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Mailbag: Bench minutes, contract statuses, and Donte DiVincenzo

Answering all your Warriors questions.

Donte DiVincenzo hugging Steve Kerr at Summer League Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

With training camp less than a week away, it’s time for another Golden State Warriors mailbag!

We’ll start with the question I get in every mailbag. And the answer is still the same: I have no clue about the health of Ryan Rollins and Patrick Baldwin Jr. I don’t think there’s any reason for concern, and it’s par for the course that the Warriors have been quiet. Media Day is on Sunday, so I imagine we’ll get some info then.

Not much, to be honest. Joe Lacob has been pretty transparent about not wanting to spend $400 million, and even with the expanding cap it will be difficult to stay under that number after taxes without giving up one of their stars.

Donte DiVincenzo without a doubt. The Warriors like Moses Moody, but we’re talking about an unproven rookie vs. a played and proven veteran. After taxes, the Warriors are essentially paying a max contract to have DiVincenzo on the roster ... he’s gonna play, he’s gonna play a lot, and he’s gonna play starting day one.

Moody will have to earn it. He’ll start the year with a very modest role, and if he can play good defense while fitting in well with the offensive scheme, he’ll see the minutes cranked up.

That said, it’s not an either/or situation with Moody and DiVincenzo. With a 7’1 wingspan, Moody can easily be more of a wing than a guard, and can even be a four in a small ball lineup. If Moody earns a larger role, it will be alongside DiVincenzo, not in place of him.

I think so, but only in a moderate role, and only in specific matchups. In all likelihood, James Wiseman will still be a pretty big defensive liability this year. And with their numerous options to play small, there’s not a lot of pressure to play a backup center ... as evidenced by last year, when they didn’t have a backup center for a single game.

In matchups where Wiseman’s size and athleticism can exploit opponents, he’ll play and be impactful. Not unlike how JaVale McGee was early in his Warriors career.

That said, I expect the Warriors to use Wiseman a bit, even when he’s not effective. Winning a title last year bought them a little bit of room to work on development in the middle of the season.

The easiest way is for Joe Lacob to change his mind (or have been bluffing) about the amount of money they’re willing to spend, and just open up the checkbook. Could another title provide the requisite public pressure to bring Lacob’s ego into play, and keep him from breaking up Dubs Dynasty 2.0?

Probably not.

The Warriors can likely get to the figure they’re willing to pay if Andrew Wiggins/Jordan Poole/Draymond Green take a few discounts, and then let Wiseman walk. I don’t anticipate any of those three players taking a sizable discount, but an injury or a down year could force them to.


But it’s not that simple. There’s a chance Jonathan Kuminga could be as good as Wiggins in 2023-24 ... but he’s not going to replicate the role. Wiggins is a far better shooter than Kuminga, and it would be a huge win if JK can ever be the perimeter on-ball defender that Wiggins is. So I don’t think it’s likely at all that he can replicate what Wiggins did this year, shooting 39.3% from deep and guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter player every night (and very well, at that).

He could be really, really good by then, though. He has the potential to be a deadly slasher and transition scorer, a dominant wing rebounder, and a ferocious off-ball defender. And if he does develop into all those things as soon as 2023-24? The Warriors will make it work, even if it looks a lot different from how they’ve made it work with Wiggins.

It’s hard to allocate the Dubs’ bench minutes because they’re going to be a mix and match squad again. There will be injuries and a lot of rest, so they probably won’t use all their depth every game.

In other words, if you want to predict minutes per game averages, you’ll probably end up with a total that’s a lot higher than the 240 that exist to dole out for every regular season game.

But, to keep things simple, I’d say that Poole gets the minutes he got last year. JaMychal Green gets Otto Porter Jr.’s minutes, DiVincenzo gets Gary Payton II’s minutes, and Wiseman gets Nemanja Bjelica’s minutes. Kuminga gets his minutes and Juan Toscano-Anderson’s, while Moody gets his minutes and splits Damion Lee’s with DiVincenzo.

Andre Iguodala hopefully returns and gets his minutes, while Rollins and Baldwin get garbage time.

Garbage time. Garbage time, garbage time, and more garbage time. And hopefully in those garbage time minutes he shows us something to make us get excited about non-garbage time minutes in 2023-24.

You could make the case that 2013-14 was the last time the Warriors were fully healthy and available and didn’t win a title. So, with all due respect to the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks, the biggest obstacle for the Warriors this year is health.


Steph Curry hasn’t gone quite as far as Klay Thompson, who proclaimed that he won’t play for another coach. But Curry and Kerr have a close bond, and if Klay wants something then Steph does, too.

Kerr has earned a long enough leash that the Warriors could have a few bad seasons before he’s on the hot seat, and it’s impossible to imagine them having more than a few bad seasons while Curry is still around. So really, the only way that Kerr leaves the Warriors before Curry does is if he decides to retire.

Thanks for the questions, everyone!

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