Getting angry at the players for asking for more money is akin to blaming the rising costs of a Big Mac on the fact that the burger flipper makes $15 an hour.

Yes, the sheer numbers are VERY different, but the concept is the same; the economic constraints in these situations come from owners unwilling to give up on their astronomical profit margins in order to compensate laborers at a higher rate.

Yes, Lacob has been amazing thus far as an owner, but he's still constrained by the CBA and what ALL the owners have collectively decided. Yes, most franchise owners don't make a huge amount off of their individual restaurants, but they're constrained by the ultimate McDonald's corporate directions.

It's easy to place outrage on the face of the business (e.g., the players, and the fast food workers), but ultimately this is an ownership issue, not a player issue.

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Supposedly Draymond is asking for a *max extension* which starts at 125% current salary for 4 additional years, not a max contract. The difference is quite large, roughly 30M a year vs. 40M a year initially.

The value that Steph, Dray, and Klay have brought to the Warriors, let alone the NBA, has far exceeded even twice their combined salaries so far. This is due to the portion of the CBA that the owners have insisted upon, imposing a collective discipline on themselves, via cap and tax and max salaries, to share as little of the revenue with players as possible. From the players' point of view, running up against the cap is a problem that the owners have to solve. Ownership wants to force players into moves such as what Harden just did, which amounts to breaking solidarity with the interests on his own side and yielding to the owners' artificial constraints.

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The Athletic is trying to put out NBA content in July. Draymond hasn't made a statement, hasn't given an interview or put out a request for the max. The Athletic is just trying to speculate as to what may happen, cap/luxury tax-wise, with the roster of most interesting team in sports.... none of this should start blowback on any of the Warriors players, as none of them were quoted, much less even contacted for the story.

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I don’t understand Dray. Honestly. Look back to history: Pippen was paid less than Jordan, McHale wa paid less than Bird. Does someone even begin discussing how crucial McHale and Pippen were for the success of their teams? No. It’s simply an unwritten rule of the show, that the defender is paid somehow less than the scorer.

No matter that, it’s Lacob’s money, so it’s not upon me to argue. I say only that we risk, with that stuff, to be forced to give up Poole AND Wiggins in ‘23. And probably Wiseman, too. All that because of Dray’s max. Let’s think about it.

By the way, Harden, supposedly one of the most self-centered and presumptuous players ever, has just CUT his own payroll. Meditate, gente, meditate. (Think, people, think)

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Everyone worrying about Draymond I'm not. Would be foolish to even consider giving Draymond a max, ideally kuminga will be the starting 4 by the time dray has to opt in, while the defense might slide some....the offense would be dramatically better . Def want dray back but if he is being selfish that's on him, I expected him to take a serious pay cut and team friendly deal but as he said about kd .....he thinks he is some elite business man, go and play without Steph he will be completely exposed

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Thinking about life without Draymond and how hard he’d be to replace, it occurred to me that although it might sound crazy, perhaps Looney could develop into Draymond’s role as the defensive signal caller, free safety/help specialist, offensive facilitator.

Other than Steph, Klay, Dray and Iggy, there’s no one who appears to be more well-versed in the Warriors offense or has a higher BBIQ than “Lunchbox Looney”. While he’s currently spending most of his time setting screens and fighting for rebounds, he knows what’s going on around him and where to be. He’s not a big scoring threat, but that never stopped Draymond, Zaza or Bogut from leading the 3-ring circus from the 5. Though the ball doesn’t find its way into his hands very often, he shown the ability to find guys for open shots.

It’s kind of weird to think about quiet, professional Kevon playing the part of wildcard Draymond. For those old enough to remember, it reminds me of when Meadowlark Lemon left the Globetrotters and there was just no way to replace him, but quiet Geese Ausbie stepped in. While there was no replacing Meadowlark, Geese made the role his own and achieved greatness as well.

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A don’t know why Eric felt like the front office deserves an “A”…a “B” is a good grade!

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Apple pie.

Kevon Looney.

I rest my case.

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Jul 27, 2022·edited Jul 27, 2022Author

I’ve seen a couple of complaints in the comments about Looney not developing more of an offensive game. I note:

1. Looney has had a LOT of injuries which put him out for long chunks of time.

2. If it were so easy, every non-lazy NBA player would have those skills. People rave about his work ethic, so it’s not laziness.

3. Most NBA pros are actually good at scoring and dribbling. Compare, for instance, Brian Scalabrine, who was talked about scathingly as the worst player in the NBA in his time. And yet, he famously destroyed every non-NBA challenger in one on one play, even in retirement.

So Kevon is probably very good at a lot of basketball things compared to very very good basketball players, but on the NBA court, compared to other NBA players, defended by NBA players, and exhausted by doing the things the team actually needs, he looks bad shooting, creating in the post, etc.

It would take a LOT of development to improve from “very good” to the elite level of “good in the NBA” and it might not even be possible for most humans.

4. Because Looney has shown excellent improvement in other aspects, I don’t think it’s fair to complain that Looney hasn’t improved in every dimension. In fact, shooting and post ups are very unimportant to this team, and to get better than that, he has to take away time he could spend doing other more important things, for instance, becoming an elite rebounder this season with Dejan, which was massive in the playoffs.

5. The fact that he spent time developing as a rebounder and one-on-one defender of smalls means that he has not gotten better at scoring and other glamorous aspects that get players paid, so it’s a tribute to his team-first approach, not a sign that he’s letting down the team.

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Jul 27, 2022·edited Jul 27, 2022

OT: new article from the athletic. Dray wants a max extension, which we likely won’t pay. It might be time for another Pat Murray pod to calm us down!


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Jul 27, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot


Love the takeaway and the re-grade!

The man’s an F’ing giant!

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Aside from Looney’s game which is celebrated so well here, I just love his attitude. Is there a more team first player? He’s up there with Steph. Loon always does what is needed, or steps aside when asked, with a smile on his face. Not just a professional but a good warm soul. I’m really happy he found a way - and did the work - for his game to fit into the puzzle that is the Dubs system.

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I don't have much platitudes for Loon that Apricot and other posters in this thread haven't already expressed (shoutout to PhysiaPete and Phood Fight), so I will just say that if there are still folks who don't believe that Looney is a foundational piece of this championship team and an absolutely crucial component to their success, you can come fight me in Temecula. Looney is the kind of dude who saves his best play for the most important moments and always elevates his game when called upon. It's why his teammates and his coaches love him so much. He's a consummate professional and I love watching him play. Couldn't be anything less than an A pick.

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Hate to bring fruit cake to a cocktail party, but how much has Durant's close association with Kyrie caused his value in the league to decrease, dare I say plummet? Leaving the Warriors, KD was one of the most sought after free agents to ever hit the market. He's old, but he ain't that old. He's got 4 years on his contract, and despite the dollars, I would say it's a safe bet he plays to the value of the 4 years. Being somewhat moody and possessing a wandering soul aren't qualities that have ever deterred a front office from signing a great player. My guess is that, by riding the Kyrie Irving Magic School Bus, KD has tainted his own value to the equivalent of:

1 rotation player, 1 1st round pick and 1 1st round pick swap.

You are who your friends are, and this old truism isn't doing KD any favors.

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1. Looney good, fusho 2. But not great, let's not get carried away here. NBA players who are not notably better than I am at passing, shooting or dribbling never quite impress. Be nice if Looney could develop a modest dependable shot like a David West mid-range that he could knock down consistently and confidently, or a couple of post moves to count on. 3. Pat Connaughton was mentioned with a bit of a shrug here, but the guy was a starter through the playoffs for a championship team, and has averaged 44-36-80% shooting which ain't bad. He's a scrapper. Can't really compare him to Looney because they don't play the same game.

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