NBA

Warriors mailbag: James Wiseman, NBA rookies and more

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We’re in that sweet spot of the offseason where people are really starting to get excited about the Golden State Warriors’ upcoming season…so it seemed like a good time to get a mailbag and answer some pressing questions.

Thank you all for the good Qs!

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Well, just as a technicality, I would add JaMychal Green in place of Trevion Williams, who still only has one outside chance to make the roster.

That said, on paper, no, this team is worse. Gary Payton II is really, really well, and you couldn’t conceive of a better fit for this team than Otto Porter Jr. Add in the ground spacing and Nemanja Bjelica’s play, and the Warriors took a hit, as much as I love Green and really Donte DiVincenzo.

But, as I wrote a while ago, I still think they could be a better team. As you mention, they will have James Wiseman this year. They will have a full season of Klay Thompson, probably minus the rust that was so apparent late last year. They will have a Jordan Poole who has probably taken another big step forward, and an Andrew Wiggins who is now used to the spotlight, and who probably won’t have the terrible two-month stretch he had a year ago. Throw in some potential jumps from Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, and it’s pretty easy to see how the Dubs could potentially be even better this year, even if they’re worse on paper.

Probably not. Montrezl Harrell would be an absolutely phenomenal addition to the Warriors. He’s rightfully one of the best pick and roll scorers in the entire NBA, and as good a bench scorer as you’ll find him.

As a result, he’s worth a lot more money than the minimum veteran contract the Warriors can offer.

The Dubs only have two ways to sign Harrell. One is that his recent drug felony charges suppress his value enough that no one is willing to offer him a contract worth more than the minimum (very unlikely, I would say). The second is that he takes a big discount to try to win a ring, or to try to rebuild his reputation with a big organization (more likely, but still pretty unlikely).

But we can dream!

No, I do not think so. Gui Santos is currently under contract with a Brazilian team, and as long as he is, the Warriors can continue to have his rights when he comes to the NBA.

But the G League is an NBA business. You cannot draft and stash a player in the G League. If they want him to play in Santa Cruz, they should either use a spot on him while he plays there (like they did with Alen Smailagić) or give up his rights, sign him to Santa Cruz and hope that no NBA team offers him a real contract.

Here’s a very different question: Will Jonathan Kuminga or Patrick Baldwin Jr. develop a reliable three-point shot?

In theory, this 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”.

None to my knowledge. While JaMychal was a terror on the pitch, he is a respected player. And Draymond, for all his feistiness, is a player who’s always ready to smooth things over if you’re on his side (remember, he happily smoothed things over with Tristan Thompson after getting hit by him, and they weren’t even not teammates!).

Hard to say, because unlike Wiseman’s rookie year, the Warriors are looking for wins and aiming for a championship this season. So I really think there’s no way to know what to expect until you see what he looks like on the pitch.

I would expect something in the 8-10 minute range to open the season, with a willingness to go 15-20 (or even more!) if he deserves it. But they don’t need to rush. They survived last year with Looney as their only center, and JaMychal Green is probably more equipped to be a small 5 ball than Porter or Bjelica were.

That would be very, very, very, very bad. And after probably two possessions, that would be a lot of fun.

Even lineups that look like they should be fun are painful to watch when they’re horrible.

Only two names interest me. And that comes with the caveat that I’m fairly certain the Warriors are done moving. First up is Hassan Whiteside, who I think would be a terrific addition to the roster unless there are some issues off the pitch. Whiteside is one of the best rebounders in the NBA and a very 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 on offensive rebounds every night.

Per EPM, Whiteside was a 90th percentile offensive player last year and a 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 by a few goofy Snapchats and an appearance or five on Shaqtin a fool.

So I would love Whiteside over the Warriors. But I would also be happy with Carmelo Anthony, even if he feels less important since JaMychal Green was signed. Still, while Melo is far from the Melo of old, he’s an effective bench marker, and the Warriors could use 10-15 minutes of him.

I do not think so. First off, I don’t think the Warriors are too fond of DeMarcus Cousins. There’s a reason there was no talk of a reunion after his first stint with the Dubs. I guess it didn’t go very well internally.

It doesn’t really match what they are looking for either. He’s not half as good as Kevon Looney, doesn’t offer the hyper-athletic alternate look of Wiseman, and can’t match the small-ball 5 advantages of the Greens or Kuminga. I don’t know what role he would play.

The Core 3 gets statues. No questions about this.

The only question is… is Kevin Durant? Joe Lacob said KD will get a statue. Maybe it was just a conversation, 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 that’s understandable! Durant may have only played three years with the Warriors, but who cares? He is one of the top 15 players of all time and had three of the best years of his career in the Bay Area. He was either the best or the second-best player on two of the best Warriors teams you’ll watch your entire life. He has two Finals MVP trophies.

His time with the Warriors wasn’t too different from LeBron James’ time with the Miami Heat, and it’s worth celebrating accordingly.

Now do you put the KD statue with the Core 3? Do you put it separately from them? Do you put the four separately from each other?

I’m not even going to try to answer that one…

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