We’re in that sweet spot in the offseason where folks are really starting to get excited about the Golden State Warriors upcoming season ... so it seemed like a good time to have a mailbag, and answer some pressing questions.
Thanks to all for the great Q’s!
Counting for the loss of GP2, Otto and Belli, are we better next year with the additions of DiVincenzo, Trevion Williams and the re-emergence of J Wise?— We have spoken (@JohnSan79325274) July 27, 2022
Well, just as a technicality, I’d add JaMychal Green there in place of Trevion Williams, who still has only an outside chance of making the roster.
That said, on paper, no, this team is worse. Gary Payton II is really, really good, and you couldn’t design a better fit for this team than Otto Porter Jr. Add in Nemanja Bjelica’s floor-spacing and playmaking, and the Warriors have taken a hit, as much as I like Green and really like Donte DiVincenzo.
But, as I wrote about a while back, I still think they could be a better team. Like you mention, they’ll have James Wiseman this year. They’ll have a full season of Klay Thompson, presumably without the rust that was so apparent at the end of last year. They’ll have a Jordan Poole who likely took another big step forward, and an Andrew Wiggins who is now accustomed to the spotlight, and probably won’t have the dreadful two-month stretch that he had a year ago. Add in some potential leaps from Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, and it’s pretty easy to see how the Dubs could potentially be even better this year, even though they’ll be worse on paper.
Can they get Montrezl?— GrandmasterStache (@sallowyerpride) July 26, 2022
Probably not. Montrezl Harrell would be an absolutely phenomenal addition to the Warriors. He’s legitimately one of the best pick and roll scorers in the entire NBA, and as good of a bench scorer as you’ll find.
As a result, he’s worth significantly more money than the veteran minimum contract that the Warriors can offer.
The Dubs have only two paths to signing Harrell. The first is that his recent felony drug charges suppress his value enough that no one is willing to offer him a contract worth more than the minimum (very unlikely, I’d say). The second is that he takes a big discount to try and win a ring, or to try and rebuild his reputation with a great organization (more likely, but still quite unlikely).
But we can dream!
If Santos goes to Santa Cruz, do the Dubs’ have draft protection against him getting poached by another NBA team with open roster spots?— X (@X69939584) July 27, 2022
No, I don’t believe so. Gui Santos is currently under contract with a Brazilian team, and as long as that’s the case, the Warriors can continue to have his rights for when he comes to the NBA.
But the G League is an NBA enterprise. You can’t draft and stash a player into the G League. If they want him playing in Santa Cruz, they would either have to use a roster spot on him while he plays there (as they did with Alen Smailagić), or renounce his rights, sign him to Santa Cruz, and hope that no NBA team offers him a real contract.
Will JK or Baldwin get much time at the 3 vs. 4?— Bud (@Bud71398246) July 26, 2022
Here’s a very different question: will Jonathan Kuminga or Patrick Baldwin Jr. develop a reliable three-point shot?
In theory that question is very different. In reality, it’s the same. If the answer is “yes,” then the answer to your question is “yes.” If the answer is “no,” then the answer to your question is “no.”
Any bad blood between the Greens? JaMaychal was somewhat of a terror to the Dubs during his stints in the West, particularly as a Nugget.— AE Russell (@ARtheGR8est) July 26, 2022
None that I’m aware of. While JaMychal was a terror on the court, he’s a respected player. And Draymond, for all of his fieriness, is a player whose always willing to sooth things over if you’re on his side (remember, he happily soothed things over with Tristan Thompson after getting hit by him, and they weren’t even teammates!).
How many minutes per game should we expect for James Wiseman? I'm expecting closer to 15 than 20. Is that appropriate? (some dray + lots of loon @ the 5)— Sahil Kemkar (@skemkar3) July 26, 2022
So hard to say, because unlike in Wiseman’s rookie year, the Warriors are chasing wins and gunning for a championship this season. So I really think there’s no way to know what to expect until we see what he looks like on the court.
I’d expect something in the range of 8-10 minutes to open the season, with a willingness to go 15-20 (or even more!) if he earns it. But they have no need to rush it. They survived last year with Looney as the only center, and JaMychal Green is probably more equipped to be a small-ball 5 than Porter or Bjelica were.
Oh also as a bonus. How fun would a Poole, Moody, Baldwin Jr, Kuminga, Wiseman lineup be? And how good would it be? I'd go with very fun, and very bad.— Sahil Kemkar (@skemkar3) July 26, 2022
It would be very, very, very, very bad. And after probably two possessions, it would be very unfun.
Even lineups that look like they should be fun are a pain in the butt to watch when they’re horrible.
1 more Big.— Wesley Villanueva (@c_wesley_v) July 27, 2022
Whiteside, Cousins, Aldridge, Griffin
Only two names there interest me. And this comes with the caveat that I’m fairly certain the Warriors are done making moves. The first is Hassan Whiteside, who I think would be a tremendous addition to the roster, unless there are off-the-court concerns. Whiteside is one of the best rebounders in the NBA, and a quite good defensive player. He’s also an absolute beast of a pick and roll scorer, and a player who seems to get half a dozen points off of offensive rebounds every night.
By EPM, Whiteside was a 90th percentile offensive player last year, and 73rd percentile defensive player. He is, in essence, exactly what the Warriors hope Wiseman can become, just without a three-point shot and with a reputation built up by a few goofy Snapchats and an appearance or five on Shaqtin’ a Fool.
So I would love Whiteside on the Warriors. But I’d also be happy with Carmelo Anthony, albeit he feels less important since JaMychal Green has been signed. Still, while Melo is a long ways away from being the Melo of old, he’s an efficient bench scorer, and the Warriors could use 10-15 minutes of that.
Would signing Cousins still a possibility despite having Loon, Wise and the two Greens in the frontcourt?— Macky (@DolencioMacky) July 27, 2022
I don’t think so. First off, I don’t think the Warriors are too fond of DeMarcus Cousins. There’s a reason that there was no talk of a reunion after his first stint with the Dubs. I’m guessing that it didn’t go all that well internally.
He also just doesn’t really fit what they’re looking for. He’s not half as good as Kevon Looney, doesn’t provide the hyper-athletic alternative look that Wiseman does, and can’t match the small-ball 5 benefits of the Greens or Kuminga. I’m just not sure what role he would play.
Who gets statues at Chase Center? All of the core 3?— Quy Le (@quytennis) July 27, 2022
The Core 3 get statues. No question whatsoever about that.
The only question is ... does Kevin Durant? Joe Lacob has stated that KD would be getting a statue. Perhaps that was just talk, with Lacob wanting to stay on Durant’s good side to butter him up and keep a potential reunion on the table. But I think it was serious.
And understandably! Durant might have only played three years with the Warriors, but who cares? He’s a top 15 all-time player who spent three of the best years of his career in the Bay Area. He was either the best or second-best player on two of the best Warriors teams that you will watch in your entire life. He has two Finals MVP trophies.
His time with the Warriors was not too unlike LeBron James’ time with the Miami Heat, and that’s worth celebrating accordingly.
Now, do you put the KD statue with the Core 3? Do you put it separate from them? Do you put all four separate from each other?
I’m not even gonna try and answer that one...