Kirk Lacob

Warriors Notes: Wiseman, Center Rotation, Moody, Kirk Lacob

Second-year Warriors center James Wiseman is scheduled to play in two games for Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, this week, per a team press release. Wiseman has recovered enough from a pair of procedures on his knee to be cleared to play in a game situation.

According to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link), while there’s still no official target date for Wiseman’s NBA return “whispers” indicate it could happen during an upcoming home stand at the Chase Center, from March 12-20. Sources tell Kendra Andrews of ESPN that Wiseman is “highly unlikely” to become a permanent part of Golden State’s playoff-bound rotation, but he is projected to earn occasional spot minutes.

The seven-footer, still just 20, was selected with the No. 2 pick out of Memphis in the 2020 draft. In his 39 healthy NBA games to this point, he has averaged 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG. His lack of experience will likely preclude him from being more than the Warriors’ third center this year.

There’s more out of the Chase Center:

  • Though the Warriors could benefit from an additional reserve center behind starter Kevon Looney, the team appears to have prioritized wings as it makes a postseason push, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Kawakami notes that 6’7″ starting power forward Draymond Green remains the club’s most effective center as a small-ball option, adding that Wiseman could work as a backup big in certain situations.
  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has identified rookie wing Moses Moody as a key piece for Golden State moving forward, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). “He’s a keeper,” Kerr raved after Moody scored a career-high 30 points in Denver on Monday.. “He’s a guy who’s going to be a cornerstone for this team for a long time to come. It’s easy to see that right now in his rookie year.”
  • As part of his NBA 40 Under 40 series, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic interviews Warriors executive vice president of basketball operations Kirk Lacob, noting that the son of team majority owner Joe Lacob, has become a trusted voice for team president Bob Myers. The younger Lacob discussed how the team handles player development with a new youth-heavy roster. “We’ve got someone on the coaching staff who is solely kind of dedicated as the director of player development and their job is to make sure players have development courses at every part of their career, and that the coaching staff is on the same kind of alignment as the performance team because that’s a whole other player element is your physical performance,” he said. “On the front office side, we’ve got a whole group and we call them team development, but part of team development is player development.”

Warriors Hire Zaza Pachulia As Consultant

Longtime NBA big man Zaza Pachulia hasn’t announced his retirement as a player, but it appears he’s ready to transition into another phase of his career. The Warriors have hired Pachulia as a consultant, the team announced today in a press release.

Pachulia, who spent last year with the Pistons, was a member of the Warriors for the previous two seasons, winning championships with the franchise in 2017 and 2018. The 35-year-old spent a total of 16 seasons in the NBA, appearing in nearly 1,100 career regular season games for the Magic, Bucks, Hawks, and Mavericks in addition to Detroit and Golden State.

The Warriors’ announcement refers to Pachulia “recently concluding” his NBA career, so it appears he has no plans to continue playing. He’ll serve as a consultant for the Warriors on both the basketball and business side, according to the team.

Golden State announced several more front office promotions in today’s release. Most notably, Kirk Lacob – the son of team owner Joe Lacob – will become the club’s executive vice president of basketball operations, while former NBA forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. has been named an assistant general manager.

The younger Lacob was previously an assistant GM for the Warriors, while Dunleavy joined the organization last year as a pro scout.

Pacific Notes: Thompson, Zubac, Kerr, Warriors

Klay Thompson once again reaffirmed his desire to finish his career with the Warriors prior to the team’s game against Portland on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Dave Pasch (Twitter link).

This isn’t the first time Thompson has publicly stated these hopes, with the All-Star guard also discussing the possibility back in September before the 2018/19 season began.

“Just look around the walls at all the art and to see I was a part of this buildup is what keeps me motivated and keeps me wanting to be a Warrior for my whole career,” Thompson said at the time, as relayed by Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Thompson has spent each of his eight seasons with the Warriors, having being drafted by the team back in 2011. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, along with with teammates Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, both of whom have yet to make similar public declarations about their summer plans.

Of the Warriors’ starting five, only Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are locked into deals past this season (with Green set to reach free agency next summer). Golden State has grown tremendously with Curry, Green and Thompson, dating back to when the trio won their first championship in 2015.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers knew exactly what they were getting when they traded for Ivica Zubac, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. The team acquired Zubac, an improved center on both ends of the floor, in a deal with the Lakers on trade deadline day.
  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was fined $25K for verbally abusing and confronting a game official prior to his ejection on Wednesday, the NBA announced today. Kerr was arguing a flagrant foul call on Draymond Green with veteran referee Ken Mauer before losing his temper, causing Mauer to issue two technical fouls and remove him from the game.
  • Kirk Lacob, assistant GM of the Warriors, addressed the team’s approach with the buyout market in an appearance on the “Joe, Lo & Dibs” radio show. “We don’t want to commit to something before we know what’s going to happen with our roster,” Lacob said. “You never know what can happen — there could be an injury or a slump or anything — so, we want to keep our options open. But our goal is to add a really good player — someone who fits in the locker room who fits these team and just really wants to be part of a championship run and will understand their role.”

Warriors Announce Front Office Promotions

9:57pm: In addition to his promotion, Myers received a substantial pay increase and a contract extension, though the exact length and amount are currently unknown, Tim Kawakami of The Bay Area News Group reports (Twitter links).

3:59pm: The Warriors announced a handful of new titles for members of their front office today, with several executives receiving promotions. The most notable of the changes within Golden State’s front office was a promotion for Bob Myers, who was named the team’s president of basketball operations and general manager. Myers had previously just been the Warriors’ GM.

In addition to giving Myers a new role, the team also elevated Travis Schlenk to VP of basketball operations/assistant GM, Kirk Lacob to VP of GSW Sports Ventures/assistant GM, and Larry Harris to assistant GM/director of player personnel.

Given the Warriors’ success in recent years – winning a title in 2014/15 and setting the regular-season wins record in 2015/16 – it comes as no surprise that the franchise wanted to reward members of the front office. Myers, in particular, has been instrumental in building the most talented roster in the NBA.

Myers was hired by the Warriors as an assistant general manager in 2011, with the club drafting Klay Thompson in the first round of that year’s draft just a couple months later. In 2012, Myers received a promotion to general manager — during his first offseason as Golden State’s GM, Myers used a second-round pick to select Draymond Green and inked Stephen Curry to a four-year, $44MM extension.

The Warriors have a 238-90 (.726) regular-season record since Myers took over as the team’s GM.

Pacific Rumors: Sterling, Jackson, Kings

Shelly Sterling, wife of banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling, caught the NBA by surprise Tuesday, issuing a statement through a law firm, as Mike Bresnahan, Broderick Turner and David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times detail. The statement asserts that she’s working with the league in its search for a new Clippers CEO and refers to Shelly Sterling as co-owner of the Clippers. Sources have told Ramona Shelburne of that she’s informed the league that she wants to keep the team, as fellow scribe Darren Rovell writes. For now, Doc Rivers and other team department heads are jointly in charge of the team, while the NBA’s Advisory/Finance Committee continues to search for a Clippers CEO and work toward Donald Sterling’s ouster, the league announced. Here’s more from a tumultuous Pacific Division:

  • Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson made the media rounds today, appearing on SiriusXM NBA Radio, 95.7 The Game in the Bay Area, and The Dan Patrick Show. Jackson said co-owner Joe Lacob’s expectation of a top-four finish in the Western Conference was unrealistic, notes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group, and the coach is upset about media reports that he believes the team leaked during their meeting on Tuesday (Twitter links).
  • Jackson also rejected the notion that his religion was an issue, suggesting the Warriors used the idea to gin up positive PR for the team, as Ethan Sherwood Strauss of observes. “I think it’s unfortunate because if it was true, you don’t encourage media to come do a piece on my church, on my ministry, the work on my faith,” Jackson said. “Don’t do it when it’s convenient and you’re searching for something. I never went around beating people in the head with a Bible.”
  • Jackson also said that living in Southern California instead of the Bay Area didn’t get in the way of his job and denied that he had a falling out with assistant GM Kirk Lacob, Strauss notes in the same piece.
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro Identified shooting and playmaking as offseason needs and expressed openness to the idea of moving DeMarcus Cousins to power forward. D’Alessandro made his comments in a Reddit AMA chat with fans Tuesday, and provides a partial transcription.

Reaction To Warriors Firing Of Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson wasn’t alone in losing his job today, as the Warriors ousted Jackson’s entire coaching staff, and even the club’s video coordinator, notes Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link). The reaction has been swift around the league, and while we’ll keep track of the latest on Jackson’s future and the team’s coaching search in this post, we’ll roundup the rest of the fallout from the Warriors’ decision below:

  • There were some Warriors players who felt Jackson showed too much favoritism toward Stephen Curry, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard (video link). Curry learned of the firing from Jackson, and many players weren’t pleased that the team didn’t inform them of the news first, and that they weren’t consulted in the decision, Thompson tweets.
  • GM Bob Myers told reporters, including Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, that he didn’t find the team’s regular season unsatisfactory, but he suggested the team’s on-court performance played a role in the decision (Twitter link). “It’s harsh to critique the record, but this is a harsh business,” Myers said.
  • The Warriors were concerned that Jackson wouldn’t agree to appoint a new lead assistant coach, but the team’s brass didn’t give Jackson a chance to offer any concessions or state his willingness to change his staff, Thompson writes in a full piece.
  • Jackson, who reportedly had a recent falling out with assistant GM Kirk Lacob, told Lacob not to talk to his assistant coaches, Thompson notes in the same piece. Lacob is the son of co-owner Joe Lacob.
  • Myers had been largely a neutral party amid the discord between Jackson and team management, but when he grew weary of the coach, that was the breaking point, a source tells fellow Bay Area News Group scribe Tim Kawakami (Twitter link).
  • Warriors brass viewed Jackson as a “disruptive” force who simply caused too much friction, Kawakami hears (Twitter links).

Warriors Notes: Lacob, Small Forwards, Draft

While the Warriors await the May 30th draft lottery with crossed fingers, hoping they don't slide below their projected seventh slot and lose their pick to the Jazz, there are a few items of note from the Bay Area:

  • The team has promoted Kirk Lacob, son of co-owner Joe Lacob, to assistant GM, according to a statement. He previously served as director of basketball operations for the Warriors and general manager of the Dakota Wizards, the team's D-League affiliate. Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle provides detail.
  • A "big" upgrade at small forward is on tap this summer, according to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. It's increasingly clear that the team has soured on Dorell Wright, Kawakami says, and the team will seek a replacement who can have an impact on both sides of the floor.
  • In the same piece, Kawakami says the draft is the most likely means the team will use to get a new starter at the 3, and mentions Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones and Perry Jones as possibilities at No. 7, with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in play if the team moves up into the top three picks. If they make a deal to move into the middle of the first round, they're high on Meyers Leonard, Kawakami reports.
  • San Francisco mayor Ed Lee, along with all 11 city supervisors, sent a letter to the Warriors that said the city would cooperate to help the team return to San Francisco by 2017, according to Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle. The city, home to the Warriors from 1962-71, is likely seeking a privately financed arena near the Bay Bridge. The news comes on the heels of the state's demand that Oakland return $3.5MM it had hoped to spend on planning for a new arena.