- Warriors forward Kelly Oubre made some comments in March suggesting he wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea of coming off the bench, but he accepted a reserve role in stride upon his return to action on Monday, head coach Steve Kerr told reporters (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). Oubre’s role as a sixth man gives the second unit a boost this season and could be a preview of next season’s rotation if the 25-year-old re-signs with Golden State, writes Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area.
APRIL 19: The Warriors have officially re-signed Payton, per a team tweet.
The versatile guard appeared in five games during his first 10-day deal, averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 3.6 minutes per night. He was effective in Saturday’s loss to the Celtics, Slater notes, displaying his defensive skills in seven minutes of action.
Payton, 28, has logged brief stays with four teams in a five-year NBA career. He has also spent extensive time in the G League and was named Defensive Player of the Year during the league’s abbreviated season in Orlando.
Payton will earn $118,983 during his second 10-day contract. If it’s finalized today, it will expire April 27, and the Warriors would have to sign him for the rest of the season if they want to keep him on the roster beyond that.
The disabled player exceptions that teams have been granted throughout the 2020/21 season will expire if they go unused on Monday. April 19 is this year’s deadline to use or lose those exceptions.
As our breakdown shows, the Warriors, Nets, Heat, and Wizards each received a disabled player exception this season for injuries to Klay Thompson, Spencer Dinwiddie, Meyers Leonard, and Thomas Bryant, respectively. The Magic were given a pair of DPEs due to season-ending injuries suffered by Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz.
None of those five teams have used their disabled player exceptions — the Heat forfeited theirs when they decided to trade Leonard to the Thunder in a deal for Trevor Ariza, but the rest are still available.
We go into more detail on how exactly disabled player exceptions work in our glossary entry on the subject. But essentially, a DPE gives a team the opportunity to add an injury replacement by either signing a player to a one-year contract, trading for a player in the final year of his contract, or placing a waiver claim on a player in the final year of his contract.
At this point in the season, any free agent on the open market typically commands no more than the minimum salary. And since the trade deadline has passed, it’s extremely unlikely that Golden State, Brooklyn, Washington, or Orlando will use their exceptions before the end of the day.
Theoretically, any one of those teams could use its DPE to place a waiver claim on Moritz Wagner‘s $2.16MM expiring contract, but he’ll likely end up just clearing waivers later today.
- Warriors forward Eric Paschall is going through controlled individual workouts and hopes to practice with the team after its current road trip is finished, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Paschall suffered a hip flexor strain that has kept him out of action since April 2.
Warriors star Stephen Curry will be entering a contract year in 2021/22 if he doesn’t reach an extension agreement in the offseason with the team. However, he doesn’t sound like someone eager to test free agency. Asked by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (video link) how much of a priority it is to spend his entire career in Golden State, Curry affirmed that’s his plan.
“It’s always been a priority,” Curry said. “When you look at guys like Dirk (Nowitzki), Kobe (Bryant), that I played against and have heard them talk about what that’s meant, they don’t speak on it lightly. There’s a reverence for that club.
“You never know what can happen, obviously, but I feel like that’s always been something that would mean so much to me. You want to stay competitive, you want to stay in that fight where you’re winning championships. If I can accomplish both, that’s the ultimate goal.”
Here’s more on the Warriors:
- Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confirmed on Thursday night that James Wiseman‘s surgery was the more intricate meniscus repair, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. That procedure involves a longer recovery time, as we discussed earlier this week. It’s the same route the Grizzlies took with Jaren Jackson Jr., who has yet to play this season.
- Anthony Slater of The Athletic breaks down the takeaways from Wiseman’s rookie season and looks ahead to what’s next for the young center, noting that the 20-year-old’s offense was ahead of his defense in year one.
- Juan Toscano-Anderson has outplayed his two-way contract this season and figures to earn a promotion to the standard roster at some point, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “You hope that (two-way) tag doesn’t last too much longer,” Curry said. “But while it does, he’s obviously playing way above that label.”
- Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report takes a closer look at the challenging financial situation that the Warriors face this offseason and beyond.
The rookie season of Warriors center James Wiseman, the second pick in the 2020 NBA draft, is officially over. Wiseman went under the knife for surgery today in Los Angeles to address a right meniscal tear, the team announced in a tweet.
The Warriors, who confirmed that Wiseman will miss the remainder of the 2020/21 season, will supply an update for Wiseman’s recovery timeline in September. The club expects him to return in ’21/22.
Reports emerged on Sunday (as we relayed) that the 20-year-old big man did indeed suffer a meniscus tear and could be in jeopardy of missing the rest of the season as Golden State made a push for a play-in tournament appearance. He will finish his first NBA season out of Memphis having appeared in 39 games, including 27 starts.
The seven-footer posted averages of 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG on 51.9% shooting from the floor across 21.4 MPG. Head coach Steve Kerr has opted to sub in veteran big man Kevon Looney as the Warriors’ starting center.
Warriors center James Wiseman will undergo surgery on his right knee later this week, league sources tell Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The procedure is expected to take place as soon as Thursday, Slater adds.
Wiseman, who injured his right knee on Saturday, reportedly suffered a torn meniscus. The Warriors, who have spent the last few days getting multiple opinions on the injury and assessing the potential options, have decided that surgery is the way to go.
Although Wiseman will go under the knife, the exact nature of the procedure and his possible recovery timeline remain up in the air. As Slater explains, the surgeon likely won’t determine the best course of action until getting a clearer look at the tear during the procedure.
Trimming the meniscus is one option, which would result in about a four-to-six week recovery timetable. A full repair of the meniscus is also being considered and would mean several months of recovery time. The Warriors are comfortable with either approach, according to Slater, who says the rookie’s season is likely over either way, since the club wants to be cautious with the No. 2 overall pick.
In 39 games (21.4 MPG) this season, Wiseman averaged 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG on 51.9% shooting. In his absence, Kevon Looney has taken over as Golden State’s starting center. The team is also said to be mulling another frontcourt addition.
It’s been nearly two months since we checked in on the status of 2021’s traded first-round picks, and there have been plenty of shifts in the NBA standings since then. Those changes have an impact on where in the draft certain traded picks will land, as well as whether or not some protected picks will change hands at all.
With just over a month left in the 2020/21 regular season, it’s worth revisiting the traded first-round picks for 2021. With the help of our reverse standings tool, here’s our latest look at which of those traded picks are most and least likely to change hands, and which ones are still up in the air:
Picks that will definitely change hands:
- Knicks acquiring Mavericks‘ pick (unprotected).
- Rockets acquiring Bucks‘ pick (top-nine protected swap).
The only unprotected traded pick for the 2021 draft, the Mavs’ selection currently projects to be the No. 21 overall pick. That would be a reasonably good outcome for the Knicks, but there’s even more upside here — since Dallas is currently the No. 7 seed in the West, a win in the play-in tournament may be necessary to secure a playoff spot.
The NBA has yet to clarify exactly how draft positioning will be affected by the play-in results, but presumably if the Mavs don’t clinch a postseason berth in the play-in, that pick would move into the lottery.
Meanwhile, the Rockets will acquire the Bucks’ pick, currently projected to land at No. 24 overall, in a swap for their own second-rounder (No. 32, for now).
Picks that definitely won’t change hands:
- Grizzlies acquiring Jazz‘s pick (1-7 and 15-30 protection).
- Pelicans acquiring Lakers‘ pick (8-30 protection).
- Rockets acquiring Pistons‘ pick (top-16 protected).
The Jazz are definitely making the postseason and the Pistons definitely aren’t, so their picks (currently projected to be No. 30 and No. 4, respectively) won’t change hands.
The Grizzlies should at least be able to count on getting Utah’s first-rounder in 2022, when it will become top-six protected. It may be a while before the Rockets get a pick from Detroit though — that first-rounder remains heavily protected in 2022 (top-16), 2023 (top-18), and 2024 (top-18) before those protections start to loosen a little.
As for the Lakers‘ pick, it isn’t technically a lock yet — there’s theoretically a scenario in which L.A. misses the playoffs and then moves into the top four in the lottery, sending its pick to the Pelicans. But that’s an extreme long shot. The Lakers’ pick is at No. 23 for now.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Knicks have the ability to swap their own 2021 first-rounder for the Clippers‘ pick. At the moment though, New York’s pick would be No. 15 and L.A.’s would be No. 26, so that won’t happen.
Still up in the air:
- Warriors acquiring Timberwolves‘ pick (top-three protected).
- Magic acquiring Bulls‘ pick (top-four protected).
- Thunder acquiring Warriors‘ pick (top-20 protected).
That Timberwolves pick will be a fascinating one to watch in the lottery. If Minnesota finishes with a bottom-three record, there will be a 40.1% chance it remains in the top three.
The Warriors will actually be rooting for the Wolves to finish with the NBA’s worst record, since in that scenario, there’s a 59.9% chance the pick lands at No. 4 or No. 5. If the Wolves instead have the third-worst record, the pick would be just as likely to land in the top three, but could slip as far as No. 6 or No. 7.
The Magic will have a good chance of landing the Bulls‘ pick, which currently projects to be the No. 10 overall selection. If Chicago remains in that spot, there would only be about a 14% chance of the pick moving up into the top four.
Golden State’s own pick, which currently projects to be No. 13, is unlikely to be sent to the Thunder unless the Warriors get hot late in the season. Assuming the Warriors’ first-rounder is protected, Oklahoma City would instead receive Minnesota’s second-round pick (currently No. 31).
Latest on the Rockets/Thunder/Heat/Blazers/Nets situation:
As a reminder, this series of trades and pick swaps is too convoluted to fit cleanly into any of the above sections. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:
- The Thunder will have the right to swap either their own first-round pick or the Heat’s first-round pick for the Rockets‘ first-round pick, but only if Houston’s pick doesn’t fall in the top four. In other words, if Houston gets a top-four pick, the Rockets will keep their own first-rounder; if not, the Thunder will get the two most favorable picks of their own, the Heat’s, and the Rockets’, and Houston will get the least favorable.
- Once the first step is complete, the Rockets will be left with at least one first-round pick, and almost certainly two, since they’re also owed the Trail Blazers‘ first-rounder (top-14 protected). They would then have the right to swap either of those picks for the Nets‘ first-rounder (unprotected).
As of today, the Rockets have the second-worst record in the league, giving them a 52.1% chance of having their pick land in its top-four protected range on lottery night. In that scenario, Houston would keep its first-rounder (tentatively No. 2) and would get the Trail Blazers’ pick at No. 22. The Thunder would keep their own pick (No. 6, pending lottery results) and receive the Heat’s first-rounder (No. 17), while the Nets would hang onto their own selection (No. 27).
On the other hand, if the Rockets’ pick falls outside of the top four, the Thunder would acquire it along with their own first-rounder, while Houston would get Miami’s pick at No. 17.
No matter how the rest of the season plays out, it’s safe to assume that lottery night on June 22 will have massive implications for the Timberwolves, Warriors, Rockets, and Thunder, and potentially for the Magic and Bulls as well.
While the Pistons, Cavaliers, and a handful of other lottery teams will also be invested in the results that night, the outcome won’t be quite as all-or-nothing for those clubs.
- The Warriors have announced (Twitter link) that Brandon Schneider will replace departing Rick Welts as Golden State’s president and COO when the latter retires at the end of the 2020/21 season. Schneider has served as the Warriors’ chief revenue officer since 2018, and has spent 19 seasons with Golden State overall.
- Kings rookie shooting guard Tyrese Haliburton acknowledged his frustration over his team’s current seven-game losing streak, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California. “We know we’re better than this, we’ve proven we’re better than this throughout the year,” Haliburton said. “But obviously, consistency has plagued us our whole season.” With a 22-32 record, the Kings are currently four games behind the tenth-seeded Warriors for a chance at a play-in tournament berth.