Isaiah Thomas and/or Avery Bradley = Warriors’ best preseason ever coming?
And we thought Kuminga alone would be fun
With Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, plus a plethora of solid off-season pickups in Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter and Nemanja Bjelica, I thought this preseason could be one of the best ever for the Golden State Warriors and their fans.
But as I researched Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley and came to find their super-strong connection as you would expect from the many times highly respected ex-Warrior Jamal Crawford has lauded the Seattle area, I’m definitely thinking this could be a preseason for the ages in DubNation lore. Like, the entertainment value of each preseason ticket at their highest ever.
So yeah, “IT” and “AB” are super-tight, both hailing from Tacoma, Washington and sharing time with the Boston Celtics. As a gym rat, you wonder how their reunion transpired at Oracle Performance Center underneath Chase Center went the other day, as it was reported by ESPN’s Marc Spears both would workout this week, along with Quinn Cook [we had the inside scoop on the previous week].
Usually when I think of preseason, I think of Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant going off for one or two quarters (too bad Klay Thompson won’t play) then being forced to watch some scrubs, or some location gimmick — which often works, btw, as I’ll never forget the San Diego experience. Press row was three rows behind courtside and adjacent to the Warriors’ bench, and that’s the one where the floor got slippery and the game got cut short.
Or I think of some fun that goes off the charts, like Andre Iguodala accidentally passing the ball to Curry on the bench and Steph launching from his seat, again at a gimmicky location such as the San Jose State Event Center.
But this preseason? We might have some actual basketball with elite players being played even through minute 48 because the Dubs’ bench is so deep this year with two Lottery picks, plus the training camp invite list includes names like IT and AB, and not to mention guys who have had a few reps, like Mychal Mulder and Gary Payton, Jr.
Will only one of IT or AB join training camp? Both? Incidentally, there are three training camp spots available (20 max): fourteen are signed, there’s two-way player Chris Chiozza, and Mulder and “GP2” with their non-guaranteed contracts (17 accounted for).
I googled around to see what players make during training camp and it’s not much. Usually less than $200 on per diems (14 or so days of training camp), but I’ve also seen a figure like $2,000 as being the max (aside from per diems). Btw, the Exhibit 10s which feature the $50k max bonus to stick around for G League, that’s actually paid by the G League, so that is not an option for IT or AB (max four years of experience for a two-way or G League assignment).
Assuming the pay is not great, hopefully IT and AB will feel nostalgic and have no other pressing needs or other opportunities to attend to, and can attend Warriors training camp together. Ironically, it was Cook who signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers after, per Instagram, arriving in the Bay Area for the workout with IT and AB.
Speaking of preseason, I’ve been asked by Warriors PR to plug their Splash Zone. If you get selected as one of their diehard fans, you can attend regular season games for just $25. Deadline is Oct 19 which is Opening Night. The preseason games are 10/4 at Portland, 10/6 vs Nuggets, 10/8 vs Lakers, 10/12 at Lakers, and 10/15 vs the Trail Blazers.
On our private Discord server (free with $5/mo or $50/yr subscription to this site), someone asked when Open Practice might be. The last time the Warriors had one, in 2019, they announced it six days prior. They had it on 10/7/2019, a Monday. I have no idea when Open Practice 2021 will be, but I’ll guess October 14 because the break in between the Lakers games requires a travel day, so scratch 10/9, 10/10, or 10/11. That late into the preseason on 10/14, things should’ve taken shape and the team can take it easy for a night, whereby the start of preseason has a game every other night. But we’ll see.
Anybody have a memorable Warriors preseason they’d like to share in the comments? Is 2021 going to be the best one ever?
[Note: Still working to complete all the content I’d said I’d do, asap. I believe the posts will get shorter and shorter as we go, aside from the reporting of media availability, which can get lengthy based on how long the interviews go.]