One of the things that the NBA does right is their treatment of MLK day. We’ve got a packed slate of games to get through, with the Golden State Warriors visiting the Portland Trail Blazers for a nationally televised prime time game.
Some minor injuries for both teams: CJ McCollum and Glenn Robinson are both nursing ankle injuries. Though Robinson is a less heralded player than McCollum, his importance to the Warriors will be notable against the wing scoring threats of the Blazers - they aren’t especially efficient, but that could change against the Warriors porous defense.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (10-34) at Portland Trail Blazers (18-26)
WHERE: Moda Center, Portland OR
WHEN: Monday January 20th. 2020’ 7:00 pm PST
Blog Buddy: Blazer’s Edge
Blazers pulling back
Portland and the Sacramento Kings made one of those weird trades that just feels like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Sitting in 11th place in the top-heavy West, and carrying a hefty luxury tax bill, Portland decided to ship out ex-Warriors Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver.
The Blazers luxury tax bill has been significantly reduced by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey’s decision to swap out Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver, and a couple second round draft picks in 2024 and 2025 for Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel, and Caleb Swanigan.
While this move may remind many Dubs fans of Chris Cohan cutting corners to save pennies (ok, well millions of dollars), it is not an insignificant saving.
The Blazers reduce their salary by over $5 million with this trade, sending out $20.9 million while taking back “only” $15.7 million. The franchise now stands $6.1 million over the luxury tax threshold and will pay about $9.5 million in tax. Previously they were on the hook for about $18.9 million.
In short, today’s trade saves Jody Allen about $9.4 million.
It’s a fairly lateral move, both Tolliver and Bazemore are replacement level players, so other than some unfamiliar hiccups, I wouldn’t expect Portland to be markedly worse because of their recent trade.
Warriors are starting to figure it out
Golden State earned one of their rare wins this season in the last game against the Orlando Magic, but as Anthony Slater wrote prior to that game, this team has been getting closer and closer to putting it all together.
The Warriors have actually played decently during the streak. Before it, they’d won four games in a row, a surprising surge out of the cellar. In the second straight loss, they took the Spurs to overtime on the road. In the sixth straight, they kept it competitive with the NBA-best Bucks. In the seventh straight, they led the Clippers by 10 on the road in the fourth quarter.
The return of Steph Curry
This is probably old news at this point, but the Golden Child is getting closer to a return. As we’ve known all season, getting Curry back on the court will smooth over a lot of the Warriors’ rough edges.
On Steph's return:— r/Warriors (@GSWReddit) January 19, 2020
"From what I’ve been told you might want to clear your schedule for March 1. The Warriors host the Washington Wizards that night. That’s not set in stone, of course. More like a target date. But expect a return by the face of the franchise before next season." https://t.co/174y3QxFsL
Just two more days till we unveil our new community
We have been hard at work getting our new home set up, keep your eyes peeled for our announcement on Wednesday!