2. Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry is still in his prime.
That’s not supposed to be the case for a 35-year-old, but how can anyone deny it after he averaged 29.4 points per game on great efficiency in the regular season and upped his scoring average to 30.5 points in the playoffs?
Though he did have a few empty possessions in big moments of Games 1 and 4 against the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals, it’s perhaps harsh that on this list he’s below a player who didn’t make the playoffs.
If Curry maintains his 2022-23 play this season, even this ranking—a second-place finish among guards—could prove to be too low when the year comes to a close.
Trade targets: O.G. Anunoby, Caleb Martin, Alec Burks
Anunoby might cost all of Golden State’s trade chips, but his defensive dominance, spot-up shooting and budding on-ball creation could make him worth it. Martin is a mid-tier option who previously flashed as an energizer but just played his best basketball on the game’s biggest stage. Burks, who spent part of the 2019-20 season with the Warriors, brings the kind of shooting, defense and quick decision-making this system requires.
One staple of the Suns’ offense over the last few years has been the “Spain” or “stack” pick-and-roll, where Paul uses a standard, high ball-screen and Booker sets a back-screen on the big’s defender at the foul line …
It can be tough to guard, because three defenders have to work together to guard three threats: the initial ball-handler, the big rolling to the rim, and the shooter popping out to the 3-point line. If the player guarding the shooter doesn’t want to leave him, that can lead to a layup for one of the other two offensive players involved in the action.
There’s no scarier shooting threat than Curry, who’s a very willing screener. The Warriors haven’t run much Spain pick-and-roll over the years, but it could certainly be an effective play for them with one of the best pick-and-roll decision makers handling the ball and the all-time leading 3-point shooter creating chaos with a back-screen.
With Jordan Poole gone, the big variables for the Warriors’ books are Klay Thompson and Chris Paul. Thompson will hit unrestricted free agency without an extension and the Warriors have full Bird rights, so they can re-sign him at any starting salary from his minimum to the 35 percent max ($49.7 million at the current league cap projection). Paul is actually the more interesting question because GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. could use him as matching salary in a trade between now and the deadline or keep Paul around for the entire season before either waiving him or picking up his $30 million non-guaranteed contract. Paul’s final season being a non-guarantee rather than a team option complicates matters because he and the Warriors cannot simply opt him out and negotiate a new contract, identical to the problem former teammate Eric Gordon and the Clippers dealt with this summer. The Warriors are presumably looking at a much more manageable luxury-tax bill in 2024-25 and beyond, but it depends on the resolutions with Thompson and Paul.
Klay/Loon Asia Tour looks pic.twitter.com/8i0so1c94g— warriorsworld (@warriorsworld) August 28, 2023
Restricted free agent F PJ Washington has agreed on a new three-year, $48 million contract to stay with the Charlotte Hornets, @LiftSportsMngmt agent Kevin Bradbury and Washington Sports Group’s Paul Washington Sr. tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/tNoEfhPkeZ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2023
“All respect to Greece,” Brunson said. “That team over there, they play hard, they’re well-coached. A lot of respect for that squad. And for us, we’re still getting better.”
Greece is playing this summer without its best player, two-time NBA MVP and 2021 NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. He said he needed more time to recover from offseason knee surgery.
Without Giannis, Greece went to Papagiannis instead.
The NFL, NBA, and UFC are looking to inject some urgency into the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to have the law shut down illegal livestreams sooner. The sports organizations believe that the law needs to define more specifically how quickly a DMCA takedown notice should take effect, according to a letter they sent to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seen by TorrentFreak.
DMCA was signed during the Clinton administration in 1998 and specified that takedown notices be processed “expeditiously,” as written in Section 512 of the act. In the letter sent to the USPTO, dated August 23rd, the NFL, NBA, and UFC urge the government to change the “expeditiously” verbiage to “instantaneously or near-instantaneously.”
In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:
As a longtime Golden State Warrior supporter, it’s been marvelous watching Stephen Curry’s narrative go from “is he even better than Monta Ellis?” to “is he the greatest point guard of All-Time?”.
And of course while that good ol’ sports chatter starts with the fans, both inside and out of Dub Nation, it’s even more fascinating to hear when NBA pros jump in on the argument as they are the ones who’ve done this game at the highest level. As much as I can vouch for Curry on NBA 2K, it’s great to hear from the guys who’ve made millions balling on the court share their opinions.
Game No. 8 — November 6 at the Pistons
Assuming he’s healthy, James Wiseman won’t have to wait very long in his fourth season to face the team that drafted him. You can bet he’ll want to prove that the Dubs made a mistake by giving up on him so early in his career. And while the Warriors players and coaches have nothing but great things to say about Wiseman, you can also bet they don’t want to deal with the fan and media narratives that will pop off if he looks good against them.