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Pre-game mailbag!

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You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Before the Golden State Warriors, absent roughly half their roster, try to find a way to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, I thought I’d answer some mailbag questions. Let’s get to them.

I don’t think the bench actually has better chemistry, because they’re just as weakened. Assuming Kelly Oubre Jr. doesn’t play — he was just upgraded from “doubtful” to “questionable” — the Warriors will be missing two starters (Oubre and Steph Curry) and two members of the second unit (James Wiseman and Eric Paschall). So I don’t think swapping them really accomplishes much.

I’d rather see what Jordan Poole can do playing 36-40 minutes next to the starters.

Nope. First off, the Warriors have already had DeMarcus Cousins, and there’s a reason they’ve shown zero interest in bringing him back. It’s likely the same reason that it “didn’t work out” with the Houston Rockets, with no further explanation given. Which is likely the same reason that Cousins has been a free agent for a few weeks now and we’ve yet to hear so much as a rumor of a team wanting to sign him.

On top of that, I think I just disagree with the notion that the Warriors need a third center. Their best minutes come when Draymond Green is playing center, so I don’t think there’s a rush to get a backup center as soon as James Wiseman is away for a few games.

And then, just to make it even less feasible, the Warriors are still at a full roster, meaning they’d have to find a trade to free a roster spot if they wanted to add Boogie.

Oh, and on top of all of that, he was caught on an audio recording threatening to kill his child’s mother so ... yeah. Pass, please.

I think the team is pretty comfortable with a three-headed center rotation of Marquese Chriss, James Wiseman, and Kevon Looney. Although this season has shown that they’re comfortable with just two centers, and that will only increase as Wiseman gets more and more comfortable and can play more minutes.

But it seems they’re committed to Chriss. The fact that he’s still around the team on a day-to-day basis, and doing PR things like appearing on broadcasts and in Instagram posts tells me that the team sees him as part of their future.

They’re also in the asset-building phase of their retooling. Part of the value of Chriss is that keeping him around makes it easier to trade Looney if you need to match salaries. It makes it easier to trade Wiseman if the right blockbuster is available. He’s insurance, and insurance is usually expendable.

So while I think that Chriss will likely be on the roster next season, it’s no sure thing.

The better the Wolves get, the more likely the pick is to convey to the Warriors — but the less good the pick is likely to be.

If you want to know what to root for, here’s my suggestion: losses. If the Wolves finish with the worst record in the league, the Warriors still have a better than 50% chance of getting their pick, but it will guaranteed to be No. 4 or No. 5. And even if it doesn’t convey, then it becomes unprotected in 2022.

If the Wolves go on a winning streak, then the pick could climb down lower in the lottery, and that’s the last thing the Warriors want.

Right now the only star that seems anywhere close to available is Bradley Beal, and a trade would have to start with James Wiseman, Minnesota’s first-round pick, and Andrew Wiggins.

I don’t think that gets the deal done, and I don’t think the Warriors would want to do it anyway.

Probably, but weird things happen in the NBA. Maybe Jordan Poole goes off for 50, or Draymond Green has a 20/20/20 game, or maybe they just play really, really, really good defense.

Let’s start with the second question: no, I don’t think the Warriors will add anyone at the deadline. I’m sure they’re exploring all options, but I don’t think anything happens. If they do make a trade, I’m guessing it’s something along the lines of Brad Wanamaker for a second-round pick.

Now, to the first question: Poole has been absolutely awesome. In five games since returning from the G League, he’s averaging 19.0 points in just 22.5 minutes, and shooting 54.0% from the field and 45.9% from distance. He looks like the confidence and rhythm gained in the G League bubble paid off, and he has the appearance of a player who’s going to be a crucial part of the rotation for many years to come.

Thanks everyone for the mailbag questions! Enjoy the game.