Trayce Jackson-Davis

Pacific Notes: LeBron, Lakers, Jackson-Davis, Beal

The idea that LeBron James will be a driving force in choosing the Lakers‘ next head coach is inaccurate, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who said during an appearance on FanDuel’s Run it Back show on Monday that the star forward has had no involvement in the process so far (Twitter video link).

“I’m told LeBron James is not involved in the Lakers’ head coaching search,” Charania said. “… (He) has made it clear this is the organization’s decision. He’s had no conversations with the Laker about J.J. Redick, his podcast partner. He’s had no conversations with J.J. about that position as well.

“I did speak to (James’ agent) Rich Paul this morning. He said, ‘LeBron James and J.J. Redick, they do a podcast together. That does not mean that he wants J.J. Redick as his head coach.’ He’s leaving it up to the organization.”

Previous reports have indicated that the Lakers will more heavily weigh Anthony Davis‘ future and input as they decide on a new head coach, since the expectation is that Davis’ time in Los Angeles will extend beyond that of James, who will turn 40 later this year.

Charania reiterated that point during his Run it Back segment, noting that Davis has “built a rapport” with James Borrego. While Charania cites Davis and Borrego overlapping during their stints with the Pelicans, it’s worth noting that Borrego left New Orleans for Orlando during the 2012 offseason, which is when Davis was drafted, so any overlap was very brief. Borrego returned to the Pelicans in 2023 as an assistant on Willie Green‘s staff.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • In a column for The Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke makes it clear he’s not a fan of the idea of the Lakers hiring Redick, writing that it would “not only be one of the oddest Lakers coaching hires in a long list of them…but it might also be the first talk-show driven head coaching hire in NBA history.”
  • Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski, who was named to the All-Rookie first team on Monday, believes his teammate Trayce Jackson-Davis should have joined him in receiving All-Rookie recognition, writes Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Jackson-Davis narrowly missed earning a spot on the second team, finishing 11th among vote-getters, a single point behind Grizzlies forward GG Jackson. “Just to see from a guard’s perspective (Jackson-Davis’) impact on our games and how he helped us win games this year, I think maybe the voters should take winning into more of an account,” Podziemski said. “It sucks to see him not make it. I think he was well deserving of it.”
  • Could Bradley Beal thrive in a point guard role the same way that Jrue Holiday did under new Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee? Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic weighs that question, considering just how important it is for Phoenix to add a true point guard this offseason.

NBA Announces 2023/24 All-Rookie Teams

The NBA officially unveiled the two All-Rookie teams for the 2023/24 season on Monday (Twitter links). The teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Unsurprisingly, Wembanyama and Holmgren were unanimous selections to the first team (Twitter link). Last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Wembanyama was also the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year, with Holmgren receiving all but one second-place vote for that award.

The entire first team mirrored the Rookie of the Year balloting, with Miller, Jaquez and Podziemski coming in third through fifth. Lively received the most points for the second team, followed by Thompson, George, Wallace and Jackson.

Jackson is the only All-Rookie member who wasn’t drafted in the first round; he was selected 45th overall in 2023 and initially signed a two-way contract. He was converted to a standard contract in February.

The current youngest player in the NBA, Jackson didn’t start receiving regular minutes until mid-January. The 19-year-old put up some big numbers down the stretch though, including 31 points and 44 points in the final two games of the season.

Jackson beat out Warriors big man Trayce Jackson-Davis for the final spot on the second team by a single point. Jackson actually received fewer overall votes (38 vs. 42 for Jackson-Davis), but earned the nod by receiving five first-team votes, which were worth two points apiece (second-team votes were worth one point each).

A total of 22 rookies received at least one vote. Aside from Jackson-Davis, the other top finishers who didn’t make the cut were Pistons forward Ausar Thompson (35 points), Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson (33), and Wizards wing Bilal Coulibaly (14). Ausar is Amen’s identical twin brother.

All-Rookie was one of the awards that didn’t require players to meet the newly instituted 65-game minimum. Jackson, Lively, Thompson, and Wallace didn’t meet that criteria, but they were still eligible for All-Rookie honors.

Warriors Notes: Thurs. Win, Kuminga, Jackson-Davis, Green

The Warriors all but ended the Rockets‘ season on Thursday with a 133-110 victory in Houston that widened the gap between the two teams to four games with just six left to play. As Kendra Andrews of ESPN notes, because Golden State holds the tiebreaker over the Rockets, the Warriors’ lead for the No. 10 spot in the West is essentially five games.

Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and the Warriors relished the opportunity to deal a virtual death blow to Houston’s play-in chances, particularly after injured Rockets forward Tari Eason showed up to the game wearing a shirt that read, “Warriors, come out to play.” According to Andrews, both Thompson and Green faced the Houston crowd and yelled that phrase later in the night.

“That’s pretty lame, especially if you’re not even playing,” Thompson said of Eason’s shirt. “It’s one thing if you are out there playing, out there competing and you can back it up. But you’re just going to be trolling from the sideline? What are you doing? The time we talk smack, we’re out there competing. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Eason was limited to just 22 appearances in 2023/24 due to health issues and underwent season-ending leg surgery in March. Green said he’s looking forward to getting the opportunity to play the Rockets next season when Eason is healthy and that he hopes the two teams are fighting for a higher seed at that point.

“I love it [but] if you’re going to say that, you got to play,” Green said. “You can’t come out and say that and not play. But I know what type of player he is. He welcomes all of that. He welcomes the challenge and welcomes the fight. … Hopefully next year he’ll say the same thing and we both won’t be fighting for the play-in, we’ll be fighting for the seeding.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Jonathan Kuminga started 29 consecutive games for the Warriors before missing the past five contests due to a knee issue, but he’ll likely return to the bench once he’s healthy, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Golden State has won all five of those games without Kuminga, and the new-look starting five of Stephen Curry, Thompson, Green, Andrew Wiggins, and Trayce Jackson-Davis has a +26.4 net rating during that stretch. “We’ve established something here,” head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Thursday. “If we’re playing well, we generally keep the same starting lineup.” The Warriors are “hopeful” Kuminga will be back on Friday.
  • Prior to the last five games, Green and Jackson-Davis had only played 92 minutes together this season, but Kerr has leaned heavily recently on that frontcourt duo, which now has a +16.6 net rating (and a 96.2 defensive rating) in 169 total minutes. “Trayce and Draymond together have changed our team,” Kerr said on Thursday, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “It’s pretty dramatic, the rim protection and rebounding that Trayce gives us and what that allows Draymond to do.”
  • Green is also a fan of the combination, suggesting on Thursday that playing next to Jackson-Davis gives him more freedom on defense: “It allows me to take more chances. Not necessarily chances gambling for a steal, but to clog the paint up, make extra rotations. If I’m the five, I’m the last line of defense. The things that I do off of instinct, reading the game on the fly, it’s hard to do that at the five because you’re anchoring everybody. So if I just run over here to cover up something but I’m the five, that’s leaving the rim unprotected. But if I know the rim is protected with Trayce, I’ll just go do it.”
  • Green’s tremendous defensive play since last week’s ejection in Orlando is a prime example of why the Warriors are willing to endure the veteran forward’s lows, knowing that there are likely highs around the corner, says Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Kawakami suggests that the Warriors have always taken a practical, big-picture approach with Green, who remains a key part of the team’s on-court success.

Warriors’ Draymond Green Ejected Wednesday In Orlando

Warriors forward/center Draymond Green was ejected less than four minutes into Wednesday’s matchup with the Magic in Orlando after an argument with official Ray Acosta, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

NBC Sports Bay Area has a video (Twitter link) of the incident. Green wasn’t even directly involved in the play — he was arguing a foul that was called on Andrew Wiggins against Orlando’s Paolo Banchero, who converted an and-one layup with 8:24 remaining in the first period.

Several members of the Warriors — including Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Brandin Podziemski — went over to Green as he continued to complain to Acosta. As Green was heading back to the bench, he had some choice words for the official, and he received his second technical foul, resulting in an automatic ejection.

Curry was visibly emotional after Green was ejected, per NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter video link).

Green’s latest incident comes at a critical time in the season for the Warriors, who hold a one-game lead on the red-hot Rockets for the final spot in the Western Conference’s play-in tournament. Both teams have 11 games remaining on their regular season schedules.

The Warriors were already playing without third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga on Wednesday — the second of a back-to-back — against a Magic team that has gone 18-6 over its past 24 games. According to Slater, head coach Steve Kerr said Kuminga is dealing with knee tendinitis, describing it as a minor issue (Twitter link). Kerr expects Kuminga to be active Friday in Charlotte.

It’s also a noteworthy development because it’s Green’s first ejection since his indefinite suspension back in December for striking Jusuf Nurkic in the face. That wound up being a 12-game ban, and Green missed another four while working himself back into shape. He was also suspended five games earlier in the season for putting Rudy Gobert in a headlock.

Green has now received 10 technical fouls in 2023/24, according to Spotrac, with six (including the two today) coming after his last suspension. For today’s ejection, he’ll be fined a total of $6,000 — $3,000 for each technical.

NBA players receive an automatic one-game suspension when they reach 16 technical fouls, so Green has a little wiggle room below that threshold. Still, the fact that he lost his cool again in a crucial game obviously isn’t ideal for Golden State.

On a more positive note, rookie big man Trayce Jackson-Davis returned from a one-game absence due to knee soreness and immediately went into the starting lineup in the frontcourt alongside Green, notes ESPN’s Kendra Andrews (via Twitter). Klay Thompson also made his second straight start after a big game on Tuesday in Miami.

For what it’s worth, the Warriors led the Magic at halftime, 45-37.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Jackson-Davis, Looney, Next Season

The offensive burden on Stephen Curry is greater than ever, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic writes. The Warriors currently don’t have a steady No. 2 scoring option and they’re 18-20 this season when Curry scores fewer than 30 points.

“We can’t expect to just ride Steph game after game after game,” coach Steve Kerr said, adding, “… We’ve put the burden of this franchise on his shoulders for 15 years.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • In a subscriber-only story, Kerr tells The Indianapolis Star’s Dustin Dopirak how former Indiana University star Trayce Jackson-Davis has impacted the team in his first season. “Trayce is just incredibly mature for a rookie,” Kerr said. “He’s a little bit like the bigs who came into the league way back when I came in. Lots of college experience. Already grounded in the fundamentals of the game. It’s easy to throw stuff at him, sort of NBA stuff that he hasn’t seen before and expect him to pick up on it because he’s got this great fundamental base.” The second-rounder is averaging 7.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 14.9 minutes through 57 games. He missed Tuesday’s game in Miami due to knee soreness, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.
  • Kevon Looney said he learned valuable lessons from Dejan Milojevic, the assistant who died suddenly in January. “Deki was a great coach. He was brutally honest, but he always had a smile on his face,” Looney told Hoops Hype’s Sam Yip. “He’s always joyful. He made coming into work that much better, and that much more fun. I had the best years of my career learning from him, learning different footwork, learning the different nuances of offensive rebounding, and learning how to finish. He wasn’t the biggest guy, but he scored a lot of points overseas, he was one of the best scorers in his league, and he was undersized. So he taught me different things about leverage, pump-fakes, angles, and different things like that.”
  • While the Warriors haven’t given up this season, they may be looking at next season to make one last push for another championship with this core group, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic opines.

Pacific Notes: Dinwiddie, Jackson-Davis, Booker, Zubac

Lakers guard Spencer Dinwiddie used to imagine himself making game-winning plays, but he always expected them to come on offense, writes Khobi Price of The Orange County Register. Still, Dinwiddie will take the game-saving block he had against the Bucks’ Damian Lillard as time expired on Friday night.

“I’m not gonna lie to you, having been a high-usage offensive guy my entire career, even when I was a kid, I kind of dreamed of those moments in terms of hitting the shot, not necessarily getting the block,” Dinwiddie said. “But it feels pretty much just as sweet.”

Dinwiddie hasn’t gotten many moments to savor since signing with L.A. last month after Toronto traded for him at the deadline and waived him the same day. Friday marked his first start in 11 games with the Lakers, and it only happened because LeBron James was sidelined with a left ankle issue. Dinwiddie is averaging just 5.4 PPG and shooting 37% from the field with the Lakers, and he understands that he has to earn a steady role with his new team.

“It’s not a trade where it opened up a bunch of shots or opportunity or whatever,” Dinwiddie said. “… I was coming to like set-in-stone teams. And so it’s just a little bit different of a situation.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors started Trayce Jackson-Davis at center tonight and moved Andrew Wiggins to the bench, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The move provides a lob threat for Chris Paul, who will be the team’s starting point guard while Stephen Curry recovers from a sprained ankle. Earlier this week, Draymond Green talked about the connection between Paul and Jackson-Davis, per Ron Kroichick of The San Francisco Chronicle. “We found a couple of things in our second unit that are working,” Green said. “Trayce with CP is dynamite. Throughout CP’s career, one thing you know that works is him with a lob threat, a dynamic roller to the rim to open up the defense. … I think we’re finding something there with that lineup, for sure.”
  • Devin Booker continues to make progress toward returning from the sprained right ankle he suffered last Saturday, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Suns coach Frank Vogel told media members that Booker went through an “extensive workout” earlier today, adding that he’s “pleasantly surprised” by how quickly Booker is recovering.
  • Clippers center Ivica Zubac was able to return today from the illness that forced him to miss two games earlier this week and prompted coach Tyronn Lue to keep on the bench for the second half of Wednesday’s contest at Houston, notes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Zubac had 16 points and nine rebounds in nearly 25 minutes and sparked a second half rally as L.A. defeated Chicago on Saturday.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Looney, TJD, Myers

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype spoke to eight executives around the NBA to get their predictions for Klay Thompson‘s next contract. Of those eight execs, three projected Thompson would make $18-20MM annually on his next deal, while the other five have the Warriors veteran in the $20-25MM range. Half of those executives also expect Golden State to try to line up Thompson’s next contract with Stephen Curry‘s by signing him to a two-year deal, Scotto notes.

Those predictions line up with the offer the Warriors reportedly made to Thompson before the 2023/24 season began. Shams Charania of The Athletic indicated back in December that Golden State had put a two-year, $48MM extension on the table, but that Thompson passed on it. A handful of the executives who spoke to Scotto believe the 34-year-old’s value has dipped a little since then.

“I see him at around $18-20 million a year,” one exec said. “I’m not sure he’ll accept that because he sees himself much higher. If all offers are equal, I think he goes back to Golden State. I feel like his relationship with Steph and being able to play in one place is important to him.”

According to Scotto, seven of the eight execs who weighed in on Thompson’s future believe he’ll ultimately stick with the Warriors, though at least one of those seven had some ideas for potential suitors who could put some pressure on Golden State.

“I think other teams would sign him. If you’re Detroit, wouldn’t you love that level of maturity and experience? (Pistons head coach) Monty Williams wants a grown-up,” the exec said. “If you’re the Magic, don’t you want a grown-up? They need a legitimate shooting guard. Jalen Suggs is a combo guard. I think Gary Harris could be gone this summer. Let the point guard position be a combination of Anthony Black, Suggs, and Cole Anthony. Orlando likes size, which Klay has, and he’d give them shooting.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Warriors center Kevon Looney told Scotto that he and his teammates haven’t discussed Thompson’s contract situation at all with him, but Looney made it clear that he doesn’t want Klay going anywhere. “We know we want Klay to be here forever,” he said. “He’s a Warrior for life no matter what. Even if he did go somewhere, he’s still going to be a guy that has a statue and jersey in the rafters. … Hopefully, he gets to stay forever. That’s one of my goals as well. Hopefully, this core gets to ride it out.”
  • Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis showed in Wednesday’s win over Milwaukee that he deserves serious consideration for postseason minutes in a crowded Warriors rotation, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. The big man had 15 points (on 7-of-8 shooting), six rebounds, and four blocks – including three on Giannis Antetokounmpo shot attempts – and was a +20 in 19 minutes of action. “We’ve got to get Trayce more minutes to get him ready for the playoffs because he needs reps. He needs more time,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “You can see what he did (on Wednesday). He has an ability to finish and to block shots that gives us a different look.”
  • Former Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers was the subject of a tribute video and received a standing ovation from fans in Golden State after being introduced by his three daughters during Wednesday’s game vs. the Bucks (Twitter video links via NBC Sports Bay Area and Kendra Andrews of ESPN). Myers, who was making his first public appearance in the Chase Center since leaving the Warriors in 2023, was working the game as an ESPN analyst.
  • In case you missed it, we’re waiting for an update on the severity of Stephen Curry‘s ankle injury, which forced him to exit Thursday’s loss to Chicago early. Curry is having imaging done on his right ankle on Friday, tweets Andrews.

Warriors Notes: Paul, Wiggins, Moody, Rotation, Curry, Kerr

Playing on Tuesday for the first time since January 5 after recovering from a left hand fracture, Chris Paul helped lead the Warriors to a victory in Washington, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. In 22 minutes off the bench, Paul contributed nine points, six assists, four rebounds, and four steals. The Warriors, who won the game by 11 points, outscored the Wizards by 17 during Paul’s time on the floor.

“All season long, he’s been such a high performer,” head coach Steve Kerr said after the win. “All of our best lineups, he’s in.”

As Slater notes, the Warriors initially expected to finally have their full rotation available on Tuesday, but Andrew Wiggins missed the game for personal reasons. Kerr, who didn’t offer any specifics on when Wiggins might rejoin the team, inserted Moses Moody into the starting lineup in his place. Although Moody had been out of the rotation, Kerr didn’t want to alter his new second unit, which now features Paul playing alongside Klay Thompson.

When Wiggins returns, Golden State will have no shortage of rotation options, with Moody and Lester Quinones likely among those on the outside looking in. Slater suggests that Stephen Curry, Brandin Podziemski, Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green, Gary Payton II, Wiggins, Paul, and Thompson will all be candidates for closing lineups, with Dario Saric, Kevon Looney, and Trayce Jackson-Davis vying for minutes too.

“Steve said he’ll try to figure it out,” Paul said of potentially playing a reduced role in a crowded rotation. “Said sometimes he might mess it up. But we got a really good group of guys on this team, and we’ll need different things every night. But one thing about me, though, is I know who I am and what I’m capable of. Ain’t no question about that. I’ll always be ready. I think he knows that.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • While Paul figures to spend a little time playing alongside Curry, the plan is to have him on the court for all of the non-Curry minutes, according to Slater. The two-time MVP has shot just 31.5% from the field over the past three games, including 21.6% on three-pointers, so CP3’s return should allow the team to reduce his workload and have him play off the ball a bit more. “Steph has looked tired to me the last couple games,” Kerr said after Sunday’s loss to Denver, per Slater. “It makes sense. He did the All-Star Game stuff, not getting much of a break — three games in four nights. He looks a little tired. These stretches happen.”
  • Kerr said on Tuesday after officially finalizing his two-year contract extension that he felt “very comfortable” signing a relatively short-term deal, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN.com. “We’re in a really unique situation where we have an era that’s winding down and another that’s coming,” Kerr said. “We’re trying to make them merge and make the most of that this year and next year … let’s keep it rolling for another couple of years and then reassess it.”
  • Asked during an appearance on the Club 520 podcast which of the Warriors’ four championship teams was his favorite, Green cited the 2021/22 squad, since it wasn’t viewed as a title favorite entering that postseason. “2022 wasn’t really a championship team (compared to) the championship teams I’ve been on,” Green said (hat tip to BasketNews.com). “After every series, me and Steph would be walking to do an interview after we won a series, and we’d walk and laugh like, ‘Yo, how are we winning these series right now?'”

Pacific Notes: Kuminga, Kerr, Jackson-Davis, Duarte, Mann

There was never any doubt that Steve Kerr would be offered an extension, but it’s significant that he solved the Warriors‘ biggest problem shortly before it happened, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

Kerr could have faced a crisis in January when a report indicated that Jonathan Kuminga was displeased with his lack of playing time and had lost faith in his coach. Instead, Kerr used it as an opportunity to convey to Kuminga what he needed to do to earn regular minutes, and the young forward’s progress has played a major role in Golden State’s turnaround.

“I think it was actually a good thing for him to kind of express his frustration because it kind of forced him to really take ownership of it, and we had a good conversation,” Kerr said. “He let me know how he’s feeling, that he was frustrated, and we went through a list of things that I felt he needed to do, and it coincided with the time that Draymond (Green) was out … so he got more minutes based on playing better, but also on the opportunity that came up.”

Kuminga was the seventh pick in the 2021 draft, back when the Warriors were pursuing a “two timeline” approach of trying to develop young talent while remaining in title contention. He saw his path blocked by more experienced players for two-and-a-half seasons before he spoke up last month. Some members of the Warriors front office wanted Kuminga to be utilized more, according to Kawakami, but Kerr had to be convinced that he could be trusted to play winning basketball.

“And this is what people usually say in this league: It’s year three when guys start to really feel it and take off,” Kerr added. “But when you draft a guy that high, nobody wants to hear, ‘It takes three years.’ They want it to happen right away. But it just doesn’t.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Trayce Jackson-Davis has become a valuable finisher for the Warriors in his rookie season, notes Sam Gordon of The San Francisco Chronicle. Jackson-Davis is shooting 69.3% from the field and is second on the team in dunks with 55, averaging one slam every 9.6 minutes. “You can see the impact that he makes with his ability to score at the rim,” Kerr said.
  • Swingman Chris Duarte, who was dealing with a sprained right ankle earlier this month, logged 20 minutes Thursday in the Kings‘ first game after the All-Star break. Duarte talked about staying focused even though playing time has been elusive in his first season with Sacramento (video link from James Ham of Kings Beat).
  • The Clippers needed a rare scoring outburst from Terance Mann to pull out Friday’s game at Memphis, per Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Mann’s 23 points marked the first time he has topped 20 all season. “It’s been a while,” he said.

Warriors Notes: Kuminga, Thompson, Jackson-Davis, Quinones

In an in-depth story for ESPN.com, Baxter Holmes looks back at the Warriors‘ efforts to keep their dynasty window open for the past several years, exploring the team’s hits and misses during that time and revisiting the oft-discussed “two timeline” plan.

As Holmes details, Golden State’s philosophy in the draft appeared to shift during those years. The Warriors took home-run swings in 2020 and 2021, drafting relatively raw talents like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody in the hopes that those prospects would develop into the kinds of stars who could help the team continue to contend for championships after Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green exited their primes.

However, that approach had changed by 2023, when the Warriors drafted Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis, two more seasoned college players who were better positioned to complement the current core and contribute right away.

“You can’t hit on everybody,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said. “We’ve got Kuminga, who’s exploding, and a bunch of other young guys who, I don’t know if they’re going to be stars, but they’re pretty good. “I think we should be able to avoid that total rebuild.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kuminga’s breakout couldn’t have come at a better time for the Warriors, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who hears from sources that the team considered trade scenarios involving Pascal Siakam and Dejounte Murray earlier this season. Golden State ended up not making any major in-season deals, but appears to have found its newest impact player internally, with Kuminga averaging 21.1 points per game on .571/.432/.769 shooting over his past 17 games.
  • The Lakers and Warriors currently rank ninth and 10th in the Western Conference and haven’t played much better than .500 basketball since their most recent championships, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. While the two Pacific rivals still have title aspirations this season, Windhorst interprets Golden State’s pre-deadline inquiry about a LeBron James trade as a signal that the Warriors aren’t confident they have enough for another championship run — and as a sign they suspect LeBron may have the same apprehensions about the Lakers’ title potential.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic explores how the growing chemistry between Thompson and Jackson-Davis in the second unit helped fuel a victory over the Lakers on Thursday. Thompson went just 1-of-9 from the field in his second game off the bench, but he had five assists, including four on baskets by Jackson-Davis.
  • Lester Quinones‘ new deal with the Warriors is simply a rest-of-season, minimum-salary contract, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Unlike most other teams that have been promoting two-way players to their standard rosters, Golden State wasn’t in position to offer Quinones multiple years or a salary above the minimum due to its cap situation. Quinones will be eligible for restricted free agency this offseason.