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I also want to believe. The Ringer article offered some hope. The proof will be in the defense. He's got the athleticism and the body; let's see if he has the resolve.

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Great Kawakami article in The Athletic. I’ve been thinking all through this that culture is really difficult to build, tougher to sustain, and really, really fragile, unless Curry continues to hold it all together. Kawakami used the word “reckless.”

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Ok, just spitballing here, but maybe we're targeting Griffin? The Pistons are almost certainly going to try to dump him, but where's the market for that? He's under contract until 2021 and has a $38.9 million player option that he'll almost certainly exercise for 2021-22 season, so not many contenders are going to even be able to entertain it, and no one building their team is hitching their star to that.

Meanwhile, the contract only has one year extra and, that aside, is actually worse than Wiggins' contract from Detroit's perspective, as it's more money per year and Griffin is a much better player, so worse when it comes to tanking good and proper, which they'll need to be doing now.

Maybe our FO's calculus is that we can actually keep some of those picks or flip them for an additional pick after a deal like that, and still be able to turn Wiggins into a useful piece?

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

Honestly I don't know how much better Blake really is than Wiggins. In a vacuum, yeah, he seems like a much better player - a better scorer, a very legit passer, an actual good offensive player overall...but his athleticism is starting to fall off some, but most importantly, he absolutely hamstrings a team defensively. Yeah, Wiggins is also a defensive liability, but Blake is a defensive liability at a position where D is more important, and he kills any sort of positional flexibility you might go for. He's strictly a traditional PF, he can't play C, he can't guard perimeter players, he basically can't effectively switch on anyone and provides almost 0 help presence whatsoever.

I just don't see how you can win a championship with Blake Griffin on your team.

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Versus, say, ZaZa Pachulia or David West? This is kind of silly hyperbole. Griffin could be the offensive force that we lack in any non-Curry unit. That’s pretty important. And would he be picked on in the perimeter? Sure, but I’m not convinced he’d be any worse than many small ball 5s in that role. Meanwhile he’s stout enough not to get mauled in the middle. You’d definitely have to pair him with a very lengthy wing (someone like Wiggins who isn’t Wiggins) but I could see them figuring this out.

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I had no idea that Blake was a defensive liability. Good knowledge.

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That would be innovative.

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by Eric Apricot, punk basketball

I just want to reiterate, I love this site and am so glad that its creators did this.

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author

THANK YOU!

It was not without effort, so your feedback really is greatly appreciated!

Also, we fixed the reply issue : )

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball
author

thanks for this

We are intentionally moving away from the GSOM style of writing 300 words on all news and posting it as soon as possible. So please do keep bringing breaking news like this!

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I clicked on the Zach Norvell highlights from preseason. I guess it is good to show out against the Warriors when the announcers are interviewing the GM.

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Now that Wiggins is one of us,I’m all for it. ( Can’t help it. I’m a fan).

The fantasy is the Warriors culture can teach and motivate another lost athlete. Can he turn into an above average defender with spot up 3s in the high 30s%? Can he learn to move in Kerr’s system? Why not?

I am a fan of Steph, Klay and Dray.

I’m all in with Steve, Bob and Joe.

If they get us back to the finals next year without the Greek, by cobbling together (some very good) MLEs, and by trading some picks for a sixth man using the TPE (does that work with the cap / apron?) there will be NO DOUBT those six make up the core of the best basketball team ever. It will make tiny the Durant asterisk. (I like Kevin, but I didn’t like that his presence distracted from the greatness of our original core.)

Resurrect Wiggins and shut Sir Charles the f up.

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(3/3) I feel the Warriors had to take a gamble with the Wolves' pick, even if Wiggins sucks still (I'm not convinced he can't at least be a bit better than league average on both sides of the ball, but it's a good bet that most people are right and he's unsalvageable). Sometimes, all it takes is one player to keep a dynasty going. Is Wiseman or the Wolves 2021 or 2022 pick going to be Kawhi? Almost certainly not. But the Dubs have the Splash brothers and Dray, so the margin for error is bigger.

Essentially, the Warriors are gambling that 4+ yrs (+ RFA, so potentially much longer) of a good player outweigh 2+ established contributors that are only there for 1 year. I’m not so sure about that. Contenders need good, veteran role players, and Wiggins might not be able to even start in the playoffs. But maybe the Warriors either think that the FA/buyout market is weak next year, or (more probably) think that a veteran wing will be available cheaply.

If the Dubs didn’t have a top pick this year, the calculus might have been different. But 2 good picks have a decent chance of producing one good player that can be in the rotation even when Curry declines. Either way, FA’s want to play with the splash brothers. Maybe the Warriors recruiting power can overcome the Wiggins-induced lack of flexibility.

Or maybe they wanted to give Ron Adams a huge test of his abilities.

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Edit per Badly Browned, below: okay make it the taxpayer MLE rather than the full MLE. They'll still be highly motivated to spend the whole thing; and guys like Favors and Marc Gasol may still be available at the price, given the fallow market in the league for true centers.

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the sub-replies broke yesterday. I just emailed substack technical support this morning. That's just a temporary bug, not a missing feature (like edit timers, formatting, embed)

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

Yep I get that, this seems to be working fine for now and I'm sure things will improve with time. I don't think it's causing a real problem at the moment. I'm just noticing it doesn't seem like I can reply to sub-comments, maybe unless it's offer a thread where I posted the parent comment...?

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Sorry, no editing. We are bugging Substack about a lot of comment issues. Part of the problem is we are by far the most demanding site re comments. Others just post occasional blocks of text and don’t have the variety and interaction that we do

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Speaking of his edit below, is it possible to edit comments...?

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Sadly no. You have to:

1) Copy it;

2) Delete it;

3) Paste as new comment, and edit that

It's on the list though. They said they have updates "towards the end of the quarter" but we don't know what is or isn't included just yet.

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Can we get 1 Giannis for 1 Wiggins and our one hundred draft picks? 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Wiggins + Dray = a shooting fest.

I’m still angry 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Test

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

If all Wiggins ever does is cut or pop to the corner, that could actually be pretty useful.

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(2/3) But . . . if we're going to be the Spurs, we're going to be smart with contracts. LaMarcus Aldrige was a star in Portland, and was great when SA acquired him. He's basically a very tall Livingston, when he gets hot from mid-range, he can score at will. So even though mid-range is on the down-swing in the NBA (or out, if you're Houston), he was vaulable, although I'd argue that his signing, not that long after the Spurs rained 3's in the finals, started their decline.

I think the Spurs did probably the best they could when traded Kahwi. Poeltl isn't bad by any means, and they had no leverage. They only got a very low 1st rounder (where they could've taken Paschall :) ), and took DeRozan's contract.

DeRozan is way, way better than Wiggins, but he's a bad fit for the Spurs, because with LaMarcus, too, they've had to double down on mid-range. Also, DeMar's contract (2 more years at DLo money) is hurting the Spurs flexability as they try to claw their way back to the playoffs.

Wiggins' contract is going to hurt for at least the next 2 years, making it practically imperative that the Wolves' first and second both hit on at least solid players (you can get two very good role players or even starters for a combined $27+ mil). Luckily, one of those picks should be 20-25 places higher than the Spurs' Raptors pick, but it's not even close to sure thing.

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by Eric Apricot

Ok. I was initially TEAM NO WIGGINS.

Then I traded sides to TEAM Meh WIGGINS.

Then I read the posts about defense and decision making and man-purses and I ran back to TEAM NO WIGGINS.

But I am now firmly in the TEAM WIGGINS camp for two reasons:

One he has WINS in his name (and IGGI for that matter) and Two he has played for crap teams, he has an 8'11" standing reach (WTF?) he is athletic, the thought of him and Paschall trading off slashing to the basket is like releasing a gazelle and a bull in the streets of Pamplona.

That is more than two but I will keep going: I never saw Dlo long term after the first few months of watching him play. I can envision WIggiNS crashing the middle to open up the outside. The guy is considered likeable just a bit aloof and unmotivated. Spellman came to us with less of a resume and even though he initially rejected a Janet Jackson date with Draymond, he eventually turned into the definition of hustle. Maybe the Maple Jordan will follow suit. Or maybe he wont and he will always fail to live up to his potential. Whatever happens, the rest of this year will be fun. Hopefully Steph finds a reason to sit and cheer, Smiley goes Super Saiyan, and the rest of this team plays with energy and joy for the remainder of the year.

I'm all in.

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Chriss is still a defensive liability. We're the 25th ranked D in the league, our guys are not playing D well. This team is definitely not an example of playing your role within a system and producing results...

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Just checked - we are ranked 17th over Dec+Jan+Feb. That's not SSS. I think our record doesn't really reflect that because of inability to win close games.

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That’s actually pretty compelling and supports the idea that record aside, we are (or perhaps, were at this point) no longer the worst team.

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Ha! I didn't do a thorough job. Our defense rating changed only by 1 but other teams got worse. So we bumped up to 17th defensive rating 😀. Net rating unfortunately (ranking or the number) itself didn't change much.

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

It also could just mean our defense got better when Dray$ returned from injury...

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

Is that even a question 😉?

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tr00f

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Over the whole season or even Jan+Feb?

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I read somewhere that people saw Marquise Chriss as a defensive liability in the past. I concede that he is no defensive stopper but he plays his role fairly well on that side of the ball in a team setting. I think Chriss could be a decent predictor of what we can expect from Wigg: not great defensive skill/instincts but enough athletic ability to make up for some of his mistakes. You can't teach a 7' wingspan. If he can at least put a hand up every now and then, he'll be a step up from DLo already.

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

Defense "used" to be a big part of this team's identity, at least...

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Persuasive. I'm considering being all in at this point, lol.

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(1/3) I'm actually liking the trade less from a short-term perspective and more from a long-term perpective the more I think about it.

I'm convinced that the combination of a mid-to-high lottery pick in a good draft + long-term relief from the repeater tax + less pressure on Dray (meaning less wear-and-tear long-term) + a max slot (even if it's untradable now) might be better than adding solid pieces (probably on 1+1 deals) and trying to eke out a 4 or 5 seed (even if Curry hadn't gotten hurt, Klay's absence still would've really hurt) by really putting in a good effort. I mean, a title this year was always unlikely, anyway, might as well s&t DLo and try to get some future assets. A pressure-less year is going to be so good for everyone down the road after 5 straight of not just great achievement, but a lot of pressure and wear-and-tear. If we're really going to try and be the Spurs, long-term is the goal anyway.

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We're already not going to be the Spurs. They might miss the playoffs this year for the first time in two decades.

We will definitely miss the playoffs this year after a streak of getting there only... what, 6 times in a row?

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Well, the Spurs had a really bad season and then got Tim MF Duncan.

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by Eric Apricot

As someone suggested on Reddit, our final piece has to be Jeremy Lin. The CBA season got coronavirus-canceled and our homeboy is out of a job. A Curry Lin back court would sell out every seat of Chase Center for the remainder of the season.

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Yep, at this point the team should go full novelty for the players they hire to fill out the rest of the season. Heck, see if they can legally sign a WNBA player and if she can hang with the league. Bring Zaza out of retirement. Bring Coach Kerr of the bench as the oldest player-coach in history and have him stand in the corner shooting threes. We've got All-Star Game quality defense the rest of the way anyway. Something else crazy, I dunno. Just make the rest of this completely lost season entertaining to watch.

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I'd actually LOVE to see this. Well, except for Kerr, whom we can't afford to get injured.

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Looks like the final piece was Pargo. And YAY, we can reply to subcomments again!

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10-day (or 3 games) contracts can be given to same player maximum of two times. So expect to see new faces every couple of weeks.

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Kinda fun, I guess.

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Interestingly, "quarantine" comes from the French "quarantaine," meaning 40 days.

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I thought it was something to do with Spanish ships getting held in a harbor?

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by Eric Apricot, punk basketball

Lol. Amazing stuff as always, Eric. I lol'd at "ok, wait there is a Wiggins in here."

With the initial shock of this deal calming down (and the chicken littles on GSoM presumably changing their diapers) I think some observers are still underplaying the financial angle.

Yeah, Lacob will *probably* be able to feed his family either way, but the amount this trade is going to save the franchise on repeater taxes — particularly with the high draft pick this year — is damn-near incalculable. Any cap mavens who want to try to calculate, go crazy, but remember: we're not just talking about next season but the compounding seasons afterwards. My general sense is that when once it's all over and done with, this cute li'l "cap-ducking" exercise may yield somewhere near a nine-figure savings.

How does that affect the on-court product we give a crap about, you say? Well, without those compounding 3x penalties looming over their heads, we can be pretty sure Lacob and co. will be motivated to spend like drunken sailors this offseason. That $17M Iguodala TPE now looks eminently usable, as does the full $10M non-taxpayer MLE (s/o to Chris for reminding me we that have to play with now; can't even remember the last time we did). Say ... JJ Redick and Derrick Favors, anyone?

If the DLo/Wiggins performance difference ends up anywhere close to a wash, this is a huge win for GS, imho, since on top of the $$ relief they also got a (likely) high first-round pick in a putatively stacked draft. I still think DLo has marginally better market value, and some untapped upside that running P&R and pick-and-pop all day with his BFF Towns will help unlock; but then I think you could say the same about Wiggins becoming more of a slasher/cutter/dunker alongside Splash.

Meanwhile, call me a shameless fanboy — you won't be far off — but I'm actually kinda looking forward to the breakneck, uptempo game they're gonna run all day with their newly-minted Bowman-Lee-Wiggins-Green-Chriss starting 5 (with a bench of Paschall, Looney, Poole, Smailagic, Toscano-Anderson, Norvell). It'll be brick-tastic, but I suspect they'll run a couple of late-season tired-legged teams off the floor. And that Curry guy should help a bit with the bricktastic part when he returns in 3-4 weeks.

Onward...

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I'm surprised you feel the financial angle is being underpaid, it seems like one of the most talked about aspects of the trade.

You're right in separating it into separate the finances into on/off court consequences. Much of the narrative I've seen has talked about how lucky we are to have had Lacob spend so much on the Warriors payroll. I happen to see his expenditures more as savvy financial than charitable community contributions, but in any case I'm glad we still have Dray+Splash.

On court, I believe we'll be still pretty constrained by the cap even if it's soft. As Bradly pointed out, the MLE's have some consequences. The TPE is nice and BigKino pointed out without the tax savings Lacob might not opt to use the TPE. This was a wow eye-opener moment for me, since after all of Lacob's boasting about not being outspent it never occured to me he wouldn't use the TPE.

However, if then, $17M doesn't really qualify as drunk buy level. Evan Fournier? Bobby Portis? Ian Mahinmi? Great additions but not exactly world breakers.

Your mention of Russell's market value is especially astute. I happen to think DLo is appreciably more valuable on court than Wiggins (the TS% you regularly cite is quite telling here). But even more important if we have to "cycle through" max slots, is their market value. All I've ever heard of Wiggins is what a mistake his contract is (while most of what I've heard of Russell his ongoing ascension).

Even after this trade, much of the narrative has been "he's not as bad as everyone says" and "we can revive his career". Whether or not he's actually valuable, this narrative points to the fact that he's *perceived* as valuable. That stigma is degrades his marketability and, if he doesn't perform on court, the benefit of having a max slot for a max player becomes an albatross. But then again, we traded for him perhaps others will as well.

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> Whether or not he's actually valuable, this narrative points to the fact that he's *perceived* as valuable.

Another interesting point to me in all of this is that if we really do trust Myers and the FO, then perhaps we were all too eager to see DLo as this great young asset that teams would take in exchange for their disgruntled superstar. That may not have been the case.

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Agree with most of this. Have serious doubts about Wiggins turning into a useful player for them but the financial flexibility is more important than some people give it credit for, particularly the team's ability/willingness to spend more if out from under the threat of the onerous repeater tax. I'll hold off my judgement till the off-season as it seems they are not done dealing yet.

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> I think some observers are still underplaying the financial angle.

I think this was my big oversight in predicting the trade season. The Warriors desire to dive below the repeater tax was stronger than I anticipated. I guess that even though I understood the impacts, what I missed was the team's willingness to treat all the non-central pieces as completely expendable.

And on the DLo vs Wiggins asset value - I think it's pretty clear that the Warriors were worried about even being able to use DLo in a big superstar trade. It's just one of those "reports" but I heard the Athletic guys talk about it on their podcast, and I think Zach Lowe mentioned something along those lines as well.

Apricot and Athletic Alchemy were talking about it on twitter [god I miss embed links] - but there was ALSO the concern that the Warriors, by trying to play DLo alongside the splash bros, would make him look like a 6th man with really bad defense rather than a "main guy." Which would further lower DLo's value. So if it already wasn't looking like he was going to be a viable trade chip for a superstar, then I could really understand why the Warriors took the initiative now to grab what they could get (mostly those draft picks)

Along those lines,

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

If the Warriors use more than the tax payer MLE, then the Warriors are right back at hard capping themselves.

From nba.com CBA faq:

"A team may use either the Bi-annual or Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Salary Exception only if (i)

the team’s Team Salary at the time the Exception is used and at all times thereafter during

such Salary Cap Year does not exceed the Tax Level for the then current Salary Cap Year

plus the Tax Apron Amount"

EDIT: Bah, fixed some typos

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Fixed typos - how? Did we just get the edit feature?

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No. I deleted my old post but there was still a spot there that said I had deleted a post, so I added the edited part on the new post to note why the thread was showing a deleted post of mine.

However, looks after I refreshed the page my deleted post is completely gone now anyways lol

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This makes me feel better somehow.

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

I actually like Kerr's take on this and hope Wiggins does too.

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Even now really.

I haven't watched his play very closely (I bet very few of us have) but I think if there's a way to "salvage" his career it will certainly entail just getting him to push less offensively. We don't want a low efficiency guy getting 20 points on 20 shots on a given night. May as well work him into the idea of that role asap.

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If he can become the 3 and D guy we need, that would be a huge win. He's got the length and athleticism; let's see if the W coaching staff can work their magic on him.

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Very happy for McKinnie, four years is a long contract for both sides. Wonder how many are guaranteed and if there is a player team option at the end.

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Very very happy for that guy. Definitely a WTF move for Cleveland though. Couldn't happen to a nicer fanbase.

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Just wrote up intro for all the edge players we just filled in... I had forgotten that it was McKinnie that got cut so the Warriors could add Chriss after training camp. He almost made it here : (

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That's awesome

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I mean, I’m super happy for him.

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If anything, this makes me lean towards approving of the Wiggins trade. Nick Wrong is just a breathy sac of bad takes

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LOL. Let's hope you're right and that Wright is wrong...

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Feb 7, 2020Liked by punk basketball

ROS? Gold! Onward...

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Rest of season! I’ll add it to the article.

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