Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Warriors Notes: Paul, Curry, Jackson-Davis, Baldwin

Chris Paul‘s deliberate, often ball-dominant style seems like a strange fit with how the Warriors operate offensively, but it could be just strange enough to work, opines Seerat Sohi of The Ringer.

As Sohi details, the contrasting styles between Paul and Golden State were on display multiple times in the Western Conference playoffs, with the Warriors prevailing on two of those three occasions (Paul’s Clippers defeated the upstart Warriors in the first round in 2013/14).

However, the Warriors have also had success with high IQ veterans who can control the tempo, Sohi notes, particularly former swingman Shaun Livingston. Paul may be able to help get Golden State’s young players easy shots on the second unit, according to Sohi, and allow Stephen Curry to play more off the ball when they’re paired.

Obviously it’s a risk since Paul is 38 years old and he could be backing up another older player who has been injured a lot the past few seasons in Curry. But the Warriors might be better next season with Paul instead of Jordan Poole, and shedding Poole’s long-term contract while picking up Paul’s non-guaranteed deal for ’24/25 gives the team financial savings in the future, Sohi writes.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Paul and Curry are excited to be teammates, with the two-time MVP blessing the blockbuster trade, sources tell Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Thompson takes a look at the shared history between the two former rivals.
  • New general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. says the team plans to have Trayce Jackson-Davis on the 15-man roster, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter video link). The Warriors traded cash considerations to Washington to land the No. 57 pick in last night’s draft, which they used on the Indiana big man. “We’re not overly loaded in the frontcourt,” Dunleavy said, adding the Warriors had him much higher on their draft board.
  • As Slater writes for The Athletic, agreeing to include 2022 first-rounder Patrick Baldwin in the Poole/Paul trade created considerable tax savings, but it was also a bet on Jackson-Davis being more ready to contribute next season. Dunleavy’s brother, James Dunleavy, is Jackson-Davis’ agent, and the sides worked together to ensure he wouldn’t get picked until the Warriors could select him. Getting a guaranteed minimum-salary contract is rare for a player chosen late in the second round, Slater notes, but that’s the intention for the forward/center.

Western Notes: Zion, Lakers, Dunleavy, Livingston, Towns, Reid

It’s unlikely that Zion Williamson will be dealt by the Pelicans before the draft, according to The Athletic’s William Guillory. While the Pelicans are enamored with G League guard Scoot Henderson, they have not included Williamson in any formal offer to the teams holding the second and third picks (Hornets, Trail Blazers).

However, there is a disconnect between Williamson and the Pelicans organization. Some of that tension, according to Guillory, is due to a frayed relationship between Williamson’s camp and Aaron Nelson, who has been in charge of the medical/training staff. Nelson won’t be leading the medical staff next season.

The Pelicans have recently tried to smooth things over with Williamson. He met with top exec David Griffin and team governor Gayle Benson last week at team headquarters and it apparently went well, Guillory writes.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Lakers hosted a pre-draft workout for six prospects on Tuesday, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. That group included Ben Sheppard (Belmont), Landers Nolley II (Cincinnati), Patrick Gardner (Marist), Omari Moore (San Jose State), Sidy Cissoko (G League Ignite) and K.J. Williams (LSU).
  • Mike Dunleavy Jr. was one of the most unpopular players in Warriors’ history, so there’s naturally skepticism from fans about him becoming the top decision-maker in the organization, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes.
  • Shaun Livingston has left the Warriors’ organization, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Livingston spent the last three seasons in the front office as director of players affairs and engagement. He wants to spend more time with his family.
  • While Karl-Anthony Towns has been one of the prominent names on the rumor mill, the Timberwolves brass believes improved health from Towns and Rudy Gobert will solve some of the team’s offensive problems, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. Owners Glen Taylor, Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez are on board with that approach. The owners are also hoping to re-sign backup big man Naz Reid, who will be an unrestricted free agent. Reid has been hanging around the team’s practice facility since the season ended, a positive sign that he’d like to stay with the club.

Warriors Determined To Retain Draymond Green

The Warriors don’t plan to let Draymond Green walk without making a substantial push to retain him. Green is declining his $27.5MM option for next season so that he can become an unrestricted free agent.

New GM Mike Dunleavy Jr.. said during his introductory press conference on Monday that the Warriors are committed to keeping Green, Janie McCauley of The Associated Press reports.

“Until we get the paperwork and the filing we can’t really comment or say much,” Dunleavy said. “I will say it – I think Steve (Kerr) has said it, I’ll reiterate – we really want Draymond back. What he means to this organization and this team in terms of trying to win at the highest level, we feel like we have to have him. So that’s very important.”

Owner Joe Lacob said the “good overwhelms the bad” when it comes to Green and the controversies he’s been involved in, including punching teammate Jordan Poole just before last season began.

“He’s a bit of a controversial player perhaps in some corners around the league, certain things that have happened over the years. He knows that. We know that. But the good overwhelms the bad is what I would say,” Lacob said, adding, “I think if he does come back that he will be very important to our success certainly going forward in the next few years.”

Here’s more from Dunleavy’s first press conference as the Warriors’ new head of basketball operations:

  • Lacob indicated that he didn’t consider outside candidates to replace former top executive Bob Myers, ESPN’s Kendra Andrews relays. Dunleavy Jr. has been in the Warriors’ organization since 2018. He became VP of basketball operations in 2021. “Did I interview other people? No, not really. We didn’t go outside,” Lacob said. “We believe in continuity. We believe we have a really well-oiled machine, a well-running organization. Mike gets along fabulously with all the parties inside.”
  • Regarding Poole, his four-year, $125MM extension kicks in next season and Dunleavy said he’s not looking to deal the guard, despite his disappointing 2022/23 season. There are also questions about whether Green and Poole can continue to coexist.
  • Dunleavy believes Jonathan Kuminga can make more of an impact with expanding playing time, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets in a video clip. “Obviously, a lot of rumors come up this time of year but we’re happy with those guys (Poole and Kuminga),” Dunleavy said.
  • Dunleavy added “you’re always running things by” Stephen Curry but Curry is more concerned with working on his game than influencing roster decisions, Slater relays via another video clip.

Pacific Notes: Westbrook, Vezenkov, Suns, Dunleavy, Lakers

Russell Westbrook will have to balance money vs. playing time when he makes his decision in free agency, write Law Murray and Danny Leroux of The Athletic.

Westbrook took over as the starting point guard after he signed with the Clippers in February and raised his value by averaging 15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 21 games. Leroux speculates that there may not be another team willing to give him a starting role, although opportunities exist if he’s willing to be the first guard off the bench.

The Clippers would prefer to keep Westbrook, but without his Bird rights, they’re limited to an offer of 120% of the veteran’s minimum. Although L.A. could theoretically trim enough salary below the $179.5MM second apron to offer Westbrook the mid-level exception, that wouldn’t be a huge raise because it’s being lowered to $5MM in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Leroux suggests that owner Steve Ballmer could try to re-sign Westbrook with an unspoken understanding that he’ll get a bigger deal next summer when the team will have his Early Bird rights.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings are determined to bring Sasha Vezenkov  to Sacramento next season, according to Christos Tsaltas of Sportal. High-ranking team officials traveled to Greece this season to watch Vezenkov in action and to learn more about his character and work habits. The Kings see Vezenkov as a back-up to Keegan Murray and believe they’re versatile enough to play together, Tsaltas adds.
  • Miles Simon and John Lucas III are the latest additions to Frank Vogel‘s coaching staff with the Suns, tweets Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. Simon was the head coach of the South Bay Lakers in the G League, and they both worked under Vogel in L.A.
  • New general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. was brought to the Warriors‘ management team by his former agent, Bob Myers, shortly after he retired as a player, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Myers hired Dunleavy as a scout in 2018, and he worked his way up through the organization. He has been taking on more of Myers’ duties over the past two years, including attending the league’s gatherings of general managers.
  • The Lakers hosted six players for a pre-draft workout on Saturday, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. On hand were UConn’s Andre Jackson Jr., Stetson’s Sam Peek, Chattanooga’s Jake Stephens, Overtime Elite’s Jazian Gortman, Texas’ Timmy Allen and Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis. L.A. has the 17th and 47th picks in this year’s draft.

Spears: Draymond Green Expected To Decline Player Option

Warriors forward Draymond Green is expected to decline his $27,586,224 player option for 2023/24 and enter unrestricted free agency, Marc J. Spears of ESPN reported on NBA Today (video link).

I’m told that (new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr.) has already met with Steph Curry and Draymond Green. The Warriors expect Draymond Green to opt out of the final year of his contract, I’m being told, but … the Warriors are going to do everything in their power, if he does as expected, to bring him back,” Spears said.

The television segment was centered on the impact of Dunleavy’s promotion ahead of a critical offseason. Spears hears it’s been a “smooth transition” thus far, citing the executive’s “strong relationship” with head coach Steve Kerr and his long NBA history as a former player. Spears added that the Warriors are fielding trade calls for Jonathan Kuminga and Jordan Poole.

The 2016/17 Defensive Player of the Year, Green is arguably the best defender of his generation, earning All-Defensive nods in eight of the past nine seasons, including ’22/23. He has been a critical member of Golden State’s dynastic run over that span, winning four championships to go along with four All-Star berths and two All-NBA selections.

That’s not to say Green’s time with the Warriors has been without controversy. He’s often among the league leaders in technical fouls, punched Poole before training camp started last fall, and was suspended for one game in the playoffs after an incident with Kings center Domantas Sabonis, among other prior transgressions.

The 33-year-old averaged 8.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 6.8 APG, 1.0 SPG and 0.8 BPG on .527/.307/.713 shooting in 73 regular season games (31.5 MPG) this past season. The Warriors won the title in 2022, but lost their second-round playoff series against the Lakers last month.

Green has spent his entire 11-year career with Golden State, the team that selected him 35th overall in 2012. He will become one of the top names on the open market if he does indeed decline the option.

Warriors Promote Mike Dunleavy Jr. To General Manager

9:35am: The Warriors have made Dunleavy’s promotion official, issuing a press release to announce the move.

“We think Mike is the perfect fit to lead our basketball operations department,” Joe Lacob said in a statement. “He has a wealth of basketball knowledge, stemming from his family upbringing, a 15-year NBA playing career and five seasons serving under Bob Myers in our front office. He’s young and energetic, has established numerous relationships around the league and communicates well with players and coaches—all important traits in this business. Mike’s ready for this challenge and responsibility.”

8:12am: Warriors executive Mike Dunleavy Jr. has reached an agreement to become the team’s new general manager, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Dunleavy’s previous title had been vice president of basketball operations, but he’ll receive a promotion following Bob Myersexit from Golden State. Myers had been the Warriors’ longtime GM and president of basketball operations.

Dunleavy, who was close with Myers and has been one of the top lieutenants in the Warriors’ front office in recent years, was repeatedly identified by reporters as the frontrunner to become the club’s new head of basketball operations if the job opened up.

Following Myers’ departure, team owner Joe Lacob told reporters that he wasn’t yet ready to name a replacement, but his talks with Dunleavy’s agents at Excel Sports Management concluded on Thursday with a new long-term deal for the former NBA forward, sources tell ESPN.

The son of former NBA player and coach Mike Dunleavy Sr., Dunleavy Jr. won a national championship at Duke in 2001 and was drafted third overall in 2002 by the Warriors. He played in nearly 1,000 regular season games from 2002-17 for six teams before transitioning into a non-playing role with his original NBA club.

Originally hired by Golden State as a scout in 2018, Dunleavy was promoted to assistant GM in 2019 and was further elevated to VP of basketball operations in 2021.

Although it’s not clear whether he’ll also receive a formal promotion, Joe Lacob’s son Kirk Lacob is also expected to take on a larger decision-making role for the Warriors going forward, Wojnarowski writes. Kirk’s current title is executive VP of basketball operations.

Warriors Aren’t Shopping Jordan Poole

There’s no guarantee that Jordan Poole will be on the Warriors‘ roster next season, but the front office isn’t actively shopping him and there’s not a demand from ownership to reduce salary, sources tell Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Slater states that nobody from Poole’s camp has received an indication that he will be traded this summer.

Golden State officials would probably listen to trade offers for Poole, Slater adds, but the organization doesn’t mind bringing back the core of the team for another season. The strictest penalties for high-spending teams in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement won’t take effect until the 2024/25 season, and Klay Thompson‘s $43MM salary will be off the books by then.

The four-year, $123MM extension that Poole received last fall will kick in next season, raising his salary from $3.9MM to $27.4MM and providing another financial challenge for a team that’s already well into luxury tax territory. Re-signing Draymond Green could push the organization’s total bill for tax and salaries to more than $400MM. Even so, Slater’s sources say the Warriors aren’t looking at salary-dump trades this offseason and the goal of any moves will be to make the team more competitive.

Poole had a down year after helping Golden State win the NBA title in 2022, leading some observers to question whether he’s able to live up to his new contract. He averaged a career-high 20.4 PPG, but he shot just 43% from the field and 33.6% from three point-range. He saw his playing time fluctuate, both in the regular season and playoffs, and was particularly ineffective during the second-round loss to the Lakers.

However, Poole has strong supporters in Kirk Lacob and Mike Dunleavy Jr., who are running the team ahead of the impending departure of general manager Bob Myers. Lacob and Dunleavy were both strong supporters of giving Poole his extension, according to Slater, who notes that during his time as a scout, Dunleavy was a proponent of drafting Poole in the first round in 2019.

The Warriors still haven’t named a formal replacement for Myers, Slater adds, but Lacob and Dunleavy are expected to eventually have their roles elevated and will continue running the team.

Warriors’ Lacob Not Ready To Name Myers’ Successor

Appearing on Tuesday at the press conference announcing Bob Myersdeparture from the Warriors, team owner Joe Lacob told reporters that he wasn’t ready to announce a successor for the team’s longtime head of basketball operations, as Kendra Andrews of ESPN.com relays.

“We’ll make a decision as soon as we can, but I want to make sure that we make the right decision, and if it happens in a week, great. If it happens in a month, great,” Lacob said. “We’ll make that decision through the natural course, have the right process. I think we are preparing for the draft and free agency and all those things regardless, and we’ll be ready.”

Myers’ contract with the Warriors runs through June 30 and he’s expected to remain around the team for the next month to fulfill the rest of his deal. However, Myers said on Tuesday that he’ll be operating in a support role, so it remains unclear who will be taking the lead on draft night (June 22) and at the start of free agency (June 30).

Multiple reports leading up to Myers’ announcement on Tuesday indicated that the Warriors’ next top basketball executive would probably be promoted from within — VP of basketball operations Mike Dunleavy Jr. was frequently cited as the most likely candidate. Lacob didn’t confirm or deny that plan on Tuesday, though he did express confidence in the group that Myers will leave behind.

“I will say that we do have a very strong organization, and there’s a good possibility it could be an internal candidate,” Lacob said, per Andrews. “But haven’t made a decision, so can’t really give you an answer. We are going to work on that.”

In one obliquely worded section of her report, Andrews cites sources who say that “power struggles” within the Warriors, including between ownership and the front office, may limit Golden State’s ability to bring in a big-name executive from outside the organization, making an in-house promotion more likely.

The team could become more of a “family business” in the coming years, Andrews writes, perhaps alluding to the fact that Lacob is reportedly interested in having his son Kirk Lacob – the Warriors’ executive VP of basketball operations – take on a more prominent role in the front office.

Whoever emerges as the Warriors’ next head of basketball operations will assume a role that Myers says requires “complete engagement,” something he felt he could no longer give. Joe Lacob’s expectations in the post-Myers era will remain high, even as the NBA introduces a Collective Bargaining Agreement that will impose more restrictions on the teams with the highest payrolls.

“We are going to win no matter what. I don’t care what the rules are,” Lacob said. “We are going to figure out a way to do it. That’s what good organizations do.”

Bob Myers To Step Down From Position With Warriors

4:54pm: The Warriors have formally announced in a press release that Myers will step down at the conclusion of his contract.

11:27pm: Warriors president of basketball operations and general manager Bob Myers has decided to step down from his position with the franchise, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“It’s just time,” Myers told Wojnarowski.

Myers’ contract with the Warriors is set to expire in June and there had been uncertainty in recent months about whether or not he would reach an agreement to remain with the team. According to Wojnarowski, Myers turned down multiple offers from Warriors ownership that would have made him one of the NBA’s highest-paid executives.

Myers, who told Woj that several factors besides money went into his decision and that he’s unsure about his next move, is scheduled to speak to reporters at 3:00 pm CT for his end-of-season press conference. He’ll presumably go into more detail at that time about his decision to give up his front office position in Golden State, but previous reports have indicated he may step away from the NBA to spend more time with family.

A player agent before he transitioned to the team side of the business, Myers joined the Warriors as an assistant general manager in 2011. He was promoted to GM in 2012 and president of basketball operations in 2016, overseeing the most successful run in franchise history.

Although Stephen Curry was drafted before he arrived in Golden State, Myers was largely responsible for building the rosters that won titles in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2022. He was named the NBA’s Executive Year in both ’15 and ’17.

As Wojnarowski notes, Myers built strong relationships with Warriors franchise cornerstones Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green over the years, so his departure will add more uncertainty to an offseason that was already expected to be an eventful one in Golden State.

Thompson is extension-eligible as he enters a contract year, while Green still has to make a decision on a 2023/24 player option. Jordan Poole‘s lucrative new extension will also go into effect in July as more punitive penalties loom for the NBA’s biggest spenders in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Warriors VP of basketball operations Mike Dunleavy Jr. has been repeatedly mentioned as a possible successor for Myers. According to Wojnarowski, team owner Joe Lacob is also expected to seek a more prominent role for his son Kirk Lacob, who is the club’s executive VP of basketball operations.

Stein’s Latest: Myers, Nurse, Sixers, Pacers, Draft

Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers was originally going to speak with the media last week for his end-of-season press conference, but it was pushed back to this week. As Marc Stein writes at Substack, there’s a belief that Myers doesn’t want to speak publicly without first deciding whether or not he’s going to stay with the team — the longtime executive’s contract expires at the end of June.

Myers’ presser could come as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Stein, who predicts that the 48-year-old will step away from his post and take a break from basketball for the time being. The Athletic first reported that vice president of basketball operations Mike Dunleavy Jr. is viewed as Myers’ “natural successor,” and Stein also believes the former NBA player would take over if Myers departs.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • There was growing buzz linking former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse to the Sixers‘ coaching vacancy late Sunday night, Stein writes. Nurse has interviewed for several open coaching jobs this spring, including Philadelphia, Phoenix and Milwaukee. He’s a finalist for the Suns’ opening and had been a finalist for the Bucks’ lead job until he reportedly withdrew from consideration, leading to speculation that he either knew he wasn’t going to land the position or that he may have had an offer elsewhere. Keith Pompey reported Saturday that Nurse was evaluating his options between the Suns and Sixers.
  • “The rumbles are rising in volume” that the Pacers have designs on moving up in the 2023 NBA draft, according to Stein, who points out that Indiana controls three first-round picks — Nos. 7, 26 and 29. They also have two second-rounders — Nos. 32 and 55. Stein is at least the third reporter to suggest the Pacers might look to package their picks in some fashion.
  • As Stein details, one thing that could be beneficial for the Pacers is there are rumors the Hornets (No. 2), Trail Blazers (No. 3), Rockets (No. 4) and Pistons (No. 5) could be candidates for win-now deals with their own picks. It’s hard to envision what a deal would look like from the Pacers’ perspective in that scenario though, because presumably the rival teams might not be looking for extra draft picks if they want to win now. There aren’t that many win-now players on Indiana’s roster. Not that the Pacers don’t have good players, but several are young and aren’t going anywhere. Maybe Buddy Hield or T.J. McConnell would fit the bill? I’m not sure how enticing that would be, even though they’re both good players in different ways. Myles Turner would draw interest, but I’d be a little surprised if he’s moved after Indiana renegotiated and extended his contract.