Joe Lacob

Warriors Notes: Green, Roster Openings, Wiggins, Poole, Durant, Lacob

JaMychal Green officially became a free agent on Friday when he cleared waivers. That opens up a path for Green to sign with the Warriors. He’ll provide necessary depth at forward, since Golden State lost Otto Porter Jr. to Toronto and Nemanja Bjelica decided to play in Europe. Green is a proven 3-point threat and can guard multiple positions, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes.

We have more on the Warriors:

  • In the same story, Slater indicates Golden State will likely guarantee only 14 roster spots heading into training camp. Green would fill the 12th spot and rookie Ryan Rollins is expected to sign a multi-year contract. Andre Iguodala could fill the 14th spot if he doesn’t retire.
  • The Nets are not “super high” on Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole as centerpieces of a deal for Kevin Durant, Zach Lowe of ESPN said on his podcast (hat tip to Ali Thanawalla of Yahoo Sports). That’s one reason why a deal with Golden State didn’t gain traction, even though it had some picks to dangle. “I don’t know if there ever really was a deal there that the Nets would have done. Obviously, you have to explore it if you’re the Warriors,” Lowe said. It’s also worth noting that Brooklyn wouldn’t be able to acquire Wiggins this season as long as Ben Simmons is still on the team.
  • Owner Joe Lacob made his case with fellow team owners at the recent Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas that tax penalties should be reduced when teams re-sign players they drafted, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack article. Three of Golden State’s four highest-paid players — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — were draft picks that have only played for one team.

NBA Fines Warriors Owner Joe Lacob $500K

The NBA has fined Warriors owner Joe Lacob $500K for violating the league’s policy regarding publicly discussing collective bargaining talks, which are currently ongoing between the league and the Players Association, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Lacob described the NBA’s luxury tax system as “very unfair” last week on the Point Forward podcast hosted by Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner, per Wojnarowski.

The hardest thing of all is navigating this luxury tax, unfortunately,” Lacob said. “I went back to New York this week for labor meetings. I’m on the committee. And you know, obviously, the league wants everyone to have a chance and right now, there’s a certain element out there that believes we ‘checkbook win…’ We won because we have the most salaries on our team.

The truth is, we’re only $40 million more than the luxury tax. Now, that’s not small but it’s not a massive number. We’re $200 million over in total because most of that is this incredible penal luxury tax. And what I consider to be unfair and I’m going to say it on this podcast and I hope it gets back to whoever is listening. Obviously, it’s self-serving for me to say this, but I think it’s a very unfair system because our team is built by….all top eight players are all drafted by this team.”

Lacob was referring to the “repeater” luxury tax penalties given to teams, like the Warriors, that have been taxpayers in three of the previous four seasons. Last season, Golden State was hit with a record $170,331,194 luxury tax payment — nearly breaking the previous league-wide record for total luxury tax payments, which was $173.3MM back in 2002/03. The seven taxpaying teams in ’21/22 shattered that record with a staggering combined total of $481,021,386.

The Warriors are projected to have a $181.3MM luxury tax bill in ’22/23, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who tweets that the bill could balloon to over $200MM in ’23/24 if the team gives Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole extensions.

Warriors Notes: Championship, Lacob, Veteran Core, Offseason

The Warriors‘ championship this year vindicated the belief of team management and ownership that the team could build a “two-timeline” roster, using its lottery picks in 2020 and 2021 on young prospects rather than in trades for win-now help, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

[RELATED: Warriors Win 2022 Title, Stephen Curry Named MVP]

As Slater details, president of basketball operations Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob believed the roster was talented enough to contend for a title without having to trade those picks. Golden State ultimately opted to draft and develop James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody while continuing to lean on veterans like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins.

“They were doubted,” Lacob said on Thursday night, referring to the Warriors’ veteran stars. “But these guys are not 40 years old. We believed in that core. Not many teams have a core four. A lot of people say core three. I say core four. We’re spending the money to do that. Then, we supplement and surround that team.

“I know some people thought we could’ve done more, got another star. But who were we going to get? Who was available that would make a difference? We didn’t think there was, and we really wanted these young guys to be developed and learn from these guys. They have learned. We are going to be even better as a result of that in the years going forward.”

Here’s more on the NBA champions:

  • Lacob is confident that his club can continue to be a contender for years to come, as David Aldridge of The Athletic relays. “I intend to own this team for a long time and I intend to win as many championships as possible,” Lacob said. “It’s all about winning. That’s it. That’s all I care about. We’re going to do whatever it takes. The truth is, we’ve got really smart people who work in this organization, and we are, usually, going to figure it out and be real good.”
  • The Warriors’ fourth title in the last eight years left no doubt of their star trio’s place in NBA history, says Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “Individually, we all do different, unique things to impact winning,” Curry said of himself, Green, and Thompson. “We all have a sense of humility about what it takes to win and knowing that we respect what every single one of us brings to the table. But there’s also an ego with that, too. So there’s a healthy balance. And the rest of it is trust.”
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype looks ahead to the offseason decisions facing the Warriors following their championship run, while Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN revisits seven important moments from that run.
  • Oddsmakers and sportsbooks have made the Warriors the early favorites for the 2023 title, according to David Purdum of ESPN. Golden State is a little ahead of Brooklyn, Boston, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and the Clippers.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Green, Lakers, Kings

Speaking to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Warriors owner Joe Lacob referenced a division rival when he discussed his long-term goals for the franchise.

“We are very goal-oriented,” Lacob said. “Our goal right now is to sustain being really good for a long time. I look at Jerry Buss and the Lakers, and how he owned the team for 33 years and made 16 Finals. That’s just an astonishing achievement, an incredible owner.

“Whether we can sustain that over such a long period of time, like Jerry Buss did – the Celtics certainly had great history but it was a little bit of a different time – I don’t know. But we’re going to try. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”

The Warriors are back in the NBA Finals this year for the sixth time in the last eight seasons, and are seeking their fourth championship during that time.

  • Even though he only appeared in 46 of 82 possible regular season games this season, Warriors forward Draymond Green views it as a “slight” that he didn’t make the All-Defensive First Team, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. “When I look at the First Team, I am not sure I can pinpoint, definitely not five guys that had a better defensive season than me,” Green said. “And there are no (games-played) requirements. There is not some amount that you have to play in. If there was an amount that you had to play, then I would be an idiot sitting here and saying that.”
  • The Lakers are working out six prospects today, bringing in R.J. Cole (UConn), Jules Bernard (UCLA), Kur Kuath (Marquette), Jaden Shackelford (Alabama), Zyon Pullin (UC-Riverside), and David McCormack (Kansas) for a pre-draft audition, tweets Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group. Pullin is reportedly expected to remove his name from the draft pool before tonight’s NCAA withdrawal deadline.
  • Houston’s Fabian White Jr. was among the prospects to work out for the Kings on Tuesday, per Sean Cunningham of FOX40 News (Twitter link).

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.”

Pacific Notes: Lacob, Thompson, Davis, Kings

Warriors owner Joe Lacob believes his team is poised to win more championships, as he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Our goal is to be great throughout this decade,” he said. “We had a great last decade and our goal is to set ourselves up for another great decade.”

With the return of Klay Thompson on Sunday, Lacob is eager to see how deep the team can get in this year’s playoffs.

“We’ve got all the pieces back together and we’ve had a good offseason and we drafted some young guys that haven’t gotten a chance to play yet that we really like. So I feel like this is our first year of getting back after the five-year title run,” he said. “We’ll see where it goes. I’m not assuming anything at this point, but we certainly have a lot of talent, a really good team and I think it will jell even more so as we go along this year.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Thompson had 17 points in his comeback game, including a first-half dunk. He drew energy from the crowd after missing 177 consecutive games, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk writes. “I will never forget the reception that Warriors fans gave us, especially myself,” Thompson said. “Gosh it was fun and it was worth every single day of being away and in that squat rack or on that shuttle board and all the conditioning days. It was worth every single moment. I am not going to say equivalent to winning a championship But man, it was pretty freaking close.”
  • The Lakers lost to Memphis on Sunday but there was one promising development, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times notes. Anthony Davis was spotted on the court before the game going through an individual workout, the first time he’s done that since spraining a knee ligament on December 17. Davis wore a bulky brace on the knee for precautionary reasons. The Lakers are scheduled to provide an update on Davis’ recovery as early as this weekend, Woike adds.
  • The disappointing Kings have to figure out over the next few weeks whether to be buyers or sellers on the trade market, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee writes. It’s no secret that the front office has been shopping Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III. However, the team’s brass may have to consider moving De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes or Richaun Holmes to get an impact player that can change the franchise’s fortunes, Anderson adds.

Western Notes: Murray, Ibaka, Warriors, Gordon, Wiseman

Nuggets coach Michael Malone has tempered expectations about Jamal Murray‘s return date, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Malone said on a radio interview with 92.5 FM Altitude Sports that fans shouldn’t expect to see Murray return from his knee injury in January or February. The organization is taking it very cautious with their franchise point guard.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Clippers big man Serge Ibaka admits he’s frustrated with his playing time but he won’t become a distraction, according to Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. “I’m going to be honest with you, as a human being it can be frustrating,” Ibaka said. “As a coach, [Tyronn Lue] tries to do his best he can to keep the team together, to keep the team playing the best basketball you can and as a player, like, hard worker, someone who loves basketball like me, I want to play, too. . . . but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being professional.” With Isaiah Hartenstein out of action, Ibaka scored 17 points in 20 minutes off the bench against Sacramento on Wednesday. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
  • Arctos Sports Partners is increasing its stake in the Warriors from 5% to 13%, Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams of Sportico report. The team is valued at about $5.5 billion in the deal, the same valuation as when Arctos bought its initial 5% earlier this year. A majority of this new equity is coming from minority partners, with a small portion from the team’s main owners, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the Sportico report adds. The deal must be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors.
  • The Rockets’ Eric Gordon, who has battled knee problems in recent years, is playing both ends of a back-to-back this week for the first time this season, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “This was the plan long ago,” Gordon said. “I’ve been feeling pretty good all year. This was definitely the plan before the season started. But I will be looking forward to playing back-to-back.”
  • Warriors big man James Wiseman could advance to on-court contact next week, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Wiseman has been rehabbing from offseason knee surgery.

Stein’s Latest: Timberwolves, Ujiri, Simmons, Lacob, Dragic

Incoming Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore won’t assume majority control of the the franchise from Glen Taylor until 2023, but they’re operating in some ways as if they’re already the team’s primary owners, says Marc Stein of Substack.

Shortly after Gersson Rosas was dismissed this week, Timberwolves reporter Dane Moore suggested (via Twitter) that rumors have circulated for months that Rodriguez and Lore want to bring in a “top-five” front office executive. Stein doesn’t specifically confirm that rumor, but he corroborates it, writing that word circulated at Summer League in August that A-Rod and Lore would have loved to make a run at veteran executive Masai Ujiri, who ultimately re-upped with the Raptors.

While those reports suggest that the Wolves’ new ownership group wants to make a splash, league sources tell Stein that Sachin Gupta is expected to get every chance to impress the team during his time running the basketball operations department. According to Moore (Twitter link), Gupta – whose title is executive VP of basketball operations – doesn’t technically have the “interim” tag attached to his position, an indication that he’ll receive serious consideration for the permanent job.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest NBA roundup:

  • According to Stein, teams around the NBA are skeptical that the Sixers genuinely want to bring back Ben Simmons, viewing Doc Riversmedia comments on Wednesday as an attempt to regain trade leverage rather than a legitimate effort to mend the team’s relationship with Simmons.
  • It may seem odd that Warriors owner Joe Lacob was fined for comments about Simmons that didn’t even mention him by name and made it clear that Golden State isn’t really interested in the Sixers star. However, Stein says the tampering penalty was “as automatic as these ever get,” since there was no doubt Lacob was referring to Simmons, and his comments could be viewed as an attempt to diminish the 25-year-old’s trade value.
  • It doesn’t appear that any deal involving Goran Dragic is imminent. Stein writes that the Raptors want to be as competitive as possible this season, and Dragic can help with those efforts. Toronto also believes that more appealing trade scenarios could arise once the season gets underway and more teams need a point guard due to injuries or underperformance.

Warriors Notes: Wiseman, Player Development, Lacob

James Wiseman‘s inability to participate fully in training camp will hurt the Warriors more than any games he might miss at the start of the season, Anthony Slater of The Athletic opines. Wiseman’s development is crucial to making the team relevant again, due to his physical gifts that can add an explosive dimension it currently lacks on the interior. Wiseman is expected to participate in individual shooting and other individual on-court activities during camp. His return to full practices will be determined after October 15, when he’s expected to begin full jumping on the surgically repaired knee.

We have more on the Warriors:

  • The team has invested heavily this offseason in player development, as Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area details. The additions of former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson along with Dejan Milojević and Jama Mahlalela were made due their reputations for developing young talent. All three have been on the job since June, Poole adds.
  • Owner Joe Lacob has been fined $50K for comments regarding Ben Simmons, the NBA announced today (via Twitter). The league deemed the comments as a violation of its anti-tampering rules. Lacob said it’s unlikely the team will trade for disgruntled Sixers star.
  • Lacob believes the franchise is on track for another championship, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Hopefully, this year, we’ll compete for a championship,” he said. “I think we should. Over the next 4-5 years, I think we should continue that and have a second great decade in a row.”

Warriors’ Owner Suggests Trade For Simmons Unlikely

Multiple reports this offseason have suggested that Sixers star Ben Simmons would like to be traded to a West Coast team, but it doesn’t sound as if the Warriors are looking to pull the trigger on a deal for the three-time All-Star, as Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle writes.

Simmons spoke to Warriors owner Joe Lacob about the possibility of trading for Simmons, and while Lacob was careful not to mention the 25-year-old by name in an effort to avoid a tampering fine, there was no doubt about which player he was referring to when he discussed a certain “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Philadelphia.” Lacob said Golden State will always explore avenues to upgrade the roster, but strongly hinted that a trade for Simmons is unlikely.

“In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing. He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know,” Lacob said. “He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond (Green). Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the play-making. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”

The Warriors were viewed as a top candidate to make a major trade earlier in the offseason, when they could dangle two 2021 lottery picks in advance of this year’s draft. Once they used those two picks to select Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, a blockbuster deal became less likely for the Dubs, who appear focused on developing their rookies and young center James Wiseman rather than packaging them for a star.

“I like our team,” general manager Bob Myers said, per Simmons. “And I envision that the team we have will be the team that heads into camp and will be the team that starts the season.”

If Golden State isn’t seriously in the running for Simmons, who remains adamant about holding out and forcing a deal, it will take one potential trade partner off the table for the Sixers. However, a number of other suitors have reportedly discussed Simmons with Philadelphia this offseason, including the Timberwolves, Raptors, Spurs, Cavaliers, and Kings, among others.