Warriors Rumors

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Green, AD, Lakers, Clippers

Chris Mannix and Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated debate how long the Warriors should hold onto their young talent. Both writers believe that former lottery picks James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody have the potential to be quality players down the road, but none are contributing much right now, and the bench has been a disaster after letting several players walk in free agency.

Mannix and Beck are confident that Jordan Poole will turn things around after a slow start, but if the bench continues to struggle into 2023, they’d start seriously considering making changes. SI’s duo believe the front office owes it to Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to maximize their chances of winning another title.

Here are a few more notes from the Pacific:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr recently made an adjustment to the rotation that seems to have stabilized the non-Curry minutes, with Green and Andrew Wiggins playing alongside three reserves in Poole, Donte DiVincenzo and Anthony Lamb. Anthony Slater of The Athletic examines the potential impact of the switch. “What am I doing?” Green said. “Number one, just trying to slow the unit down. That unit should not play as fast as the first unit. It should be more methodical. It should be more sets. It should be more patterned movements as opposed to random movements and random offense. I think, for me, it’s just trying to slow that unit down and then, number two, most importantly, make sure that unit is defending.”
  • Anthony Davis has been absolutely dominant for the Lakers over the past four games, averaging 35.5 PPG, 18.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.3 SPG and 2.5 BPG while shooting 62.3% from the floor and 92.0% from the charity stripe. Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group wonders if Davis’ stellar two-way play will make the front office more willing to deal away the team’s two available future first-round picks (2027 and 2029) to build around the 29-year-old, since Goon thinks that’s a more compelling reason to go all-in when compared to giving LeBron James the best chance to reach the playoffs at the end of his career.
  • Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue is preaching patience to reserves John Wall and Robert Covington, according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Wall has been frustrated by having to sit out back-to-backs because he feels fully healthy, but Lue noted that the veteran sat out all of last season, so the team is being cautious. As for Covington, he’s averaging his fewest minutes (13.8) since his rookie season back in ’13/14. “It’s a long season and we have so much talent and so much depth that I know it’s going to be times when people going to play and some people not,” Covington said. “I knew what was coming and knew what to expect at times. I’m not the type of person that’s going to complain about too much, I’m going to sit up there and call and be there ready when my number’s called.”
  • Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard (ankle) and Paul George (hamstring) have been ruled out for Friday’s contest against the Nuggets, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. There’s no timetable for either player to return.

Pacific Notes: Wiseman, Leonard, George, Paul, Shamet, Christie

Warriors center James Wiseman is being professional about his G League assignment and is trying to use it to improve his game, writes Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Wiseman, who missed all of last season with a knee injury and was seeing limited playing time this year, was sent to Golden State’s affiliate in Santa Cruz last week for “an extended period.”

“His attitude has been unbelievable from the regard of asking me if there’s things he can do better, asking about the defense, being willing to accept playing here,” Santa Cruz coach Seth Cooper said after Wiseman posted 19 points and 11 rebounds in his first G League game on Saturday. “There are a lot of guys not just picked where he was, but picked anywhere in the draft, who would want to come here and just have the ball all the time. … That’s not him.”

Wiseman, the No. 2 selection in the 2020 draft, is at a critical point in his career, Letourneau states. The Warriors picked up his $12.1MM option for the 2023/24 season, but they’ll have to do something to reduce costs next summer to keep their payroll from rising above $500MM. If the front office decides to hold onto Draymond Green, trading Wiseman is an obvious way to save money.

“There’s urgency,” admitted Wiseman, who has played just 50 total NBA games so far. “I just came back from a rehab. Really, I’m just trying to get back on the court and just get my rhythm again.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both underwent treatment in Los Angeles today for their injuries, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN (video link). Leonard suffered a sprained right ankle in Monday’s game when he stepped on Amir Coffey‘s foot, and he may not be ready to return on Friday. George missed his second straight game tonight with a strained right hamstring. Neither injury is considered long-term, Andrews adds.
  • Chris Paul and Landry Shamet were full participants in a non-contact practice today, Suns coach Monty Williams tells Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Paul is trying to return from a heel injury, while Shamet has been in concussion protocols.
  • Lakers guard Max Christie has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will join the team for Friday’s game in San Antonio, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Multi-Team Deal Possible For Jae Crowder

Several teams have expressed interest in Suns forward Jae Crowder and there’s speculation that a trade could get done soon, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Crowder, who had been a starter during his first two years in Phoenix, is working out on his own while he waits for a deal to be completed.

The Bucks, Hawks and Warriors are among the most prominent suitors for Crowder, sources tell Pincus, and an unidentified executive believes the final version of the deal could include as many as five teams.

Pincus hears that Milwaukee has offered Grayson Allen for Crowder, while Atlanta is willing to part with some combination of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Holiday and John Collins. The Suns don’t have any immediate interest in either of those offers, Pincus adds.

As reported earlier today by Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Rockets could play an important role in a multi-team deal. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports stated last week that Phoenix had interest in Kenyon Martin Jr., and Pincus speculates that veteran guard Eric Gordon could also be included in a trade that sends Crowder and Dario Saric to another team. Pincus hears that Houston would want “real value” to get involved, whether it’s in the form of young talent or draft assets.

The Warriors could be a team to watch in the Crowder sweepstakes if they’ve become more willing to unload some of their young players after an 8-10 start, Pincus writes. Golden State’s defense has regressed after losing Gary Payton II and Otto Porter in free agency, and Crowder is the type of multi-positional defender who could fix those issues.

The Warriors also need help with rebounding after falling from seventh to 25th in the league in that category, and rival executives expect them to target another big man as well as a defensive wing. Pincus cites Myles Turner and Jakob Poeltl as possibilities, though the Pacers may decide to keep Turner after their strong start. The Spurs are limited to less than $13MM as the starting point for an extension offer to Poeltl, and the team may be inclined to trade him rather than risk losing him in free agency.

Golden State would have to send out nearly $16MM in salary to acquire both Crowder and Poeltl, but it’s limited in what it can offer until Donte DiVincenzo, JaMychal Green, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney become trade-eligible later this season.

Pincus offers a sample trade in which send the Warriors send James Wiseman and Ryan Rollins to the Spurs, while the Rockets get Jonathan Kuminga from Golden State and Saric from Phoenix. Another Pincus suggestion has the Warriors keeping Kuminga while shipping Moses Moody and either Patrick Baldwin or Rollins to the Rockets, while San Antonio gets Baldwin or Rollins along with Wiseman.

11 Players Affected By Poison Pill Provision In 2022/23

The term “poison pill” doesn’t actually show up in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, but it’s used colloquially to refer to a provision in the CBA that affects players who recently signed rookie scale contract extensions.

As we explain in our glossary entry, the so-called poison pill provision applies when a player who signed a rookie scale extension is traded before the extension takes effect.

In that scenario, the player’s incoming value for the receiving team for matching purposes is determined by averaging his current-year salary and the salaries in each year of his new extension. His current team, on the other hand, simply treats his current-year salary as the outgoing figure for matching purposes.

For instance, Heat guard Tyler Herro is earning a $5,722,116 salary in 2022/23, but signed a four-year, $120MM extension that will begin in ’23/24. Therefore, if Miami wanted to trade Herro this season, his outgoing value for salary-matching purposes would be $5,722,116 (this year’s salary), while his incoming value for the team acquiring him would be $25,144,423 (this year’s salary, plus the $120MM extension, divided by five years).

[RELATED: 2022 NBA Rookie Scale Extension Recap]

Most of the players who signed rookie scale extensions aren’t candidates to be traded anytime soon. But even in the event that a team does want to look into trading one of these recently extended players, the gap between the player’s incoming trade value and outgoing trade value could make it a real challenge to find a deal that works for both sides.

The “poison pill” provision applies to 11 players who signed rookie scale extensions in 2022. Here are those players, along with their outgoing salaries and incoming salaries for trade purposes:

Player Team Outgoing trade value Incoming trade value
Zion Williamson NOP $13,534,817 $34,639,136
Ja Morant MEM $12,119,440 $34,403,240
RJ Barrett NYK $10,900,635 $23,580,127
De’Andre Hunter ATL $9,835,881 $19,967,176
Darius Garland CLE $8,920,795 $33,870,133
Tyler Herro MIA $5,722,116 $25,144,423
Brandon Clarke MEM $4,343,920 $10,868,784
Nassir Little POR $4,171,548 $6,434,310
Jordan Poole GSW $3,901,399 $26,380,280
Keldon Johnson SAS $3,873,025 $15,574,605
Kevin Porter Jr. HOU $3,217,631 $15,234,726

Once the 2023/24 league year begins, the poison pill provision will no longer apply to these players. At that time, the player’s ’23/24 salary would represent both his outgoing and incoming value.

Until then though, the gap between those outgoing and incoming figures will make it tricky for these players to be moved, with one or two exceptions.

The small difference between Little’s incoming and outgoing trade figures, for instance, wouldn’t be very problematic if the Blazers wanted to trade him. But the much larger divide between Poole’s incoming and outgoing numbers means there’s virtually no chance he could be moved to an over-the-cap team in 2022/23, even if the Warriors wanted to.

Pacific Notes: Thompson, Kings, Clippers, New Arena

Klay Thompson broke out of his shooting slump in a major way the past couple games, particularly Sunday’s victory over the Rockets, in which the Warriors wing scored a season-high 41 points on 10-of-13 shooting from three-point range. Thompson had shot 40-plus percent from the field just once in the 10 games leading up to Friday’s victory over the Knicks, when he was 8-of-16.

I don’t care anymore,” Thompson said, per Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “I really let the trolls get to me. Like, ‘What am I doing?’ I had just a revelation where I was like, ‘Man, just be you and everything will play out.’ Criticize me all you want. But I know how great I am and what I’m capable of, and I think real Warriors fans know that as well.”

As Marcus Thompson writes, the 32-year-old’s performances have shown that the Warriors need all four of their All-Stars — Thompson, Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green — to play at a high level to win right now. That may not have been what the Warriors were hoping for to start the season, but the four veterans are clearly still capable of producing.

Golden State will be resting Thompson, Curry and Green on Monday at New Orleans, the second game of a road back-to-back, tweets Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com. Both Wiggins and starting center Kevon Looney are questionable.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • The Kings are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, the longest such streak the team has had in more than 17 years, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic. While Sacramento’s second-ranked offense is certainly clicking, head coach Mike Brown knows that the team needs to be better on the other end of the court — the Kings are just 27th in the league in defensive rating. “So in order for us to win on the road, and win at the level that I think we can win at, we’re going to have to buckle down and take on the challenge of defending for as close to 48 minutes as possible,” Brown told Amick as part of a larger quote. “Too many times so far this year, we’ve done it in short stretches and we’ve found ways to get stops at the end of games — which is a good thing when we get a little desperate. But we’ve got to string some stops together throughout the game so at the end of the day we’re not just relying on our shot-making or our ability or our offense.”
  • Reggie Jackson and John Wall are proving to be a solid point guard combination for the Clippers, notes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. The duo shared the court to close out Saturday’s victory over the Spurs, and Wall, the backup, says they’re both willing to do whatever it takes to win. “It’s a dynamic with both of us not really caring who’s starting, who’s getting the most benefit,” Wall said. “We’re just trying to feed off each other, whatever the best role for this team is. Like last game, I didn’t play well, and Reggie was playing well. He closed the game out. Know what I mean? Sometimes it’s going to be different, sometimes it can be both of us. But you’re trying to figure out ways to do whatever we can to help this team win.”
  • Steve Farmer of The Los Angeles Times takes an in-depth look at Clippers owner Steve Ballmer‘s quest for the perfect NBA arena. One interesting note from Farmer’s article: Ballmer decided the seats at the top of the arena should have the same amount of leg room as those closer to the court because he wants all fans to be comfortable and in their seats as much as possible. The Intuit Dome is scheduled to open in summer 2024.

Warriors Notes: Wiseman, Thompson, Poole, Start, Meeting

Warriors center James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 lottery, has underperformed for Golden State this season. He has been sent to develop with the club’s NBAGL affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors.

“I have been through a lot of hard times,” Wiseman told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. “I have seen the negative side of social media in terms of myself. I don’t entertain that stuff anymore because it is negative and it is all gossip. I just focus on my priorities, getting in the gym and get better, working on stuff so I can be ready for the games.”

Wiseman is currently averaging 6.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 13.4 MPG for Golden State.

“He has looked (like he’s) in over his head,” a Western Conference coach said of the big man. “You can’t have him on the floor with Draymond [Green] because [the Warriors] get real easy to guard with them together. And you can’t have him out there with a big role with the second unit because he is not good enough to carry that group.”

Deveney speculates about what the Warriors could look for were they to ultimately opt to shop Wiseman and his $9.6MM contract this season. As far as return pieces are concerned, Deveney floats names like Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr., Jazz swingman Malik Beasley and Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks, to help shore up the club’s bench depth, though it’s unclear whether all of those players would be available.

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • The Warriors have had an uneven start to their championship defense so far this season, stumbling to a 7-9 record out of the gate. Tim Kawakami of The Athletic ranks a variety of approaches Golden State could try to improve, ranging from promoting Jordan Poole to the team’s starting shooting guard spot over Klay Thompson to offloading Wiseman for defensive help on the perimeter.
  • Prior to a solid Friday night win over the Knicks, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (YouTube video link) stated that the Warriors were not planning to make significant personnel changes this early in their 2022/23 season. “Despite the fact that the Warriors are 12th in the West, they’re only four games out of first place,” Woj said. “I don’t think there’s a real fear that there’s a couple of elite teams that are just going to run away with this conference. That certainly buys the Warriors time, and I think they want to know are the problems they have… fixable internally?… They are not looking at potential dramatic upheaval.”
  • The Warriors held a team meeting Friday ahead of their Knicks win in an effort to right the ship, reports Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “Draymond definitely held the floor,” Thompson said. “He’s such a great motivator. We all responded well.” JaMychal Green expounded on what was discussed: “We addressed a lot of things that needed to be addressed, and I think we are starting to get it together. We had that hard conversation that a lot of people don’t want to have, but we had that conversation, and it was much needed.” Green added that the team conversation “addressed the elephants in the room.”

NBA Fines JaMychal Green

The NBA has fined Warriors power forward JaMychal Green $20K for shouting expletives at a referee near the end of Wednesday’s 130-119 loss to the Suns in Phoenix, the league announced in a statement (Twitter link).

Green has been somewhat underwhelming for the somewhat underwhelming 6-9 reigning champs this season, averaging 4.8 PPG on .411/.227/.857 shooting splits and 4.5 RPG across 17.0 MPG. He was signed to a veteran’s minimum deal to help replace reserve forward Otto Porter Jr., who left Golden State over the summer to ink a two-year, $12.4MM deal with the Raptors.

The 32-year-old Green is a career 36.4% three-point shooter, though he has made just 26.0% during the last two seasons. Against the Suns on Wednesday, Green scored two points on 1-of-7 shooting and pulled down two boards in 17 minutes of action.

The 6’8″ reserve will next suit up for Golden State on Friday against the Knicks.

Warriors Notes: Wiseman, Draymond, Kerr, Klay, Lamb

Warriors center James Wiseman has been assigned to Golden State’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz for an “extended period” after struggling off the bench, posting a -24.4 net rating in his 147 minutes so far this season. In an in-depth article for The Athletic, Tim Kawakami breaks down why it might be time for the Warriors to consider trading the former No. 2 overall pick.

As Kawakami outlines, the team’s bench is nowhere near championship-caliber at the moment, and trading Wiseman is one way to potentially bolster the second unit. As of right now, Wiseman is essentially a sunk cost, but it would still behoove the Warriors to wait at least a couple months to see how the team performs over the next 20 or so games before potentially dealing the 21-year-old, according to Kawakami.

Kawakami notes that owner Joe Lacob is a big fan of Wiseman and the Warriors are heavily invested in his development, but a team with championship aspirations can’t afford to wait on a player who hasn’t shown he can reliably produce for a contender.

Here’s more on the defending champions:

  • In a Q&A session with Sam Amick of The Athletic, forward Draymond Green says he’s not overly concerned with the team’s 6-9 start to the 2022/23 regular season. “I think the struggles are real,” Green said as part of a larger quote. “Like, I don’t think our struggles are just like something we can ignore. They’re real struggles. They’re very fixable struggles. I don’t want to say they can be easily fixed, because to say something is easy in this profession is a lie in itself. But they are very fixable. Do I think we will fix those things? Absolutely. The question is, ‘How long does it take to fix them?’ It’s not something I’m overly worried about. You’d rather have them sooner rather than later. But in saying that, to build what we’re trying to build, we do understand that it takes time.”
  • After Wednesday’s loss to the Suns, in which the Warriors gave up 130 points and wasted a stellar 50-point outing from star Stephen Curry, head coach Steve Kerr was critical of the team’s effort, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “We lack collective grit. We’re playing a Drew League game right now,” Kerr said. “I’ve always felt the game rewards you if you commit to the game. If you really compete together, shots go in, calls go your way, breaks fall your way, and we’re not earning any of this stuff. That’s why we are winless on the road. It’s a pick-up game.” As Kerr noted, the Warriors are now 0-8 on the road this season.
  • Klay Thompson‘s extended shooting slump has created a dilemma for the Warriors, says Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Thompson has recorded fewer points (181) than shot attempts (185) through 12 games, and has the fourth-lowest true shooting percentage in the NBA, Slater notes. That’s a rough mix considering he’s taking the second-most shot attempts on the team. Thompson’s forced shots early in the shot clock were particularly problematic against the Suns, with Green and Curry showing obvious frustration with his shot selection, Slater adds.
  • Swingman Anthony Lamb, who is playing on a two-way contract for the Warriors, has performed well as a rotation member over the past five games (22.9 minutes), averaging 9.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 60.6% from the field and 54.5% from three. He recently talked about his fit with Golden State, as Tom Dierberger of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. “With the Warriors, I’ve just found my place,” Lamb said. “I’m trying to connect everybody together. We have different lineups, so when Steph or Klay are in, I know what I need to do for them. When Draymond is in, I know what I need to do for him. Just trying to find my spot and make everybody better is what I focus on.”

And-Ones: Wembanyama, 2023 Draft, Best Trade Assets, More

Victor Wembanyama led France to a pair of blowout victories in this month’s World Cup qualifiers, scoring 39 total points in 48 minutes as the French team beat Lithuania by 25 points and Bosnia and Herzegovina by 36. The performances on the international stage were the latest reminder why Wembanyama is ranked atop every draft expert’s big board for 2023.

That list of draft experts includes Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who unveiled his full top-100 list for the 2023 NBA draft on Thursday, with the usual suspects (Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson) leading the way.

Givony’s initial list features Overtime Elite’s Amen Thompson at No. 3, Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr. at No. 4, and Villanova’s Cam Whitmore at No. 5. Keyonte George, Ausar Thompson, Dillon Mitchell, Kel’el Ware, and Brandon Miller round out his top 10.

In an Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Givony also shared his impressions on this year’s Champions Classic, evaluating Duke’s Kyle Filipowski as a lottery prospect and taking a closer look at Gradey Dick‘s strong start to the season for Kansas.

  • Which NBA teams have the best collection of trade assets? Yossi Gozlan and the staff at HoopsHype rank the Thunder, Pelicans, and the Grizzlies as the top three due to their impressive mix of young talent and future draft picks. On the other end of the spectrum, the Wizards are considered the team with the least valuable trade assets.
  • Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today takes a look at nine players who are making an impact this season after changing teams in the summer, starting with Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland, while Frank Urbina of HoopsHype singles out nine players who appear to be taking a major leap forward, including Lauri Markkanen and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
  • In his latest look around the NBA, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer considers whether the Warriors and Bulls will have to turn to the trade market this season, explores Joel Embiid‘s ongoing evolution, and highlights some of the league’s most impressive three-point shooters.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic breaks out the “panic meter” to determine how concerned we should be about some would-be contenders who are off to slow starts. Hollinger isn’t too worried about the Sixers and Clippers, but has serious reservations about the Timberwolves, Nets, and Lakers, with the Heat and Warriors falling in the middle.

Warriors Notes: Looney, Wiseman, J. Green, Poole, Thompson

While Jordan Poole is the most obvious recent example of a Warriors player who benefited from a stint in the G League before breaking out at the NBA level, Anthony Slater of The Athletic believes Kevon Looney may be a better point of comparison for James Wiseman, who is headed to the Santa Cruz Warriors on Tuesday.

As Slater writes, Looney spent time in the G League in each of his first three NBA seasons, including a stint in his second year after he had been pulled from the team’s rotation. Looney has since evolved into one of Golden State’s most dependable and trusted veterans, but admits he wasn’t thrilled by the assignment at the time, and he knows it may not be easy for Wiseman to take his own G League assignment in stride.

“It’s really difficult,” Looney said. “Especially when you’re a high pick. You got all these expectations. You’re coming off injury. You want to prove yourself to all the doubters. You see all your peers doing well, everyone talking about how good they are and you feel like you’re just as good and things aren’t coming as fast. It makes it frustrating.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • According to Slater, JaMychal Green, Jonathan Kuminga, and Anthony Lamb are likely to remain in Golden State’s rotation with Wiseman in Santa Cruz. Head coach Steve Kerr said after Monday’s win that he hasn’t done Green “any favors” by how he has used him so far (video link via Slater). Kerr now believes Green is best suited to be a backup center, rather than a power forward, and believes Green’s ability to space the floor will help create room for Poole to operate.
  • After pouring in 36 points on Monday, Poole is now averaging 28.7 PPG on .475/.394/.944 shooting in three starts this season, compared to 13.9 PPG (.421/.323/.765 shooting) in 11 games off the bench. Kerr said on Monday that things come easier for Poole when an opponent’s top defender is focused on Stephen Curry and he can utilize screens set by Looney and Draymond Green (Twitter link via Kendra Andrews of ESPN). However, as he said last week, Kerr stressed that he’s not considering moving Poole into the starting five on a full-time basis.
  • In a conversation with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Klay Thompson expressed some frustration that helping lead the Warriors to four titles and returning from two major leg injuries hasn’t earned him more leeway from critics as he works through an extended slump. The veteran sharpshooter remains confident that he both he and the Warriors will find their stride sooner or later. “I’m happy to go through this now compared to a few months from now,” Thompson said. “No need to panic. We’re like 14 games in. It’s a long season. We face a challenge of going back-to-back, which is incredibly difficult. And then trying to integrate the new guys. It’s going to take time but we’ll figure it out.”