Trade deadline: Lacob mandate of “does it make us better?” should work in reverse too (fyi works for Bojan Bogdanovic)
[+Bob Myers quotes, Wiseman stuff +more approaching trade deadline]
In this post and with the February 9th trade deadline looming, we’ll go through all the relevant notes and quotes over the last month. My sometimes-livestream-co-host Dean “of Positivity” Chambers also came up with a brilliant trade scenario (spoiler alert: Bojan Bogdanovic), but first, let’s address the elephant in the room which is the idea that James Wiseman’s salary would be dumped to save money.
Eleven months ago, probably at the annual post-trade-deadline Q&A, Bob Myers told reporters that Joe Lacob’s mandate with all roster moves has always been, “Does it make us better?”
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[In writing this, I actually couldn’t remember where I’d heard that, so I did a Google search on “lacob does it make us better” and was pleasantly surprised that my video came up, listed as “eleven months ago” rather than giving the exact date, as YouTube and most social media platforms love to do…]
Common-sense mantras from your leaders are great. The reverse of this has to be true as well, no? With any move, Myers must ask himself, “Does this make us worse?” Wouldn’t deleting Wiseman from your roster make your team worse? That’s a dimension of your team, while largely unproven and un-deployed, that you’d be cutting off.
There’s not many future possibilities that see Wiseman contributing in the playoffs, but there need only be one plausible one: What if the Golden State Warriors faced the Philadelphia 76ers in the Finals and Kevon Looney was hurt? You’d have to try Wiseman, at some point in a seven-game series, on Joel Embiid. I might even argue that a long series against the Denver Nuggets would behoove an experiment of Wiseman versus Nikola Jokic.
Remember, being down 2-1 in a series might force a big chess-piece to come out. I’d hate to be behind the eight-ball in the Finals against the Sixers, them having staved off our small-ball lineup, and looking down the bench, regretting that we traded Wiseman for nothing in a salary dump.
Heck, Wiseman might even save the current trajectory of his contract with a flash-in-the-pan solid performance somewhere, some time, in the playoffs. Which brings us to this morning’s 95.7 The Game interview with Keith Smith, NBA salary cap expert for SpoTrac (who was on our livestream early this season where, at the time, he projected Draymond Green’s market value at $18-20 million/year — this was after The Punch).
[Fyi, a lot of these notes will not be formatted in the most ideal way, in the interests of time. As I’ve mentioned before, hyperlinking doesn’t work well on mobile browser which is how I write these…]
Capologist Keith Smith on 95.7: https://www.audacy.com/957thegame/sports/golden-state-warriors/could-warriors-trade-james-wiseman-before-the-deadline
“I think there is a chance we do see Wiseman moved,” Smith said. “But it’s not just gonna be a salary dump move to save a bunch of money. That’s not how they operate. It’ll be using his contract to go get someone helpful to round out that bench.”
“A bigger wing that’s a little defensive-minded – that’s certainly one thing to look at – a guy like a Jae Crowder could be that player,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of stuff out there, is San Antonio ready to move on with (big man) Jakob Poeltl or (shooting guard) Josh Richardson? Those are a couple of guys I think could probably help the Warriors to some extent. They could cause a little bit of issues because they’ll both be free agents in the offseason and I don’t know how likely it is of re-signing one of those guys. But if you’re whole goal is, ‘Hey, let’s make another run right now, we’ll worry about future problems,’ those are the kind of moves you can consider, maybe using Wiseman and his contract as the balance headed the other way.”
The Wiseman-for-nothing narrative came about from John Hollinger of The Athletic. His trade speculation is often missing the local expertise (the “that’s not how they operate” part of Smith’s analysis of the situation) and, for me, ends up being more entertainment than information, so I won’t excerpt from that article.
Speaking of local expertise, Tim Kawakami reminds us of certain trade limitations and basics, so please, no more Kevin Durant talk, thanks. Fyi the central thesis of TK’s article was that Wiseman and Moses Moody are both vastly under-performing their contracts and therefore aren’t going to yield quality players in return: https://theathletic.com/4155701/2023/02/06/warriors-trade-deadline-mailbag/
They also don’t have or can’t trade their second-round picks this year (to New Orleans to move up for Alen Smailagić in 2019), 2024 (to move up to select Eric Paschall in 2019), 2025 (included in the Kevin Durant/D’Angelo Russell sign-and-trade with Brooklyn) and 2026 (to acquire Omari Spellman from the Hawks in 2019), all part of their necessary hyperactivity in the 2019 offseason after Durant’s departure and the need to restructure the roster.
If you look at their extra pieces, James Wiseman and Moses Moody just don’t have a lot of trade value right now, and they’re basically all the Warriors have to trade. They can’t trade Andrew Wiggins after signing him to an extension less than six months ago, and salary-cap rules make it very difficult to trade Jordan Poole because his new extension hasn’t even started yet. Oh, and this: The Warriors really, really, really don’t want to trade either Wiggins or Poole.
It’d defeat the title purpose to trade Draymond Green, but also, he can become a free agent next summer, which reduces his value to an acquiring team unless it believes it can re-sign him.
Anthony Slater with exclusive quotes from Draymond re the trade deadline; as you might expect, the players don’t expect anything to happen: https://theathletic.com/4162091/2023/02/07/warriors-thunder-nba-trade-deadline/?source=emp_shared_article&access_token=6071372&redirected=1
Offers always get more realistic as the deadline nears. In recent weeks, teams called the Warriors in search of a bargain. If James Wiseman and Moses Moody weren’t providing any current on court value, could they be had for pennies on the dollar? But in recent days, as the conversations league-wide progressively turn more practical, the conceptual deals coming the Warriors’ direction have increased enough to believe something might actually materialize before the buzzer.
But this front office regime is known for its in-season patience and protection of its future. This may be no different.
“If I’m being honest, it feels like one of those deadlines where everyone is expecting everything to go haywire and not much is going to happen (across the league),” Draymond Green told The Athletic. “That’s what I think is going to happen. For me, I’m in this locker room with these guys I play with. We’ve never been a team that moves much at the trade deadline. So I’m not going into this deadline expecting some big moves or something. I don’t know. If it happens, it does. But I’ve been here 11 years and I think we’ve made moves two or three times. We haven’t done much.”
Up next here: a very thorough look under every rock we could find, typically ones suggested by fans or, for whatever reason, got traction on social media. So this is from Chambers and me, our livestream a couple weeks ago on the trade deadline that’s now finally upon us, the nice Bogdanovic trade suggestion, and then after all this, quotes from Myers leading up to this point.
Obviously, all the topics are timestamped, so just click on video above and look in the Description or Comments for the aforementioned timestamps, if you want to watch our discussions unfold.
Presumably in a straight-up trade for JaMychal Green, as both players are making the veteran’s minimum, Dean and I felt that Ibaka wouldn’t move the needle all that much away from what a productive J-Mike would bring.
Also, as it will become a theme for us shooting down a lot of these fan trade speculations, it took Green this long, maybe minus a month of injuries and illnesses, but plus training camp, to integrate with the squad. Why wouldn’t it take just as long for Ibaka? The chemistry ramp-up for him would come at a time when the team’s main focus is chasing wins.
The main issue with Poeltl is his contract. He will be a free agent this summer and the Warriors would have no Bird rights.
Poeltl rumors have him in trade talks with Toronto for presumably a big name and picks or Boston for unprotected pick(s): https://www.spurstalk.com/latest-spurs-insider-intel-jakob-poeltl-trade-offers/
According to a source who works for an NBA agent, talks between the Spurs and the Golden State Warriors have hit a dead end. The Spurs aren’t interested in James Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga, so a trade with the Warriors involving Poeltl is very unlikely.
Side note: Poeltl is quite possibly the wrong benchmark for Draymond’s market price, but remember Keith Smith did come onto our livestream and say $18-20M is what Green will be looking at on the open market. Here, “rival executives” tell Shams that Poeltl is about $20M:
Boogie is currently a free agent so, transactionally, he would have to be added to the roster as the 15th spot. Then you would have two 7-footers on a team whose strength is small-ball.
Also, why would Cousins want to come here? It’s clear from his Nuggets run that he wants minutes and be an impact for the team. We don’t see that happening on the Draymond/Looney-handoff-centric Warriors.
Crowder has made it known that he prefers to start. That would present a problem in the Warriors system, where Draymond is the starting power forward. Crowder would be a nice, versatile piece to have off the bench, if only he’d be willing to do that. And we all know how Steve Kerr can sometimes sit a guy for an extended period of time (see J-Mike). But Crowder still feels he has good mileage left, and I respect that. And while he can shoot, he tends to be streaky, whereby when he’s not hitting he’ll keep launching. His 34.6% career average is just a few percentage points lower than I feel comfortable with, if he’s to be in a deal that sends Wiseman out.
The cool thing about the Caruso speculation is that I first heard of it from a high-IQ commenter on our livestreams back in December. Later, Chicago Bulls beatwriter KC Johnson wrote that the Warriors had interest. The problem for GSW which dispels these rumors is that they don’t have any good picks coming up: https://www.hoopsrumors.com/2023/01/bulls-notes-caruso-vucevic-derozan-trade-deadline.html https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/bulls/bulls-mailbag-will-management-trade-alex-caruso-or-any-big-3
“Someone told me last week that the Chicago Bulls think they could get two first-round picks for Alex Caruso,” Fischer said.
The vultures are circling. Multiple teams have inquired about Alex Caruso, per sources. The Knicks have scouted Caruso of late and own first-round picks that could be dangled with a contract like Obi Toppin if the Bulls show any inclination of trading their defensive ace. The Golden State Warriors also are cited by league sources as a potential suitor.
The main transactional problem is Caruso plays the exact same position as Donte DiVincenzo, who is now playing to his ceiling which is comparable to that of Caruso’s, and therefore Donte is outperforming his contract. It took awhile to get there and DiVincenzo talks about “comfort” every time he answers questions from reporters.
Caruso would have to spend some time getting comfortable with the Warriors’ system while chasing wins. Fans often forget that this is NBA IRL (“in real life”, for those of you not initiated in the latest Internet lexicon), not NBA2K. There’s no algorithm in NBA2K for chemistry ramp-up. It takes awhile to mesh with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Dray and Loon. It just does.
Anyhow, sending the Wiseman contract out to get Caruso’s back does not make sense, either. In December, when the Chicago Bulls were struggling (they still are) and Donte was finding his way with us, this deal might have made sense for Myers. But it didn’t make sense at the time for the Bulls because they couldn’t call the season lost at that point yet.
For all the offensive rebounds that Vanderbilt has gotten against the Warriors, no less, he’s only a 28% career 3PP shooter. That’s an issue if you’re going to play for the Warriors. His $4 million salary makes it difficult to match Wiseman’s, so you’re talking other pieces from the Jazz at that point and the Warriors don’t have the roster spots to accommodate.
Now a moot point due to his recent signed extension, but even a month ago, Turner was going to be unrestricted free agent, so that didn’t make sense even then. His salary was also too high to make pieces fit into the Dubs’ roster.
Carter makes $14 million and averages 15-and-9 as a starter for the Orlando Magic, so I’m not sure why the Magic would want to trade him for an under-performing Wiseman and another under-performing young player.
Speaking of young player, I think we’ve finally reached a point where Jonathan Kuminga is vastly outperforming his contract for us and therefore untouchable, right? That’s the only piece Orlando would want in exchange for Carter.
It’s widely known by now across the league that the Toronto Raptors want a haul for Anunoby (just Google him). But functionally, at 6’7” he’s too small for my tastes on this squad which already has an undersized power forward and center. He’s actually a better career three-point shooter than Crowder and, yes, I wasn’t head-over-heels about Crowder’s height, either. Making $17.3 million, it’s going to take a lot more than just Wiseman to secure a deal with the Raptors to land Anunoby.
However, as I have mentioned on our livestreams, the versatile Anunoby is an up-and-coming young stud. I think a lot of the trade rumor stuff fans get into is just the allure of the name. When there is lack of information to consume, casual fans usually reach for entertainment, thinking it’s information.
I’ve always said the first thing every fan should do is check the salary cap tables the moment they get excited about a trade scenario. This goes for Rui Hachimura ($6.2 million, now a moot point as he was traded to the LA Lakers since our trade deadline livestream) and Christian Koloko ($1.5 million), two more names that were brought up by our audience in previous chats. Those two guys don’t even fit transactionally in a trade for Wiseman.
The Pritchard rumor came about from Brian Robb (MassLive), a Boston Celtics beatwriter, so we can be doubly sure the contents of his report probably happened. One look at the salary cap table for the Celts and you’ll see why. Pritchard is on a favorable contract at $2.2 million and a team option for next season at just $4 million. With the Celtics currently not playing him, it was probably worth a kick in the tires for Myers (rhymes!). Again, this is why you always check the salary cap tables whenever you hear a trade rumor.
Incidentally, Pritchard was a guest recently on Andre Iguodala’s podcast and said he would like to have a bigger role, seemingly reinforcing the Myers kick-the-tires theory.
With Thybulle making $4.4 million playing 12 minutes per game for the Sixers, I think this one falls under the category of kick-the-tires. That’s a pretty team-friendly contract, although he’s only a 32.8% career three-point shooter. But maybe there are other numbers for corner threes, which Kerr’s system generates for wings? I don’t know, I don’t have the time right now to look that up. Maybe there’s something else offensively that Myers sees.
With that relatively small salary, a swap for, say, Moody would be an immediate upgrade for the Warriors, with the experience and excellent defensive capabilities of Thybulle.
Sixers beatwriter Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer on the Warriors’ interest in Thybulle: https://www.inquirer.com/sixers/sixers-matisse-thybulle-nba-trade-deadline-warriors-kings-20230201.html?utm_source=t.co&utm_campaign=edit_social_share_twitter_traffic&utm_medium=social&utm_content=&utm_term=&int_promo=
Multiple NBA sources said the Golden State Warriors have had internal discussions about Thybulle and that they do like him as a defensive stopper. The Sacramento Kings are also reportedly monitoring his availability. A league source confirmed the interest, saying Kings coach Mike Brown is a fan of Thybulle, who would add a defensive presence to Sacramento’s starting lineup. The Kings (28-21), who surprisingly sit at third place in the Western Conference, are pondering upgrades for a postseason push after an NBA-record 16 straight seasons without a playoff appearance. The Kings’ and Warriors’ interest makes sense and is something to pay attention to.
They also want to eliminate some salary to get below the luxury threshold. That’s why Furkan Korkmaz, who is making $5 million this season, and Jaden Springer, whose salary sits at $2.1 million, have been mentioned as guys the Sixers have considered trading in order to shed the $1.1 million needed to get below the league’s $150.3 million threshold.
Thybulle’s $4.3 million salary could also be an option. And his shift from Mr. Untouchable to Mr. Expendable is also far from surprising. He had not progressed offensively to the Sixers’ satisfaction since the conclusion of last season. In the postseason, Thybulle was left wide open while defenders left to double-team his teammates.
Olynyk makes $12.8 million this year, then $12.1 million next, with a career 41% 3PP. So, within range of Wiseman’s contract, this is potentially a good trade scenario. As sellers, the Utah Jazz would probably want something more from Myers, such as Moody, let’s say.
Here’s my main rub: I look at anything involving Wiseman (and another young guy) as needing to be seriously tipping the scales to winning a championship in our favor. For example, Vegas odds-makers have got to see it that way, too.
After all we are ditching a key piece of the two-timeline strategy for winning more championships now, right? I’m so glad that Durant is practically not available, otherwise the people that don’t subscribe to the two-timeline strategy would have a field day. After suffering for two decades in the Chris Cohan era — and I wonder if Lacob feels the same way — I am just not here for the five-year rebuild (btw, look at OKC, they’re exciting and yet not a playoff team yet and they’re already in Year Three).
By dealing Wiseman (plus another young guy), we are trading away a potential long-term franchise pillar for immediate results. As the popular narrative goes, not “wasting Steph’s prime.” Does the addition of Olynyk automatically put us in, say, the Western Conference Finals? I don’t think it does.
This brings me to the “Foundational Six,” as Kerr coined it during the off-season. It’s been largely their responsibility, namely Steph and Dray, for the lackadaisical play against otherwise inferior teams. I’ve been saying this ever since Curry threw away passes in Orlando on that ominous opening 0-5 road trip. But I understand it. It’s harder to win a regular season game in the NBA than it ever has in the history of the league. There are other reasons for hovering around .500 all season, but that’s for another post.
The Number One correctable issue for the Warriors is for the Foundational Six to play better. Granted, Steph is part of that and he’s injured right now, so I mean this when he comes back. Curry even acknowledged that he held responsibility after the loss at Minnesota, in the locker room (thanks to Slater for filming that, as JP would say, “Huge!”):
Getting a guy like Olynyk does not make the team better than if the Foundational Six simply played better.
And yet, Dean found one guy who would:
Overall, I don’t think the Detroit Pistons really covet Wiseman as a centerpiece of a trade, even before James’ string of DNPs, but you never know. But at a $19.5 million salary this year, a deal for sharp-shooter Bogdanovic would have to yield more than Wiseman, maybe Donte and Moody and Patrick Baldwin, Jr., let’s say.
I do not include Kuminga because his athleticism is a dimension sorely needed for the largely unathletic Warriors. I believe we’ve finally reached a point where even casual fans are in agreement with that.
We’ve seen Bogdanovic torch our squad time and time again. A system player, 6’7”, career 40% three-point shooter, nine-year NBA veteran with an additional three as a pro in Turkey, this is the type of guy that would be welcome in the Golden State locker room. There would be little ramp-up time needed and he would immediately contribute to wins. The Boston Celtics would probably go, “Uh oh.”
Some thoughts on James
I wouldn’t trade Wiseman. Neither would Dean, even though the Bogdanovic idea is super-intriguing and, therefore, fun and entertaining.
It might take a little while longer to develop Wiseman, a few minutes here and there, subbing for Looney, nine minutes per game like the first two weeks of the season.
On a team with three or four future Hall-of-Famers, it’s so hard to not make any mistakes on Warriors. James also happens to be 7’1” in shoes out there and sticks out like a sore thumb on your TV screen. So any little mistake is magnified. You’re 0.2 seconds late on a help, you actually look slow. But, man, he sure runs the floor well, better than any other 7-footer not named Joel. Another plus for Wise: he actually does a pretty good job staying in front of guards on defensive switches of the pick-and-roll.
And I’ll repeat: you never know with This League. One great game against Jokic or another seven-footer in the Western Conference playoffs and, suddenly, Wiseman could look a lot like he’s a former No. 2 pick.
Again, that’s what makes this game so great. The regular season is nothing like the playoffs and yet you have to treat both with significance. So, enjoy every moment, just like Steph says!
Overall, my trust lies with Joe-Bob-Steve. Wiseman is such a unique physical presence that, for me, he’s worth keeping. His good Santa Cruz performances prove this.
I’m puzzled by the fans who say, “We owe it to Wiseman to trade him to a team that can give him minutes.”
First of all, this is an odd turn of events from just a few months ago and before that when people were throwing him under the bus. Perhaps they’ve found a new tact to achieve their original wish. Perhaps it’s a new vocal minority that really does have empathy for the kid.
Factually speaking, the Warriors have paid a lot of money for Wiseman’s rehab. They’ve brought constant mentorship through Looney and Iguodala and Klay (per James, check the interviews) and more, and they’ve even hired a coach strictly for the center’s development: Dejan “Decky” Milojevic, Jokic’s former trainer. They’ve done a lot for James. They do not owe it to him to trade him just to get him more minutes.
And it’s like how Marcus Thompson once told me, before LetsGoWarriors was even born, when David Lee — probably on the Mount Rushmore of all-time nicest Warriors guys to media — was constantly being rumored to be traded (circa 2012, is my guess): “Look at his salary! He’s doing fine. He’ll be fine.”
To get into the psychology of it, I think the average fan will point to trades because of a fear of lack of control. It’s odd to me that “play better” isn’t usually the Number One correctable solution for any team that’s struggling. But we at LGW don’t really fear the unknown.
In fact, as taught over time by The GOAT himself (Steph if you’re a newbie), our audience, along with Dean and myself, have learned to enjoy the moment. To do that, you have to embrace the unknown and find joy in the process — we view this as a process of discovery; discovering what we didn’t previously know about this great game of basketball.
As I often mention on the livestreams, my belief is that society in general consists of legions of stressed-out human beings. Stress involves negative thoughts and a combative environment. Stress is a fight-or-flight mode. Twitter is an app that rewards, amplifies and promotes outraged behavior. My only value of it is the information provided by journalists on that app. And so when people are in that state of mind, they are not going to think clearly. They will not be in a state of learning. They want control, some want to fight and win (verbally and, quite frankly, very rudely especially within the confines of 280 characters), and therefore the thought of trading Wiseman becomes paramount. Anyways, come join me on our live chats to discuss this further. There’s a lot more to uncover and I have grossly simplified the situation in these paragraphs.
What about the two-ways?
NBA teams are in complete control of their two-way contracts. During the playoffs, like last season, two-way players provide two extra bodies at practice and can help with team chemistry. As such, we cannot lose Ty Jerome or Anthony Lamb. They will be literally with the team unless Myers waives them.
We can sign them on the last day if needed (or for their respective Game 51). However, there’s only one spot left on the roster. I would think a more versatile wing in Lamb is needed as insurance for the playoffs, assuming the squad is fully healthy, just as I think Wiseman himself is (expensive) Looney/Jokic/Embiid insurance at the end of the day.
Slater explicitly states that Lamb is expected to be the 15th slot and J-Mike would be the first guy on the list of expendables should Myers decide to do some kind of deal: https://theathletic.com/4089003/2023/01/19/warriors-trade-scenarios-kuminga-wiseman/?source=nbatw
If that’s Lamb and if there’s another player to be added either via trade, free-agent signing or in the buyout market, then another roster spot would need to be cleared. The most prudent financial way to do that is at the deadline, as the Warriors did with Wanamaker and Chriss a couple years ago, clearing the tax hit. If JaMychal Green doesn’t return and grab firmer hold of a rotation spot before the deadline, he’d be the most obvious candidate.
Incidentally, I see Lamb as a potential high-IQ defensive player. Therefore, I see him as a potential long-term piece for the Warriors. People on social media were throwing him under the bus recently for the help defense off the strong-side corner.
One, he wouldn’t have helped if he had trusted the point-of-attack defense of his teammate (yes, it was Jordan Poole) and two, you want a guy who has natural defensive instincts. I could envision Lamb having the license to roam next season, as Draymond. I believe Lamb has earned it, a rare thing to be earned on this team. And it all really started with the five stops in fifteen seconds very early in the season:
What about Andre?
Steve has already said (just this past week) that Iguodala will be ready when the performance staff tells him he’s ready. Let’s not forget that Rick Celebrini is actually Doctor Rick Celebrini.
Contrary to impatient and angry fans’ wishes, I don’t think Iguodala will retire because, as a venture capitalist who once went out of his way to get the Sacramento Kings to offer him $16 million just so Lacob would have to match, he is going to covet every penny.
Of course, GSW could just waive him to create the roster spot, if they needed it. His salary cap hold as a veteran’s minimum isn’t that much. But I think if he’s 100% healthy, he’s worth more in the playoffs than whatever ceiling Jerome or Lamb have.
Quotes from Bob
DISCLAIMER: These are all just notes for my main workflow of YouTube videos, mostly transcribed by me shortly after the interviews and during my coverage of postgame on our livestreams (!). Sometimes I’ll just use what’s tweeted by beatwriters, as listed. The links to the tweets are not available because sometimes I don’t use the full tweet and just having a ton of tweets on this website imo isn’t aesthetically pleasing and gets away from the main goal: transferring information (not so much entertainment) to the brains of DubNation asap.
• Bob Myers on weekly radio show 2/1/2023 on Klay shooting 46-43-91 in January: “I'm optimistic that he's only going to be getting better.” (95.7 The Game)
• On the Feb. 9 NBA Trade Deadline: “I think we stack up good enough, but you always want to add to your margin of error... Can you increase that margin of error [is the goal at the deadline].” (95.7 The Game)
• On load management: “The game, pace, energy expended has changed. You're seeing more fatigue in the game now... Guys not wanting to play isn't true.” (95.7 The Game)
• On why this year's Trade Deadline is different than any other year: “You're seeing the parity. That's what's complicating this deadline. Many teams are doing what we're doing, asking themselves, 'Well how good are we?'... I've talked to a lot of GM's and I ask what they're trying to do. They're like, "I don't even know what to do. I think we're good enough, but we're .500.' That's unique...This year is different because there are less sellers... I think the league thought more teams would clearly be out on the playoffs at this time. That's not the case... There aren't a lot of teams making the decision that the season is lost...If 22 of the 30 teams in the league are all wanting to get better, it doesn't make for a lot of trading partners.” (95.7 The Game)
• On James Wiseman’s season: “It’s a cutthroat deal…James will, at some point, get an opportunity.” (95.7 The Game)
• On whether the Warriors will actually lose money this season, given their already-hefty luxury tax bill for 2022/23: “It depends how far we go in the playoffs. If we go to the finals, we should be OK. If we don’t, we’ll probably lose money… All I could tell you is we’re just trying to keep up. We have a unique situation in that we have this aging but still great set of players. We have championship aspirations, and it costs a lot of money to do that. And we’re going to try like heck to rectify our finances going forward, but not at the expense of being able to win.” (Alex Kirschenbaum)
• On if Golden State will retain veterans Green, who has a player option for 2023/24, and Thompson, who will reach free agency in 2024: “I want to keep those guys here. I want them to be here. As long as they’re playing at a very high level, rest assured they will be here. I would love obviously for some of them to sacrifice (in salary) a little bit, or what they perceive as a sacrifice, to stay and to help our organization maintain a great roster. You always hope for that. It usually doesn’t happen. And I can’t blame them because they have limited life spans as players and they want to make as much money as they can… Draymond and Klay, first of all, they’re both under contract for next year, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here… In Draymond’s case, he gets to decide, he has the power. He gets to opt in or opt out, do what he wants. I’d love for him to stay.” (Alex Kirschenbaum)
• On being open to foot the bill for the 2023/24 season, a potential $450M payroll: “It’s not possible without losing quite a bit of money at the bottom line, let’s put it that way, I can’t really answer the question right now other than to say: When have you ever known me not to be aggressive? We are aggressive. We’ll do whatever we can do if it makes sense and we’re in a winning, real championship mode.” (Alex Kirschenbaum)
• On the Bob Myers contract extension situation: “It is not accurate that he has somehow not been offered anything. He’s been offered several — there’s been two offers at this point. I’m trying. Have you ever known me not to be aggressive? That is crazy to sit here and say – and I’m sorry, I have to say I hope Bob doesn’t get upset or his agent – but I just want to clarify that. It’s just not fair to put us in a situation that someone put something out there that he hasn’t been offered anything. That’s just not true…He’s gotta make a decision. What he wants to do with his life, what’s the appropriate compensation. If he feels it’s fair, if we feel it’s fair. It’s really just a negotiation. To be totally honest with you, I fully expect Bob will be back. He’s a great negotiator. What do you want him to do? He’s supposed to do this. We love Bob and we want him back..” (Alex Espinoza)
• On winning another title: “Well, the thing I said last year about this group was, let's let them try to win the whole thing until somebody proves them wrong or knocks them off. And so it's the same thing this year, through all the ups and downs, the rollercoaster season, it's be healthy and let's see someone beat those guys... I feel like we've got as good of a chance as anybody…And it's not just [Curry, Green, Thompson], it's the whole team. But we view it the same way. Because until that happens, who am I to say we're incapable or they're incapable? If it doesn't happen, you can start saying those things…But at this point, it's not disrespectful to the rest of the Western Conference that has some wonderful players and teams that have a great chance of winning it, too. But it's more about us and being realistic about who we are and saying, 'OK, we don't think we're better than anybody, but we don't think we're worse than anybody.'” (Angelina Martin)
• On the core Hall-of-Fame players: “Whether we like to hear this or not, players do get older and their skills erode. The question is trying to time all that. We would like them to retire – all 3 of them – as Warriors. I really would like that. We would like that. And I think they would like that. We’re gonna try to do that if it makes sense. But unfortunately, if you look through the history of professional sports, the NBA, it usually doesn’t end that way. Players want to hang on a little longer than they can or should. Organizations sometimes want to hang to a dream longer. You’re trying to balance that all into perspective and balance it all. Bill Walsh – I think I’ve quoted him before – once said, ‘Better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late.’ Not saying we’re thinking like that necessarily, but it’s really an important statement. You don’t wanna go through a decade of being bad either for our fans. It’s a very difficult calculus. I wanna keep those guys here…As long as they’re playing at a very high level, you can rest assured they will be here.” (Alex Espinoza)
• On Steve Kerr’s contract: “Honestly, we really haven’t got to that point. Steve is doing his job. He’s in Year 4 of a five-year deal. He’s done a great job and we’ll deal with that later.” (Alex Espinoza)
• On how the team is weighing Wiseman’s development against the win-now needs of the roster: “There’s always a timetable in sports, whether we like it or not…But he’s 21 years old. You have to put this in perspective. And he’s an immense talent, he’s an incredibly hard worker, he really cares. These things matter. He had a lot of really bad breaks as we all know, it’s been well chronicled…also in an organization and on a team which is trying to win championships. It’s different than playing somewhere they’re just throwing everybody out there, young guys are putting up numbers, getting a lot of experience. It’s hard for our young guys to do that here.” (Alex Kirschenbaum)
Bob on his future as Warriors GM
• Madeline Kenney exclusive with Myers, from after practice yesterday (1/24/2023) so it was before TheAthletic released its article, so Kenney pivoted and only included quotes about Myers’ future so as to take advantage of the hype around TheAthletic’s post: https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/01/25/warriors-gm-bob-myers-completely-focused-on-this-season-with-contract-expiring/
“I’m completely focused on this season… I enjoy coming to work every day and again, when the season’s over… all that stuff, I’ll figure it out but if I wasn’t enjoying myself each day, I wouldn’t do this,” Myers said. “So people won’t like the answer but the job each day requires so much attention and … focus, I really haven’t [thought much beyond this year.] And people might not believe me, but I’m really focused on this, there’s a huge breadth to it, it’s not just the trade deadline, it’s every day. I feel good now, we’ll see how I feel at the end of the year.”
• Imo this is one of those “I poked around and got some stuff back” articles. I have said all along (on the livestreams) that Bob might be contemplating retirement from being GM. He had a good run. But such a prediction is as valid as any other prediction so I’m back to whole notion of, why not just embrace the unknown and let whatever happens happen. I understand this is just NBA media doing its job. Many casuals will not realize this, though. https://theathletic.com/4123595/2023/01/25/warriors-bob-myers-contract-extension/?source=emp_shared_article&redirected=1
Bottom line: it’s far too early to tell where Myers might land if he leaves the Warriors, or if he’ll remain in the NBA at all. Sources close to Myers have also left open the possibility he could pursue opportunities outside the sport. That would give credence to the idea Myers may leave the Warriors because of burnout.
Some final league-wide insights (Smith)
• I've been beating this drum in articles, and on podcasts and radio spots: This is the time for Memphis to make a big move. They have a ton of tax clearance, picks to trade and more guys than they have real roster spots for moving forward. Oh, and they are REALLY good right now! I feel somewhat similarly about the Pelicans, but I get if they think they are one year away, given injuries. And the Kings should pile together that $20M-ish for non-rotation guys to make a move that will finally end the playoff drought. Both also have a ton of tax clearance. (Keith Smith)
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