Draymond says it's JK turn to "carry" this next Warriors era pic.twitter.com/GHJyg40HSl— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 31, 2024
But the most encouraging development for the Warriors is Wiggins’ revival. In a fog most of the 2023-24 NBA season, he’s back to being an impact player on both ends. He finished with 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, including 1 of 2 from distance.
Wiggins also produced five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. He finished plus-18 over 38 minutes.
“I think Wiggins has been better for about a month,” Kerr said. “We saw it with his defense, his movement. I think what’s happening now the last few games I just think Wiggs’ defense has been good for a month or so. But offensively, with the lineup change, there’s a little more space the way we’re playing. We’re able to play a little bit faster. And he’s getting downhill, getting to the rim, doing some things that are very comfortable for him. He’s really starting to get into a good groove.”
Wiggins profiles as the most likely Warrior to be dealt. He’s on the first season of a four-year, $109 million extension. The Warriors have fielded player-for-player offers for Wiggins, according to team and league sources. They wouldn’t have to attach a draft pick to get off his deal.
But nothing has made them jump. Wiggins has upped his production and activity lately. He’s back in their starting and closing lineup, able finally to play next to Kuminga (a huge factor in his future) because of Green’s return as the starting center. The Warriors are plus-41 with that trio on the court together in 66 minutes over last four games.
Smith’s track record with Angel City impressed the Warriors, Schneider said, as the organization launches its WNBA team at a pivotal time for the league — one where the tremendous talent level is complemented by massive opportunities for growth on the business side.
“I do believe that with my expertise coming from being probably the most successful commercial women’s brand in the world within sport, coupled with what the Warriors have built, and then all of us being connected to the Bay Area and willing to bring that together, that it will be unstoppable,” Smith told ESPN.
Moses Moody & Chris Paul injury updates: pic.twitter.com/epLmlyDOc6— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) January 31, 2024
If a breakup is inevitable, I can’t help but wonder whether the best time for both LeBron and the Lakers to make a change is now, ahead of the deadline: James could join a contender, and Los Angeles could get something in return. Would the Heat, Knicks, or Sixers make an all-in move? All of them could offer a better chance at the Finals than the Lakers. What if the Warriors offer a bunch of their picks and young guys? LeBron does love Steph Curry and Draymond Green. Or could the Cavs see appeal in another LeBron homecoming? It’d be quite a final chapter to his career. Changing teams would allow LeBron to take advantage of one of his final years and would allow the Lakers to recoup some value and help lay the groundwork to pursue Luka Doncic later this decade.
Most likely to be traded: Jonas Valanciunas
The Pelicans have sniffed around some big deals with Valanciunas’ $15 million expiring deal and some of their seven tradable first-round picks. But they’d want a starter-quality center in return, in addition to any other upgrades.
The team might be willing to part with lottery pick Dyson Daniels because of its depth at guard, if the deal was right. New Orleans also has two open roster spots and has dipped below the tax after recently trading Kira Lewis Jr., so the buyout market is an option.
The NBA informed teams today that it is projecting the 2024-25 salary cap to be $141 million — $1M lower than previous June 30, 2023 projection. The salary cap this season was set for $136M.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 30, 2024
In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:
35 minutes, 37 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 12-for-17 shooting, 8-for-13 threes, 5-for-5 free throws, 96.4% TS, +26
It’s a testament to Curry’s absurdity that he can put up that many points on that ridiculous of efficiency and it’s barely noticeable. I knew he was having a good game ... I didn’t know he was having that good of a game.
It was also a timely game. He didn’t score much in the first quarter as the team found it’s rhythm. When they needed him, he showed up. He led the charge in the third quarter as the Dubs nearly ran away with it. He delivered the final blows in the closing minutes.
The only stain on an otherwise beautiful day are the five turnovers, but even those weren’t very bad. They weren’t the kind that make you pull out your hair, like we’ve seen lately. One of them was even on the type of traveling call that you rarely ever see called.
Excellence. Take a bow, Chef.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points, led the team in rebounds, tied for the team lead in assists, and best plus/minus on the team.
Curry and Ionescu will compete with standard three-point contest rules, with one modification. Curry will shoot from the NBA three-point line with a regulation NBA ball; Ionescu will shoot from the WNBA line with a WNBA ball. We believe the Starry balls are regulation size, though we assume they are rubbed down with lemons and limes in advance.