Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Southeast Notes: Miller, Curry, Wizards, Young

Rookie forward Brandon Miller is the main reason for optimism in Charlotte, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic, who suggests the Hornets should trade LaMelo Ball and build for the future around Miller.

Although Ball has better stats, Jones views Miller as having more overall impact because of his superior shooting combined with an ability to dribble and pass, along with his impact on defense. Jones sees Miller as a younger version of Paul George, which is a comparison that was made frequently when Miller was in college.

As Jones notes, injuries are the main concern for Ball, who signed a five-year extension last summer that will take effect in 2024/25. He has appeared in just 22 of Charlotte’s 56 games this season after being limited to 36 last year. Even so, Jones believes Ball has enough trade value to provide a nice return for the Hornets, who are also likely to land a top five pick in this year’s draft.

Jones believes Charlotte is headed in the right direction after bringing in Grant WilliamsSeth Curry, Vasilije Micić and Tre Mann at the trade deadline. Each of those players brings something valuable to the roster, Jones adds, and Mann has excelled since becoming the team’s starting point guard.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Curry was thrilled to be traded to his hometown Hornets, and have his father, Dell, as one of the team’s broadcasters, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. The whole family was together Friday night in San Francisco as Charlotte faced Stephen Curry‘s Warriors. “It’s special,” Seth Curry said. “When we are in the game, we are locked into the game, so it’s kind of like no different. But just to see him on the floor about to call the game and to see him afterwards it’s special. Because usually we only see him twice a year, four times a year or something like that. And for all three of us to be involved in one game, that’s history.” 
  • Interim coach Brian Keefe is experimenting with rotations for the Wizards, who dropped their 10th straight game Friday night, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. During the final part of the season, she expects the team to see what it has in Patrick Baldwin Jr., who was acquired from Golden State last summer, Johnny Davis, a 2022 lottery pick who has never been able to earn consistent playing time, and Eugene Omoruyi, who’s currently on a two-way contract but may be a strong candidate for a standard deal.
  • Hawks guard Trae Young is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Orlando due to an injured finger on his left hand, tweets Lauren Williams of The Journal-Constitution.

Pistons/Wizards Notes: Morris, Trade, Baldwin, Avdija, Gafford

One of the Pistons‘ primary offseason acquisitions — guard Monte Morris — has yet to play this season. However, he should be back before this month ends, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).

A steady veteran, Morris is known for his ability to take care of the ball, which has been Detroit’s biggest weakness this season. In 2022/23, the Michigan native had a 5.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He has also shot 39.2% from deep in his career, though it’s on fairly low volume (3.1 attempts per game).

Morris has been sidelined by back and quad injuries this season. He’s in the final season of his contract, which will pay him $9.8MM in 2023/24.

Here’s more on the Pistons and Wizards, who made a trade yesterday:

  • Since the Pistons decided to create a traded player exception in Sunday’s deal and operate over the salary cap, they won’t be able to aggregate the salaries of Danilo Gallinari or Mike Muscala in a future trade, notes Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). Both players can still be traded on their own — they can also be flipped in multi-player deals where their salaries don’t need to be combined with others for matching purposes.
  • Pistons head coach Monty Williams touched on all four players involved in the deal that saw Marvin Bagley III, Isaiah Livers and two second-round picks head to Washington, while Gallinari and Muscala were sent to Detroit, per Sankofa (Twitter link). “I just got to Detroit and I got a chance to be with Bags and Liv for a short period, but those guys were stellar in how they handled their business. … Trades are never easy on either party, especially when you have family,” Williams said. “We do have room for guys like Gallo and Muscala just because they are vets, they understand how to play … we’ll try to figure out their (fit) as we go along.” Williams went on to say that the two veteran big men will be able to space the floor for Detroit, but they’ll probably have to play center due to their lack of defensive mobility, Sankofa adds (via Twitter).
  • Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. praised Gallinari and Muscala, as Sankofa relays (Twitter links). “We’re going to miss their veteran leadership and shooting … they’ll really help the young group,” Unseld said. “They’ve been really good as far as barometers, bringing that experience and perspective to a younger core. Those guys were terrific for us.” Unseld also touched on the additions of Bagley and Livers. “He’s a skilled big,” Unseld said of Bagley. “He can score around the rim, good touch and can expand his range as he gets comfortable … Isaiah’s been a pretty good shooter in his career and has the ability to be a two-way player, has defensive size.”
  • The four players were not cleared to play in time for Monday’s contest, but Bagley and Livers attended the game and watched in owner Ted Leonsis‘ luxury box, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Pistons won the game, snapping their seven-game losing streak.
  • Second-year forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. got some run as a small-ball center on Monday with the Wizards shorthanded and played well in limited minutes, going 3-of-3 from long distance for nine points in 12 minutes, notes Robbins (Twitter links). Baldwin had only played 71 minutes this season leading into the game.
  • The Wizards haven’t had many bright spots this season but the development of Deni Avdija stands out as a positive, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Avdija, who inked a four-year, $55MM rookie scale extension in the offseason (it begins in 2024/25), is averaging career highs in several statistics and has grown as a play-maker, per O’Connor.
  • Wizards center Daniel Gafford sustained a head injury on Monday and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest (Twitter link). Gafford has been mentioned in some trade rumors this season.

Trade Breakdown: Chris Paul To The Warriors

This is the third entry in our series breaking down the significant trades of the 2023 offseason. As opposed to giving out grades, this series explores why the teams were motivated to make the moves. Let’s dive into a blockbuster deal between the Warriors and Wizards…

On July 6:

  • The Warriors acquired Chris Paul.
  • The Wizards acquired Jordan Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Ryan Rollins, the Warriors’ 2030 first-round pick (top-20 protected), the Warriors’ 2027 second-round pick, and cash.
  • Note: The Wizards created a $3,344,643 traded player exception as part of this deal, which is the difference between Paul’s outgoing salary ($30,800,000) and the incoming salary of Poole ($27,455,357). Baldwin ($2,337,720) and Rollins ($1,719,864) were acquired via existing TPEs.

The Warriors’ perspective:

Poole being traded was seemingly inevitable as soon as the Warriors lost in the second round of the 2022/23 playoffs, with the young guard struggling mightily throughout the postseason. It had been clear for a while that it was probably going to come down to moving Poole or Draymond Green, whom the team re-signed to a four-year, $100MM contract in free agency.

The Warriors needed to reconfigure their chemistry and on-court results following an uneven attempt to repeat as champions last season. Instead of moving on from a core member of their dynasty, they traded Poole.

That really wasn’t much of a choice – Green has arguably been the best defensive player in the league over the past decade, helping Golden State reach six NBA Finals and win four championships, and Stephen Curry has referred to him as his favorite teammate.

Green has made plenty of poor decisions over the years – he’s annually one of the league leaders in technical fouls and has been suspended multiple times in the regular season and playoffs. Blowing up the Warriors’ season before it even began by punching a teammate he had previously mentored was a new low. And despite plenty of media grandstanding, he never publicly or privately apologized to Poole, according to Logan Murdock of The Ringer.

The organization has always catered to Green, as he didn’t even face punishment for the incident other than an undisclosed fine. Following a string of incidents in ’23/24, he received an indefinite suspension to (perhaps) address some of the underlying causes for his reckless behavior.

It’s worth noting that Green will make less money than Poole ($123MM+) over the next four years as well. Future payroll considerations played a significant factor in this deal, as owner Joe Lacob acknowledged in September.

The Warriors have had record-setting luxury tax bills for multiple years running, but Lacob has said they hope to be below the second tax apron in ‘24/25. Paul’s $30MM salary for ‘24/25 is non-guaranteed, while Poole will be in the second year of his rookie scale extension.

Even if Golden State wins the title in ‘23/24 – which is looking extremely unlikely at this point — I’d be shocked if the team guarantees Paul’s salary for next season. The only way that would make sense would be if the Warriors trade him for a roster upgrade in the offseason, but that would probably require taking on long-term money, which they’ve said they want to avoid.

That doesn’t mean the Warriors can’t try to re-sign Paul at a lower figure, assuming things turn around and he’s open to it. That would require a major discount though, as they’ll lose his Bird rights if they waive him — they’d likely be limited to offering him a minimum-salary deal unless they remove additional salary from their books.

The logic behind this trade made sense for the Warriors, but I’m sure it was painful to move Poole so soon after extending him, even if they view Paul as a short-term upgrade. That’s reasonable enough.

Paul is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, earning 12 All-Star berths, 11 All-NBA nods, and nine All-Defensive spots over the course of his 18 seasons. He has led the league in steals per game six times and assists per game five times, with three of those seasons overlapping.

Despite being 38 years old, Paul remains a clear upgrade over Poole in several areas. He’s a better rebounder, and there’s not so much a gap as a chasm between Paul’s defense, decision-making, passing, and ability to take care of the ball compared to Poole’s. Paul is nicknamed “the Point God” for a reason.

Turnovers were a major problem for the Warriors in ‘22/23, with the team ranking 29th in the league with a 15.8% turnover percentage. Poole was a major contributor to that, averaging 3.1 turnovers per game — second-most on the team behind Curry — and posting a 1.46-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, slightly worse than his career mark (1.61-to-1).

Remarkably, Paul has had an assist-to-turnover ratio below 3-to-1 only once in his career – back in 2019/20 with OKC, when he shared ball-handling duties and was more focused on scoring. And even then, it was just barely under (2.93-to-1). For his career, he’s at 3.98-to-1. Last season: 4.6-to-1. So far in ‘23/24: 6-to-1.

While it’s true that the Warriors had to attach some marginal assets to move Poole’s long-term contract, this trade does show one of the fringe benefits of rookie scale extensions: Having his salary already locked in for ’24/25 meant that Golden State didn’t have to deal with restricted free agency or work out a sign-and-trade, which is much more complicated, especially for the league’s biggest spenders.

He has never won a title, but Paul’s teams have made the playoffs 15 times in his 18 years in the league, including the last 13 seasons in a row.

His elite basketball IQ undoubtedly remains, but Paul’s ability to create shots for himself and convert them at a high level has taken a step back. Through 21 games, he has a career-low true shooting percentage (53.2%) and usage rate (15.0%). Part of that is due to the team’s roster construction, but he also isn’t playing at the same level as he did a couple years ago.

Obviously, there are major injury concerns as well, and Poole was quite durable, appearing in 76 and 82 regular season games the past two years (compared to 65 and 59 for Paul).

The Warriors miss Poole’s ability to generate offense for himself, take on an increased scoring load when Curry misses time, and get to the free throw line – Golden State was dead last in free throw attempts per game in ‘22/23, and Poole led the team with 5.1 per contest (just ahead of Curry at 5.0).

After starting the season 5-1, the Warriors have gone 5-13 over their past 18 games and currently hold a 10-14 record. The majority of those defeats have been very competitive, with blowing leads an issue of late. Still, as the saying goes, a loss is a loss.

With Golden State in a tailspin, it would be easy to point the finger at a newcomer like Paul. But the Warriors have been markedly better when he’s on the court and much worse when he’s off, and advanced stats say he’s been one of the more impactful players on the team.

Paul has been spearheading the second unit, which has undergone a remarkable turnaround to this point – it’s actually the starting unit that has struggled in ’23/24, not the reserves. Last season was the total opposite, as the starters were the best five-man group in the NBA and the bench was a major liability.

Both Rollins and Baldwin missed chunks of their rookie seasons in ‘22/23 and didn’t play much at the NBA level when they were healthy. They almost certainly weren’t going to have rotation roles for the Warriors this season either. The 2027 second-rounder isn’t a significant asset on its own.

Trading the 2030 first-round pick stings, even if it’s heavily protected (it will turn into Golden State’s 2030 second-rounder if it doesn’t convey). The primary reason for that has less to do with the pick itself and more to do with the Stepien rule, which will prevent the Warriors from trading their own first-rounders in 2029 and 2031, at least once they’re able to (you can only trade picks seven years out).

Dealing three young players and marginal draft assets for a future Hall of Famer who is still effective but clearly in the twilight of his career showed that new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. is willing to make bold moves, particularly with an eye on future financial flexibility. I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Warriors trading Paul again this season either, depending on how they play in the next several weeks leading up to the deadline.

The Wizards’ perspective:

I admire Poole for two reasons. One, he’s a late first-round pick who struggled mightily early in his career, spent a lot of time in the G League, and then emerged as an important contributor on a championship team.

Two, I never once saw him publicly discuss last fall’s incident when he had every opportunity to throw Green and the Warriors under the bus. There are no “competitor” justifications for Green did – it was wrong, plain and simple.

Imagine being asked nearly every day about something terrible that happened to you, that millions of people witnessed via video, and you only take the high road. That says something about Poole as a person, regardless of what you think of him as player.

I can’t say I’ve ever been partial to Poole’s game. He’s undeniably talented, but flashy scorers who don’t play defense aren’t my cup of tea.

Paul didn’t fit the Wizards based on the position they’re currently in. Poole, Baldwin, Rollins and draft assets do.

As mentioned in a previous article, Paul was the primary salary-matching piece acquired in the Bradley Beal trade, so these two deals are directly connected. For the Wizards, this was about flipping Paul for as many assets as they could.

Is Poole even an asset right now? I would say no, he likely has negative value due to his declining play. But that doesn’t mean the reasoning for this trade was illogical at the time it was made.

It’s easy to overlook now that he’s no longer on the team, but Poole was a key member of the Warriors’ championship run in ’21/22, averaging 17.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists over 22 playoff games (27.5 minutes). He posted a .508/.391/.915 shooting line over that span for 65.4% TS – an elite mark. That’s a big part of why Golden State gave him the extension.

But the NBA is a “what have you done for me lately” league, and Poole struggled mightily last postseason, averaging more field goal attempts (10.4) than points (10.3) while his shooting rates dipped to .341/.254/.765 (a dreadful 44.7% TS) in 13 games (21.8 MPG). His apathetic defense, poor shot selection, questionable decision-making and inconsistency were issues throughout ‘22/23.

I thought Poole might have a turnaround with Washington in ‘23/24, and I wasn’t alone. In early August, one betting site had him as a way-too-early favorite for Most Improved Player.

Poole averaged 25.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists on 59.5% TS in 17 games with Curry sidelined in ‘21/22. He averaged 26.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists on 56.5% TS in 26 games with Curry injured last season. There were valid reasons to think he could put up big numbers this season.

I was wrong, and the Wizards’ gamble hasn’t paid off to this point. Poole has had a dreadful start to the season, with advanced stats indicating he has been one of the worst rotation regulars in the NBA – perhaps even the worst high-usage player in the league.

Poole’s numbers are down across the board — he has recorded fewer points, rebounds and assists per game in nearly the same amount of minutes as ‘21/22 and ‘22/23. His turnover rate is up and his assist rate is down. His efficiency has cratered, with his true shooting percentage down to 51.0%, compared to 58.4% over the last three seasons (for context, the league average TS in ’23/24 is 57.7%, but it’s nearly always a couple points lower for guards).

The Wizards are terrible. They’re 3-20, which remarkably is only tied for the second-worst record in the league.

Despite their overall ineptitude, there’s still no sugarcoating how poorly Poole has played in his 22 games. His net rating differential is a ghastly minus-19.9. When he’s off the court, the team actually has a (slightly) positive net rating – he’s the only player on the roster who holds that distinction.

Rollins has only played 49 minutes for the Wizards; Baldwin is at 36. You can’t draw any conclusions from sample sizes that small. They’re young, on relatively inexpensive contracts, and may or may not develop into useful NBA players.

Given Poole’s poor play and pricey long-term deal, the lack of roles for Rollins and Baldwin, and the fairly modest draft assets the Wizards acquired for Paul, you could argue the early return hasn’t been great for the Wizards. However, that’s only a small part of the bigger picture.

Beal’s contract is far more onerous than Poole’s, as he’s owed $208MM over the next four years and has a full no-trade clause. And he’s only played five games in ‘23/24 so far due to a back injury.

Beal, 30, had no place in a rebuild. Nor did Paul, whom the Suns reportedly considered waiving before making a high-risk, high-reward trade for Beal.

In total, when combining the two trades, the Wizards received Poole, Baldwin, Rollins, Landry Shamet, a top-20 protected first-rounder, four first-round swaps, seven second-round picks (one was sent to Indiana) and cash for Beal.

Poole is only 24 and doesn’t have a no-trade clause. Some of those pick swaps could be valuable in the future. Second-round picks can be useful, for trades and for finding diamonds in the rough. They could probably flip Shamet into another second-rounder or two if they want to move him.

The Wizards accomplished their overall goal of acquiring assets while getting younger and focusing on player development. Time will tell if they’re able to turn into a winning franchise, but they’ve been stuck in NBA purgatory for decades, and needed to get worse before they had a chance at getting better.

Wizards Exercise 2024/25 Options On Kispert, Davis, Baldwin

The Wizards have exercised their 2024/25 options on Corey Kispert, Johnny Davis and Patrick Baldwin Jr., Ava Wallace of the Washington Post tweets.

The fourth-year option for Kispert is worth $5,705,887. It was expected he’d be retained, given that he has established himself as a steady scoring option. Kispert averaged 11.1 points last season and drained 42.4% of his 3-point attempts.

Davis had a disappointing rookie year but Washington wasn’t going to give up on a lottery pick that quickly. Davis, who made his season debut against Boston on Monday after recovering from a left elbow sprain, will make $5,291,160 in his third season.

Baldwin was a bit more of a question mark. He was included in the deal that brought Jordan Poole to Washington and sent Chris Paul to Golden State. Drafted with the No. 28 pick in 2022, Baldwin appeared in 31 regular season games with the Warriors last season and has seen spot duty thus far with Washington. He’ll receive a $2,448,840 salary in 2024/25.

The full list of rookie scale option decisions for ’24/25, which are due on Tuesday, can be found right here.

Warriors, Wizards Officially Complete Chris Paul, Jordan Poole Trade

The Wizards have officially traded point guard Chris Paul to the Warriors, completing a deal that was first reported on draft day. The Warriors confirmed the move in a press release (Twitter link).

In exchange for Paul, Washington received guards Jordan Poole and Ryan Rollins, forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., the Warriors’ 2030 first-round pick (top-20 protected), Golden State’s 2027 second-round pick, and cash, per a Wizards announcement.

One of the most accomplished point guards in NBA history, Paul holds career averages of 17.9 points, 9.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game on .472/.369/.870 shooting in 1214 regular season appearances across 18 NBA seasons. His 13.9 PPG in 2022/23 represented a career low, but he still shot the ball well (.440/.375/.831) and contributed 8.9 APG, 4.3 RPG and 1.5 SPG in 59 regular season contests.

In Golden State, CP3 will team up with Warriors stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in search of his first NBA championship. Golden State will also create long-term cap flexibility in the deal by replacing Jordan Poole’s four-year, $123MM+ extension with Paul’s pseudo-expiring $30.8MM contract. Paul is under contract for 2024/25 too, but his $30MM salary for that season is non-guaranteed.

The Wizards, who initially acquired Paul from the Suns in their Bradley Beal blockbuster, will roll the dice on Poole and a pair of 2022 draftees while also securing a pair of draft assets in the deal.

Because draft picks can’t be protected more than seven years out, the Warriors’ top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick won’t roll over to 2031 if it doesn’t convey in ’30. The exact terms of the protection aren’t yet known, but I expect Washington will instead receive Golden State’s 2030 second-rounder if that first-rounder lands in the top 20.

You can read more about this trade in our initial June report.

Wizards Trade No. 57 Pick Trayce Jackson-Davis To Warriors

JUNE 23: The Warriors and Wizards have completed the Jackson-Davis trade separately from their larger Paul/Poole deal. According to a press release, Golden State acquired Jackson-Davis’ rights in exchange for cash considerations.

As noted below, Baldwin will be included in the Paul/Poole trade rather than this one.

JUNE 22: The Warriors are acquiring the No. 57 pick from the Wizards and drafting Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The same two teams agreed to a much bigger trade on Thursday, with the Warriors trading Jordan Poole and future draft picks to the Wizards for Chris Paul. The Wizards are also acquiring Patrick Baldwin as part of that deal, according to Charania (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether Golden State’s acquisition of the No. 57 pick will be folded into the larger trade as well.

Jackson-Davis, a 6’9” forward, was one of the most productive college players in the nation last season, averaging  20.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Hoosiers.

Baldwin Jr. was Golden State’s first-round pick last season and appeared in 31 regular-season games.

Pacific Notes: Baldwin, Thompson, Russell, Okpala

Warriors rookie forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. is getting some playing time and coach Steve Kerr sees a bright future for the first round pick, C.J. Holmes of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.

“When I watch Patrick I see a future rotation player,” the Warriors coach said. “He fits. You can see it. He makes shots from the perimeter with ease. He shoots it from such a level of extension that you can barely challenge the shot.”

Baldwin contributed 11 points in 10 minutes for the Warriors against the Lakers on Thursday and 11 more points in 16 minutes against Houston on Friday.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Klay Thompson has four rings and a contract that runs through next season. The Warriors shooting guard says he’s still hungry at this stage of his career, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make 12 three-pointers in multiple games in a season while scoring 42 points against Houston. “I did something that no one else has ever done before,” Thompson said. “I looked at (Stephen Curry) immediately when I did it because, I mean, that man’s got all the records, so it’s fun to push the game forward with him. I’m still so hungry to be great. I’ll never be satisfied.”
  • Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell went through pregame warmups but was ultimately ruled out of the team’s game against Dallas, according to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register (Twitter links). Acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline, Russell suffered a sprained right ankle against Golden State on Thursday.
  • The Kings still believe KZ Okpala can be a defensive factor in his NBA career, but chose to waive him after determining that he needed knee surgery, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports in a subscriber-only story. Okpala, who appeared in 35 games after signing as a free agent, has been sidelined with bilateral knee soreness and is now expected to undergo season-ending surgery. The team consulted with multiple medical professionals to evaluate Okpala’s injury, Anderson adds.

Pacific Notes: Baldwin, Wiseman, Sabonis, LeBron, Bryant

As the Warriors‘ nightmarish road trip wrapped up Wednesday in Brooklyn, there were encouraging signs from two players who spent much of the season in the G League, writes C.J. Holmes of The San Francisco Chronicle. Given extended minutes in the blowout loss, rookie forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. posted career highs with 17 points and five three-pointers and he got to experience his first matchup with Kevin Durant.

“I mean, KD is going to be KD,” Baldwin said. “He’s going to hit his tough shots. He’s going to get to his spots and I thought a lot of guys stepped up and accepted that challenge.”

Also setting a career high was third-year center James Wiseman, who made 12-of-14 shots from the field and scored 30 points. Holmes notes that he showed a soft touch around the basket and sank his first three-pointer of the season.

“James did a great job tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s fun to kind of see him let loose and get some minutes and make the most of it. He did a lot of good things offensively.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • After missing two games with an illness, Donte DiVincenzo should be able to return for the Warriors on Sunday against Memphis, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. However, Andrew Wiggins (right adductor strain) and JaMychal Green (health and safety protocols) have both been ruled out.
  • X-rays confirmed that Kings big man Domantas Sabonis suffered an injury to his right hand Friday night, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Further testing will determine the extent of the damage, and Sabonis’ pain tolerance could factor into how much time he will miss. Sabonis leads the NBA with 23 double-doubles, and is one of three players averaging 10 rebounds and five assists per game, along with Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
  • With Anthony Davis injured, the Lakers need more from LeBron James than he’s capable of providing at nearly age 38, per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Goodwill points out that James is taking the second-most shots of his career, while his efficiency is at the lowest point since 2015. He’s also attempting more three-pointers and fewer free throws this season and doesn’t appear capable of leading L.A. to the playoffs without another star on the court.
  • Thomas Bryant, who left Friday’s game with a shoulder injury, isn’t on the Lakers’ injury report for Sunday, tweets Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.

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.

Warriors Rumors: Poole, Green, Klay, Wiggins, Moody, More

If the Warriors want to sign Jordan Poole to a rookie scale extension before the October 17 deadline, it will likely require a baseline offer of $120MM over four years, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who said during an appearance on the HoopsHype podcast that Tyler Herro‘s deal with Miami raised the bar for Golden State and Poole.

Slater, who believes the two sides will get something done in the coming days, suggests that the incident with Draymond Green last week might’ve create some additional urgency on the Warriors’ side, since they won’t want Poole’s contract situation hanging over his head all year after what happened with Green.

Slater also observes that there are some teams who project to have cap room next year that could realistically offer Poole a maximum-salary offer sheet. In Slater’s view, the Magic and Spurs are among the rebuilding teams who could use a backcourt scorer like Poole and would have the financial flexibility to make life difficult for the Warriors if the 23-year-old makes it to restricted free agency.

Here’s more out of Golden State:

  • The Warriors appear to be in “wait-and-see” mode on potential extensions for Green and Klay Thompson, says Slater. There’s no real urgency on the Thompson front because he’s under contract for two more guaranteed seasons. Green can become a free agent next summer, but the Warriors will likely want to see how this season plays out to get a sense of how he regains the team’s trust, what his market will be like, and whether he’ll be able to top his $27.6MM player option.
  • Andrew Wiggins is also extension-eligible, and Slater believes the Warriors would be interested in exploring a new deal if the former No. 1 pick is willing to take a slight pay cut (perhaps from his current $33.6MM into the 20s). But it’s unclear whether Wiggins would consider that as he comes off his best NBA season.
  • Slater believes Moses Moody is a better bet than Jonathan Kuminga or Patrick Baldwin Jr. to step into a rotation role immediately this season, since he’s a good fit for a three-and-D spot. While the Warriors like Baldwin’s long-term potential, Slater expects him to spend a lot of time in the G League as a rookie.
  • The Warriors allowed their veterans to take on a major role in the handling of the Green/Poole altercation last week, according to Slater, who points to Stephen Curry, Kevon Looney, and Andre Iguodala as players who were very involved. “The players are of the belief that it’s better for the team to bring Draymond back in now,” Slater said.