Pacific Notes: Suns, Tatum, Warriors, Kings

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum spoke this week about being enamored by the Suns leading up to the 2017 draft and hoping to fall to Phoenix at No. 4. According to Tatum, a meeting with the Suns’ then-coach Earl Watson a few days before the draft helped sell him on the organization. Speaking on Monday to Jay King of The Athletic, Watson confirmed that he was high on Tatum during the pre-draft process.

As Watson tells it, he wanted Tatum badly enough that he had some “uncomfortable” conversations with team owner Robert Sarver, who preferred Josh Jackson. Watson tells King that he tried to get the Suns to do whatever it took to get in position to land Tatum.

“I was pushing Tatum,” Watson said. “Like, we had to move up for Tatum, we had to get Tatum. And ownership chose Josh Jackson. … I knew the two players were dynamically different, but my vision was what’s the best fit for Devin Booker. Booker and Tatum, I think a combination like that right now would have been completely different than anything in the NBA at that age.”

Although Watson’s story is compelling, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 pushes back against the former head coach’s recollections of the 2017 draft. According to Gambadoro (via Twitter), the Suns had Tatum ranked ahead of Jackson on their board and would have drafted Tatum if they’d had the opportunity to do so.

As Gambadoro explains (via Twitter), since the Celtics initially controlled the No. 1 pick and had Tatum atop their board, the Suns had no avenue to move up to select the young forward. Presumably, when Boston swung a deal to move down to No. 3, the C’s had assurances that the Sixers and Lakers wouldn’t be trading out of the top two spots, which would have been Phoenix’s only path to Tatum.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Teams around the NBA are reopening their practice facilities for individual voluntary workouts, but that won’t happen anytime soon for the Warriors, who are tentatively aiming for June 1, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. As Slater observes, the last-place Dubs won’t have the same urgency to return to their building as some other California teams might, so they’re “waiting for the (government) order, not influencing it.”
  • After Klay Thompson recently cautioned against assuming the Warriors‘ dynasty is over, fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry conveyed a similar sentiment in an interview with Jermaine O’Neal (video link via Chris Montano). “It’s going to look different. It’s going to have a new cast of characters that are going to contribute at a high level,” Curry said. “But the DNA and the chemistry that us three (Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green) have, we’re going to be in good shape coming out of this.”
  • Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee takes a look at the financial toll that COVID-19 is taking on the Kings, who are preparing for the possibility of “tens of millions of dollars in uninsured losses.”
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35 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Suns, Tatum, Warriors, Kings

  1. phillyballers

    Warriors will have Wiseman, Draymond, Wiggins, Klay, and Curry. They’ll be just fine next year and probably come out of the West.

    The bench will be filled out by guys on veteran minimums and/or rookie contracts. It’s still a ring-chasing destination with a healthy roster. Evan Turner, Kent Bazemore, Biyombo, guys like that, who no one will ever pay up for again. but are valuable on the defensive end. They’ll be rounding out the roster.

    • RootedInOakland

      Trust me we ain’t drafting Wiseman breh, our FO isn’t high on him or Ball plus drafting a true center that high is idiotic in today’s game. We need another wing that can ideally be a stretch 4 when Dray shifts to the 5 (aka an Iggy replacement) and we can find a rim protector/elite rebounder in free agency using the MLE instead of wasting a top pick.

      • ThePeople'sElbow

        so who is that stretch 4 in the draft then? and who’s trading up with the dubs for the #1 pick they should get if the balls bounce the right way.

        I’d like to see Gallinari picked up with the Iggy trade exception, he’d slot in perfectly as a stretch 4. 40%+ from 3pt this season.

        • hiflew

          I can’t stand it when people say stuff like this. Perhaps he is a Warriors fan that follows Warriors news more closely than general basketball fans. There is a lot of room between Hoops Rumors commenter and assistant general manager when it comes to knowing about a team.

    • claude raymond

      Trade back and get veteran fit. I’m not knowledgeable enough about rest of league…I wish I was…but there’s gotta be a team, not in the lottery, in the East, looking to shed someone and wanting to draft high. Help me out. A lotta posters sound way more capable of clueing me in. That’s not sarcasm, I admit ignorance.

      But from what I see from watching every gsw game, even the losing ones this year, I see wiseman as a wasted pick considering you could trade the pick as said above. I know the warriors, I just don’t remember specific opponents.

      Kinda like listening to good music but not knowing the name of a song nor the band.

      Chriss, to me, could be another wiseman. He’s got a lot to offer and getting better.

      And as far as complimentary players, why not get the guys back they traded. Robinson, burks, etc? Poole and Lee were showing they could play.

      • hiflew

        Humility is a trait not often seen around here, myself definitely included. It’s quite refreshing.

        Anyway, as far as players that might be picked up for the pick, what about Rudy Gobert? No matter what is said in Utah, that’s just not something that is going to be forgotten. Even if the players can put it aside, as long as Mitchell and Gobert play together, this thing will be brought up time and time again in interviews.

        Aaron Gordon is another that is talked about. I think he would better than anyone in the draft as far as complementing the current W’s roster, but I think they could do better.

        Myles Turner could also be a possibility. The #1 might be an overpay for him, but Turner, TJ Warren, and Indy’s #1 for Wiggins and GS’s #1 could work.

        • phillyballers

          Okay everyone keeps saying trade the pick for a veteran. That involves trading Wiggins, who is a wing and looked like he was improving his overall game. No one is giving up a quality wing. An Iggy type means you want an older 30+ wing? Iggy is also a FA.

          Wiseman had 5.5 blocks in HS and 3.0 in his 3 games at Memphis. 11 blocks in 6 games for USAB. He looks like a good on-ball defender.

          He has moves and isnt just a rim runner.

          So, he could be a key defensive addition to the GSW and he has a frame to fill out that can go toe to toe with the other centers in the West.

        • claude raymond

          Thx hiflew, so could a trade happen for goners or someone similar by JUST using the pick? Is Wiggins a must in ALL trade scenarios? Personally, it won’t bother me if they lose him as long as there’s addition with subtraction

            • claude raymond

              And, even tho it’s been argued that the some of the talent that performed well this year would struggle in bench roles, why not bring them back on workable salaries. Robinson, burks, spellman. With Lee, mulder, Poole, Toscano they could be deep. And could replace Wiggins potentially.

              Am I in left field!

              • hiflew

                The Warriors have a big trade exception from Iggy that they could use, but you wouldn’t be able to get a player back making over $17MM or so unless Wiggins (or Dray) was involved. Turner would fit in the exception, and he might be a possibility if the W’s don’t do well in the lottery. I wouldn’t trade the #1 straight up for Turner, but if they fall to 3, 4, or 5, I would make that deal. And I think the Pacers would make that deal too since Sabonis seems to have passed Turner and they could use a high pick to get over the hump into the elite instead of being stuck in the middle of the draft.

  2. Wiseman could be their pick. Some reports say no and others say yes. They don’t need scoring out of him just rebounds and setting picks. Ball is not on their radar at all.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      No way in hell is Ball getting drafted by the Dubs unless it’s to flip him for something else. Dude can’t shoot any many think his shot is broken, we don’t need a Markelle Fultz project for a year when the window is still open.

      • Warriors sent staff to look at Ball and returned very disappointed. ball is to raw and will need time in the G league. Ball does shoot better than his brother but lacks team play.

  3. Simmons>Russ

    I think Wiseman makes sense because of GSWs need for a 5 and stuff but it just won’t happen. They often just impact the vet min impact C, look at Bogut, McGee and ZaZa for examples.

    I RootedinOakland is right they they want a replacement for Iggy a 3/4 forward that’s good on both ends of the floor. I also think they want Giannas and will be packaging everything they can for him. But if they can’t grab him then looking at the person most like Iggy it would be either Obbi Toppin who is the big physical combo forward. He’s also probably one of the most NBA ready players in the draft and will easily be able to score 10+, while giving you 5+ rebounds either starting or off the bench.

    Another idea I kind of like is if you can’t trade for Giannas maybe try trade for Siakim. He’s a 4 that can play make and score and rebound like Giannas just not as athletic. He’s definitely a better shooter which suits GSWs system. Plus GSW have Andrew Wiggins who is born and raised in Canada.

    Wiggins plus the first overall pick and 2 second round picks for Siakim…

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      Siakim would be an interesting get. Hard to see TOR trading him though.

    • x%sure

      Wiggins has not proven himself a winner yet; given his large salary, he’s not a good asset for a squeezed team. also I suspect Ujiri wants to count on himself as a talent-finder more than a talent-signer.

      Counting on vet min players is a risky draft strategy considering the draft comes first and everybody’s plans are up in the air. They are thin and should go for depth: trade down or for vets if possible.

    • hiflew

      No way is Siakam getting dealt. The Raptors are not exactly in rebuild mode. They were a top 4 seed in the East with a very young top star.

  4. phillyballers

    Wiseman is BPA, you take BPA at the top of the NBA draft, not need. Overdrafting need, might as well trade the pick bc your likely wasting it.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      the dubs will most certainly shop the #1 pick if got, look at the NYK to panic over pay for it because they think LaMello Ball is the next superstar

      • claude raymond

        Have the Knicks shown they like Ball that much? Rumor? Fact? What have you heard elbow?

    • hiflew

      That seems like an opinion that a Philly fan wouldn’t have after the Embiid, Noel, Okafor debacle when Philly just kept drafting the same position year after year.

      Overdrafting is a complete misnomer anyway. All mock drafts are just one person’s opinion when it comes down to it. If one person has a guy #5 on his mock and another has him at #15 on his mock, is it overdrafting to pick him at 5? If you have a team and a guy doesn’t fit in your system, then you are probably going to rate him lower than someone else. If you don’t, then you probably shouldn’t be rating players to begin with.

      • phillyballers

        Okafor wasnt BPA, Porzingis didnt want to play in Philly, but Okafor > Noel skill wise. And they moved up to draft Fultz bc it was a need instead of standing pat at 3 and seeing who fell to them. No big man was the BPA at 3 that year, shouldn’t have moved up, instead trading back for 5 and 10 was a better idea or taking Fox at 3.

        The top of the draft is pretty much a consensus. There isnt much deviation in the NBA. Once you get past 4 or 5 theres a lot of debate every year. Typically drafts are 1 to 4 player drafts and the rest is more of a crap shoot and you see risers pop into the lottery out of no where.

        A lot of boards or mocks arent updated, and Wiseman fell on some simply bc out of sight out of mind. Not seeing him play versus seeing other guys play skews rankings to the latter.

        Walterfootball has a nice database of the Top-5 for 19 mocks.

  5. claude raymond

    From Swartz article on potential NBA trade proposals in bleacher report:

    Warriors Receive: PF/C John Collins, SG Kevin Huerter (if pick lands No. 1 overall)

    Hawks Receive: 2020 first-round pick

    Golden State may land the first overall pick, and it should be looking for players who can contribute immediately to a dynasty on pause.

    LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards would make for an awkward fit in an already set backcourt. The Warriors should seek out a floor-stretching big man instead.

    Collins is averaging 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks and shooting 40.1 percent from three at age 22, and he could play power forward or center next to Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and company. Thompson would be perfect for Huerter to learn under as a fellow 6’7″ shooting guard who can splash it from deep.

    For Atlanta, getting a top pick in the draft means putting together one of the best young backcourts in the NBA with Trae Young.

    Edwards would be a perfect fit—a dynamic scorer with size (6’5″, 225 pounds) who wouldn’t have to travel far from the University of Georgia to his new Atlanta home. A lineup of Young, Edwards, Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela could be the best in the East in a few years.

    • claude raymond

      Problem with this, besides it being dumb for the Hawks, is there is no mention of salary issues for GSW

      • hiflew

        They have the Iggy trade exception which means there would be no salary issue when taking back $17MM or so. Collins would easily fit into that exception.

          • hiflew

            To me, no. But if the Hawks feel they can get potentially 2 of the top 5 prospects this year since their pick will be pretty high too, maybe they go for it. Wiseman could replace Collins and they could add Anthony Edwards who fits geographically if nothing else.

            Personally I am not that high on any prospect in this year’s draft. At least not for the money they would be paid in their draft slot selection. I would love Wiseman with the #10 pick, but not top 5 money. Edwards I think will be a huge bust. I am in SEC country and watched several of his games this season and was not that impressed. But that’s just my opinion.

            • claude raymond

              Thx hiflew. Your post makes me surer yet that trading back would get the most talent

              • claude raymond

                Lottery results will probably generate the trades. I don’t envision trades until then. Probably an obvious comment.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    There is only two ways of thinking Warriors pick. Probably #1 pick. For sure top 3. Warriors are in win now mode. There is NO doubt about that. No doubt. Even with a depleted team. They took out Rockets. The West does not have a team a healthy Warriors team fears. I’m not a Warriors fan. Warriors need size. That’s just a fact. LA, Utah, Denver, Portland all have size. SO …..
    One scenario you trade for established young players. Strengthen you depth and team. Or you trade for a star. Or you trade for older star who helps you now and next three yrs. First pick and Wiggins. Can get A LOT of value back. Not sure if they will trade Wiggins. Could also move him at trade deadline. They have a few strong trade options. My personal feeling is they move the pick at draft. Most valuable then.
    Two scenario is they draft BPA for them. Wiseman is for real. I would love to have him. He can fit in at 20-26 mins a gm. Sign a vet C to share. Howard is a FA. Plus he solidifies your future too. He will learn to win. And grow the right way. Wiseman is a two way player. Who can take his time to grow. I would take Wiseman. Same thing if they don’t get top pick. Edwards can back up and learn and grow. No pressure to perform. They sign a big, or two. Now their depth at wing is strong. Even Toppin makes them stronger and deeper. And he can step right in and help now. Another about drafting big or signing one. If helps Drey age better. And will keep him stronger for playoffs. The Warriors are in a great position. IMO they will be favorites to win it all next yr. Wiggins is wild card. How he meshes with team intact. We haven’t seen that. So they wait and see till trade deadline. Or if a great offer comes up in draft. You do it. The Warriors are sitting pretty right now. Whole NBA is watching them.

    Tell you what as Knick fan. I’d be interested in #1 pick. I would take Wiseman. I’d give up Robinson, Payton or Nttilikina, plus a future #1 pick. Robinson is young ready for mins now. Young and solid future. He fits well with Drey. And dudes in NY we don’t want LaMello. We don’t need drama or a one way player. Who needs to get his down. LaMello is overrated and if his head is right. Is still 4 yrs away. Halliburton is the best PG in this draft. Two way player can excel both ways.

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