of what they have done, and to bring that into the mix for us is something that we value. We talk about their competitiveness, their skill level, and you know just most importantly their character.

They are good guys. We met with them. We have interviewed them. We’ve watched film with them, worked them out. Ran them through the gauntlet. They survived it, and we have been really impressed with them in this evaluation process in the last couple weeks and throughout their college careers where they felt like they would be great fits for the Warrior program.

THE MODERATOR: Brandin, you played your last year in college ball in Santa Clara, just an hour south of here. What’s it like for you to stay in the Bay Area?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Yeah, it’s exciting. A lot of friends back here that texted me last night that are super happy that I get to stay so they can come watch me play, and my family loves it out here. It’s almost like a second home already.

THE MODERATOR: And Trayce, you played at a very storied school in Indiana, and all the great players that come through in, you’re all-time leading rebounder, all-time shot-blocker and No. 3 all-time in scoring. When you think about your college career what does being able to accomplish all that at such a blue blood program mean to you?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: For me, it’s really just all the time and work that I’ve put in. Just working on my game and then having a coach like Coach Woodson come in and his NBA experience and just helping me be the best player that I can possibly be.

So it’s a blessing to leave my small mark on that program and I really enjoyed my four years there.

Q. Warrior fans enjoyed seeing your Tweet last night. Curious was to what were your thoughts behind that, and just why do you believe so firmly in what you’re going to be able to do?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: The biggest thing for me is I always played with a chip on my shoulder. Even coming out of high school and going to a school like Indiana, a lot of people doubted my abilities and then after four years, what I was able to accomplish there was above and beyond what everyone thought.

So this is the next step in my journey, and I know I’m going to have work and it’s going to be hard, but at the same time I believe in my abilities and let God handle the rest but I’m ready to work.

Kind of last night, just watching teams and picks just going and going and kind of getting to the end, just basically said, I’m fired up and I’m ready to go, honestly.

Q. When you think about your own game and the way this Warriors team prefers to play, do you see it as a perfect marriage between program and player?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Yeah, a hundred percent. I think I’m a basketball player that knows how to pass, dribble and shoot, which is an embodiment of the Warriors program. I think I’m a pretty smart basketball player, and the Warriors have a lot of smart basketball players, as well. So I just think it’s a perfect fit both ways.

Q. As you guys go through this process and you’re talking to so many teams and you’re getting info from your agents and from coaches, GMs, you don’t know what to believe, I guess, sometimes. Did you guys have any inkling that the Warriors organization was really interested in you all and you could actually end up here when you were going through the process?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Yeah, I think I worked out with them a couple weeks ago, and it was probably my best experience through the pre-Draft process. Just felt like a family, I felt like, in our interview with Mike and the rest of the staff, it felt more like a conversation than an interrogation. I just always thought it would be a perfect fit.

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Same way. I had them at the beginning of the draft process. We did an interview in Chicago and they came and watched me in L.A. and I came out the day after them and worked out with them in this facility. We built a very, very strong relationship, and obviously it doesn’t help (hurt) that Mike’s brother is my agent, as well, so that’s always a good thing.

Q. The pre-Draft process, you brought in close to 40 guys to work out. What did you like about the workouts with Trayce and with Brandin that stood out to you, and how much did that help your decision in selecting these guys?

MIKE DUNLEAVY: I mean, look, I think for the most part, we evaluate these guys over the whole course of their career, so it’s not about one specific workout. But both of them, first and foremost, their willingness to come in.

This day and age, we get a lot of calls from agents and there’s a lack of willingness to come in and compete, and these guys had no problem with that. They came in, they played well, they performed, and honestly, I don’t really even remember how well they shot the ball or what they did exactly.

I just remember them as like the personalities and the people they were, and so I think just having that sense of what we’re getting as a player and as a person really kind of put it over the top, and you know, fortunately both these guys were there when we were able to pick.

Q. Either through what you’ve watched from afar with the Warriors, any conversations that you guys have had, what do you think of the way this team works with and develops younger players, and what do they have put in place here, whether it be the coaching staff, the players who are already in this franchise, will help develop your game and help bring you guys along?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: For me personally, I just think for me and Trayce, I think it’s all about being a sponge from day one. Obviously a lot of veterans on the team that have been through it, a lot of championships. Coach Kerr has won nine of them.

Just a lot of veteran leadership that will help guys like me and Trayce, and you know, you want to win a championship now.

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yeah, absolutely. Piggybacking off what he said, just being a sponge and being able to absorb all the knowledge that these veterans have, and they like to play in space and me and him both like to pass the ball. We are very unselfish players, and so I think it’s going to be a great fit for both of us.

Q. Given your dad’s history in the NBA, what has he been able to pass on to you about playing next to great shooters?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: The biggest thing that he’s told me about this process and the future is just being consistent. Finding a routine and going in every day and just working your hardest. That’s going to help you get to where you want to be. He played 15, 16 years in the league and he’s said the biggest thing that he got out of it was always being consistent. That’s the biggest thing that he’s passed on to me.

Q. How are you able to break out so much last season after transferring to Santa Clara, and where do you see your game expanding in the NBA game with the Warriors?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Yeah, I think it was all about opportunity and confident that my coaches gave me. I think I was the same player I was at Illinois, that was just in a different light because of the opportunity.

But you know, going forward, I get to play alongside the two best shooters in the world, so I can’t wait. Like he said, just being a sponge and adapting to everything.

Q. It is really good to see you out here, and obviously you have that NBA family DNA in you. You also played for a college coach who has got NBA DNA all over him. What did Mike Woodson tell you to really prepare you for this moment, the first month of your career, and what it’s supposed to be like and how it’s supposed to feel for you?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: He said enjoy it. You only get to go through this process one time. So he said be in the best shape of your life.

But other than that, just go out there and compete, and he knows I’m a competitor, and I’m going to play my hardest every time I’m out there on the court.

Q. Mike was telling us yesterday that one thing he was really impressed by you was how your passing rate developed over the last couple years in college. To what do you attribute that and how important is that in evaluating the way the team likes to play and being a big man in the system?

TRAYCE JACKSON DAVIS: I credit that to Coach Woodson and myself for watching film, how defenses guard, and my teammates, honestly.

By the end of the day, I just think it shows that even being older, there’s still areas of my game that I can improve on, just because I’m an older player coming out doesn’t mean that I can’t unlock new things that I can do on the court.

Q. 8.8 rebounds a game. How does a guard do that, and can you get anything close to that in the NBA?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Yeah, a few seasons, I’m a triple-double guy in the NBA. I like to fill the box score every which way possible.

But in terms of being a point guard, getting the rebound just makes it easier for your team just to get out and run instead of having to outlet the ball. But I go every time, and obviously some of them are going to come and fall right in your arms?

Q. Is that a mindset, your determined to get — practically, how are you getting how many rebounds?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Yeah, I think you go every time and it’s just the want to get the ball, and then just watching people shoot, how the ball bounces, all that kind of stuff plays into it. Ultimately it’s all about how bad you want to go get it.

Q. How would you describe the whirlwind of the last 24 hours?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: It’s crazy, to think about 15 hours ago, I was sitting there waiting for my name to get called; and then getting about three hours of sleep and hopping on a plane and coming out here.

But it’s been great. It’s been a blessing and a great experience.

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Yeah, for me, obviously I was in the Green Room with my family. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just so blessed to hear my name called quite early in the draft.

But yeah, it was a great night. Celebrated with my family, my agency, and then hopped on a plane from New York and came out here.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned in one of your interviews that fellow Bronco-turned-first-rounder Jalen Williams was instrumental in helping you come to Santa Clara, transferring from Illinois. What’s your relationship like with one of the best rookies in the NBA last year in Jalen Williams, and what role did he play in helping you decide on Santa Clara?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Yeah, our relationship is really good through this whole process. We kind of both started in the same situation, him just a year ago, and any question I ever had about the process, could be little, could be big, I just turned to him, and he’s really good about communicating with me. So super thankful to have that.

But then going to Santa Clara from a Big Ten school, just seeing what he did, and that kind of boosted my confidence; that if he could do it, I could do it, too, and here we are a year later.

Q. You seem like a mild-mannered guy but after watching your highlights, I notice you don’t treat the rim so kindly. I asked Jonathan Kuminga this a couple seasons back, but when attacking the rim, where do you channel that aggression?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I think it’s just how I am, just having a switch. When you’re between the lines, I feel like I’m a different person. I’m a competitor. I just try to attack and rip the rim off, honestly. That’s the biggest thing for me.

Q. Have you talked to any of your teammates yet or did you guys have any connections to the Warriors before you came here that you were able to get some intel or ask about the organization?

TRAYCE JACKSON DAVIS: I haven’t really. I saw that Steph followed me on Instagram, so that was really cool. But other than that, not really, but I can’t wait to meet them and I can’t wait to get started with the process.

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: Same for me. Steph and Kevon followed me last night, so that was pretty cool.

Q. If my basketball reference researching is correct, you played half a season with Dale Davis on the Golden State Warriors. Curious what it was like playing with Trayce’s dad, what you remember of that experience.

MIKE DUNLEAVY JR.: You’re dating me here. That was a long time ago. But actually my coached him, and I played with him here at the Warriors.

It was a short stint but you know, Dale is a great guy, great teammate and it’s amazing the way this league comes full circle. Here we are today and having the opportunity to draft his son is pretty neat.

Q. As a guy who likes to stack the stat sheet and see himself as a triple-double guy down the road, who do you try to model your game after and why those guys?

BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: I picked up basketball seven years ago, and my favorite player is Manu Ginobli. Just seeing the way he plays and his mentality towards things and how he’s a winner, is definitely someone I model my game after.

THE MODERATOR: So you mentioned the impact that Mike Woodson had on you. Your first couple years, you played under Archie Miller, and I know coaching changes at the college level, they can be an adjustment. What was that adjustment like for you and what did you learn from both of those guys.

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yeah, they both brought different values. They both coached a different way. Coach Woodson was more of a talker and explainer, and Coach Miller liked to yell, which I think honestly I feel like I’m really coachable. So either of those ways are good with me.

But honestly, just learning new things. Just coming into college and having Coach Miller start me as a freshman and being able to play through mistakes was huge, and then Coach Woodson, letting me bring the ball down the court and make passes and start expanding my game I thought was huge.

So I definitely got key things from both of them.

THE MODERATOR: You’re known for being a high-energy, high-effort guy, really good face-up game on the low block. How do you see your skills and what you were able to accomplish at Indiana translating to this level.

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Just my motor. I think the way that I run the floor, can bring the ball up the floor, and then matchup problems on defense with slower guys, bringing them out; and then being able to pass the ball to open shooters, the best shooters in the world. I think it’s a great fit for me honestly.

Q. Trayce, you’re 23, obviously not one of the younger guys in this draft, but is there some advantage you might have coming in against some 19-year-olds and some guys who aren’t as experienced as you? What edge do you think you have with that?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: There’s just an experience factor. Just how many games I played, especially having Coach Woodson. Some guys are 19; some aren’t even playing college basketball.

But at the end of the day, it’s a man’s league. It’s the NBA. You have the greatest players in the world, so you are going to have to go out there and compete, and that’s what I’m ready to do.

But being older, being a little bit more veteran experience I think is going to be good for me.

THE MODERATOR: I’m sure you have a lot of confidence in yourself as a player but if I told you back in October of 2022 that in five months you would be the WCC Co-Player of the Year, WCC Newcomer of the Year, and then in eight months you would be a top 20 draft pick, you would say, what?


THE MODERATOR: That will conclude this portion of the draft press conference.

Photo by Warriors/Twitter

Malaika Bobino

Malaika Bobino, an Oakland, California native, is a Bay Area sports journalism powerhouse and influencer. With nearly two decades of experience at both the Oakland Post and the Huffington Post, she is always on the front lines of the iconic Bay Area sports scene. Bobino covered the Oakland A’s postseason trips, all three of the San Francisco Giants World Series, was present for all three Golden State Warriors three NBA Championships and covered the 49ers last two Super Bowl appearances

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