I’ve decided the “choice” between Klay, Dray, Wiggs, and Poole is actually a no brainer. You keep the three you drafted because in future cba land that could make a ton of difference to cap and taxes.

Expand full comment

I know we’re all in on dynasty analysis, especially because the our local squad just happens to be one! And, yay!

But, as much as every team, player, owner, coach talks about drafting, training, building, planning the process to win win win! that championship, we all know that almost nobody wins. 1 team per year. 11 teams in the last 24 years. So we know that when we get past the rah-rah talk, teams are planning around different goals. Profitability? Making the playoffs? Having a winning season? Winning a playoff series? The people who own the teams are usually competent business people, so they are planning around attainable goals, with stretch goals (rings) being nice but not necessary. So how do we evaluate teams against those goals? Pick one that we can know the answer to (like making the playoffs) and we can really judge management.

Expand full comment

The Golden 4th Max Salary Slot. Why it meant so much before and why it means so little now.

The last spike in TV money (and the best team friendly deal in NBA history, Curry 4 yr / 44 mil) allowed the Warriors to grab KD in free agency. The last CBA was crafted to leave teams the ability to carry 2 max players and a good mix of salaries to fill out a roster OR 3 max salaries and a roster full of vet mins. The NBA wants parity, it wants to spread its top players throughout the league. But the NBA Players Union, led by one Chris Paul at that time, wanted all the TV money put into the first year rather than the 3 year phase-in plan that the league had suggested. This opened the door for KD to join the Dubs. Another great assist from the Point God, Chris Paul.

More important than the 4th max salary slot was obtaining a player's Bird Rights which enables a team to exceed the salary cap, taxes be damned. Thus, the Warriors were in a position that no other team in the league could really compete with. They could, within the rules, retain 4 max salary players or "slots". When KD left in FA, there was little concern for what player the Warriors could obtain to replace KD. The truth is, the salary cap restricted them from obtaining a player anywhere in the vicinity of KD. What was more important was that they retain the salary slot that KD occupied. It is commonly believed that KD did the Warriors a solid and agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Nets. KD wasn't being entirely altruistic. His agreeing to the sign-and-trade that brought D Russell to GSW served him & the Nets as well. The important point was, the Warriors were able to retain their 4th Max Salary Slot. And this was the tool they needed to reload after KD's exit

Forward to one of the best trades in NBA history. Russel for Wiggins and a top 4 protected pick that turned into Kuminga. But let's remember, what did most people think about this trade? Yeah, we still have that max salary slot. Wiggins wasn't for the long road. He was a chip to be played when the time is right. He was a salary slot. And over time, a damn good looking salary slot.

The long winded point I am trying to make here is that that 4th Max Salary Slot was a formula for winning championships. It gave the Warriors a definitive advantage over the rest of the league only constrained by their willingness to pay luxury taxes.

Meanwhile, through misfortune and drafting wizardry, the Warriors assembled a group of players that would make that 4th Max Salary Slot irrelevant. What matters here is Bird Rights. We have the Bird Rights to so many promising players that the 4th Max Salary Slot that was once so coveted is now almost an albatross. Wiggins could play the final year of his contract, then go somewhere else in free agency, and there would be no desire to replicate what they did when KD left. Sure, if the Warriors can grab a couple draft picks in the deal, take it. But given the rise of Poole and the 3 lottery pick projected salaries, the championship 4 max salary formula is now defunct, dead, kaput, vershlieben (not sure if that is a word, just seem to remember Lilly Von Shtupp saying something like that in Blazing Saddles).

Long Live the 4th Max Salary Slot. You served us well. We salute you. Now sit back, enjoy your retirement, and tune into the future Warriors. A Dunk Fest is on the horizon. Long bombs and viscous dunks.

Dominos Meniscus Meyers.


Expand full comment

Forgive me if this has already been shared, but there’s a new DubsTalk https://youtu.be/xFmzlDxgTjs

Monte and Dalton discuss Poole’s extension. They also talk about a hypothetical decision between Wiggins and Poole and both thought Poole would be the one they keep. Playmakers like Poole are harder to find than wings and they’ve got wings that need to eat.

Expand full comment

Just imagine if Moody, Wiseman and Kuminga make the kind of 2nd-year leaps this season as Jordan Poole did in 2020-21.

I wonder if Poole getting a ton of minutes on a crap team was better for him long-term, than Moody and Kuminga getting fewer minutes, but surrounded by great players showing them the way.

Expand full comment

Here's an unanswerable question: is the drafting, or player development, that is more important? Could Looney, Poole, or even free agents like GPII, JTA, and others have succeeded in, say, Phoenix or Minnesota? Our Wiggins?

Expand full comment
Sep 10, 2022·edited Sep 10, 2022

This stuff is so fascinating! Forgive me if this has been asked/answered before, but if the goal is to see how well the Warriors drafted compared, would it not be smart to look at the four or five drafts leading up to the first title (or finals appearance)? I find it interest to see how champions are built as well as how they’re sustained.

Expand full comment

Looks like you are using total minutes, but why not total playoff minutes divided by total available playoff minutes, giving a percent of usage? Teams in earlier eras played smaller numbers of playoff games (some best of 5), and more dominant teams (AKA, Warriors) played fewer 7 game series, and thus had fewer available minutes.

Also, as noted by jzalvadaro, the Warriors also drafted picks/acquired players that they didn't retain who have proven to have been good selections, but were not retained for salary cap reasons. (He mentions Damian Jones, but also Chris Boucher (undrafted, but picked up on a two-way in 2017 - but Warriors were his first professional signing), Kendrick Nunn (undrafted in 2018). The latter two guys were signed by Santa Cruz, and even though undrafted, are a credit to Myers and his team.

Expand full comment

For the Dubs then, it basically comes down to Looney. Take him out of the equation and the Warriors’ dynasty drafting rank falls pretty far. Not saying we should do this, as I’m sure a very small number of players makes the difference in their drafting success or failure for every team.

This fits with one of the reasons that I enjoy the NBA so much. A small number of players have the majority of the impact on a team’s success. We know who to root for, who to pay attention to on the court, who to identify with. We get to know a little about the people, and we can connect with them just a tad. Curry is a cool dude, I like him, and am interested in him. Take him out of the Dubs’ rotation and we might have a ring or two fewer.

It is such a huge pleasure to have a team with so many impact players. And to have Eric Explaining One Play at a time so I can learn who to actually watch.

Expand full comment

I was just listening to the Lowe Post podcast this morning with Ramona Shelburne and he was advocating starting Damian Jones as he states he’s very high on Jones and thought other teams should have given up some draft capital last year to pry Jones off Sacramentos roster

Saying all that, if indeed Jones plays well for the Lakers this year, can we honestly add that as a very good draft pick for the Dubs. I get he’s not playing for us anymore but you’re talking a still fairly young c who is starting to come into his own.. no less as the 30th pick in the draft. I’d say that’s solid drafting regardless.

Expand full comment
Sep 10, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot

The tricky thing with the Spurs is when the dynasty began/ended. If you start after their first finals win of the "Duncan era" and go until their last, then you include Parker, Manu, Kawhi, which I presume would blow everyone else (other than maybe showtime Lakers) out of the water. I realize that over the long 1999-2014 span they don't meet the 50% finals criteria, and you need some criteria to base it on. But it just doesn't quite feel representative of how that dynasty is generally viewed (ie lasting more than 4 years).

Expand full comment