Warriors’ Lacob Talks Playoffs, Poole, Young Core

The Warriors were forced to play without at least one of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Stephen Curry for the majority of 2021/22, as the three veteran stars each dealt with injuries and shared the court for just 11 minutes during the regular season.

Through two playoff games, Thompson, Green, and Curry have spent 30 minutes playing together and the Warriors have posted a +45.9 net rating during those minutes. Up 2-0 over Denver and firing all cylinders, this version of the club is the one owner Joe Lacob has been waiting all season to see, he told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

“This is the team we paid for,” said Lacob, referring to the record-setting cost of the roster. “We never really had the team together all year. So I’m excited to see them all play together. We never really got to see it. I think it’s exciting to see it.”

Lacob acknowledged that it has only been two games and that he doesn’t want to rush to any judgments, especially without having played on the road at all yet. But based on what he has seen so far, he feels good about Golden State’s chances of making a deep playoff run.

“I think one would have to certainly look at what we’ve done in the first two games and say it looks pretty good,” Lacob told Kawakami.

Here’s more from the Warriors’ owner:

  • Lacob told Kawakami that he’s thrilled about the emergence of Jordan Poole, who has “arguably been our best player for a month and a half.” With the third-year guard eligible for a lucrative rookie scale extension this offseason, Kawakami asked Lacob just how far the Warriors are willing to extend their payroll to make sure they lock up Poole and keep their core intact. “I’m not going to talk about salary because it’s irrelevant right now,” he replied. “We’re in this year. After the year’s over we’re all evaluating where we are, and we’ll try to put the best team on the court we can for next year. And we’ll see what that is.”
  • Lacob admitted to Kawakami that he got a little nervous during the Warriors’ 1-7 slump near the end of the regular season, but said he was confident the team would be fine once it got healthy. “This isn’t baseball. This isn’t football. This isn’t 50 guys or 25 guys,” Lacob said. “One guy can make a huge difference. You add Steph Curry to what we were doing at the end of the year, it’s pretty good.”
  • Even as Curry, Thompson, and Green enter their mid-30s, the Warriors are well positioned to remain competitive for the foreseeable future due to a young core of Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wiseman, all of whom are 22 or younger. Lacob said he’s pleased that the Warriors’ decision to focus on both the present and future appears to be paying dividends. “There are a couple teams, I’m not going to say who, there’s some other teams that went all-in on older players,” Lacob told Kawakami. “And older players do get injured. That’s the thing you have to remember. Suppose we had made a trade, traded away all our youth, for I don’t know, you name the guy, and they’re injured, out for the year. Anytime you’re over 30, 32, 35, these people get injured. It’s data.”
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