88 Comments

Speaking of hard decisions and trade off scenarios... Since I'm sure the majority of peeps on here are rather a little invested in the success of our proud DubNation... What would you seriously be willing to give up as sacrifice to the Basketball Gods in order that we win Chip #5 whilst the core 3 are still playing? Would you give up coming back on to DNHQ ever again?!

Expand full comment

I’d give up my “KD Finals MVP” shirt

Expand full comment

That would please the gods!

Expand full comment

I’m negotiating with the basketball gods for 8 Steph ‘chips in a Warrior uniform. How, when, and with whom I’ll leave up to them.

Expand full comment

From most important to keep to most (gulp) expendable, ranked by a couple of my bodily organs:

Brain - Poole, Wiggins, Green, Thompson

Heart - Dray, Klay, JP, Wiggs

Expand full comment

Eric, Daniel, Dubby. Someone send me a direct email. I have an event announcement (a possible DubNation event), but want to run it by y'all.

Expand full comment

I cannot leave this post without mentioning play-making and this had a lot to do with my choice of Poole over Wiggins. As someone mentioned here, we haven't had a legitimate back-up point guard since S-Dot. That's not good. The team production can't just fall off a cliff every time Curry sits. The Warriors want to have the highest Assist Avg in the league and you need play-makers to accomplish that. Also, players like Wiseman & Kuminga are going to need to be set up a lot, led with the perfect pass. Dray and Curry can't be the only play makers on the team. And this is the year I scream about our FO undervaluing play-makers. Of course, I will be appeased if they pick up Trevion Williams on a league deal or 2-way at the least. If not, I am going to be raising hell about our lack of play-makers all year. Ye have been warned Bob! My question is, who would you rather have. Poole and Moody or Wiggins and Brad Wannamaker? This is why I value Poole so highly.

Expand full comment

But does Poole actually make a difference during the minutes that Curry's off the court? It certainly seems that way to the eye test, but the stats don't seem to back it up.

Curry's +/- was exactly the same this year as last year. GSW sported the best net rating in the league this year when Curry was on the floor and their offense was one of the worst in the league when Curry was off the floor.

I'd love to see some actual stats that show that Poole's presence when Curry is on the bench makes a difference for the team. Poole's own Ortg is about the same as his Drtg, meaning he gives up in defense about as much as he adds on offense.

I'd look up the stats myself, but I honestly don't know where to find stats that break down impact with certain players on/off the floor like that.

Expand full comment

Apologies if this was discussed elsewhere, but there was an article recently with a proposed trade of Wiggs for Barnes + Huerter + top-10 protected future pick... I find that pretty tempting, what do ya'll think?

Expand full comment

That would be an absolute steal. Bob Meyers might actually get arrested for that one.

Expand full comment

Indeed it's hard to imagine even the Kings would do that.

Expand full comment

From an emotional makeup perspective Poole reminds me a lot more of Iguodala than Dray

Expand full comment

Yeah, Poole has a little Andre in him. But what I see is Poole talking on the court. He is not afraid to mix it up with anyone and he punked Marcus Smart in the Finals. He has even clapped back at Draymond. That's not easy. I've heard him mic'ed up in scrimmages, and he is very vocal, both with game talk and cheer-leading his teammates. And that's why I think he has a little Dray. Once Curry and Dray are gone, how are they to be replaced? Those are big shoes to fill. My preference for Poole over Wiggs comes down to this. His playing style (and work ethic) mimics Curry enough such that the Warriors could continue to play their off-ball motion offense. Poole can't replicate Draymond's defense, but he can carry the torch as the heart of the team because of his insane self-confidence and his fiery passion for competition and winning. Poole wants blood on his dagger at the end of the game. It might not be obvious. But watch him closely during games and you will see him F with other players and try to get under their skin. And every Championship team needs that guy. And I don't think most people see that in him yet, since Dray gets the lion share of Antagonist at Large.

Expand full comment

I hope in the next collective bargaining between players and the NBA they add in something that allows players to be partially paid in equity. Given the value of the league and the savviness of many players (especially ours) it makes sense for players to participate in the overall upside. This can also defray some cash expenses. And in our case, it would likely totally solve our luxury tax issues. Both Joe and our top players understand the value & how to structure reasonable equity comp. Andre and Draymond talked about this on a podcast over the summer.

Expand full comment
Sep 1, 2022·edited Sep 1, 2022

How would you value equity for cap/luxury tax purposes?

I think it would make for rampant manipulation of the cap rules (you could argue that already happens, though).

The obvious case is what happens when a franchise's value goes up 20% ... if you revalue the equity, you could be bumped over one of the tax lines.

Expand full comment

There are laws around valuing equity - most co’s do 409a valuations for options pricing. It can be manipulated. But one could create some bounds around this at the league level to prevent.

Expand full comment

Since as owners they’d benefit from gate receipts, would that incent players to throw games to ensure all series go 7 games?

Expand full comment

Dilip is correct about this. The risk of losing the series and potentially missing out on the income from the next series outweighs any incentive of throwing a game to extend a series.

Expand full comment

I don’t think owners would throw games even with financial incentives because of the degree of uncertainty around winning any individual game. The best way to build franchise value is sustained excellence that leads to commercial success. On the other hand this would incentivize vets to take an interest in developing youngsters and recruiting great people into a franchise. Where it messes up is trades. I personally think trades are an absurd concept people put up with because of familiarity anyways, but yeah - they throw a wrench in this working well.

Expand full comment

SillyValleyCorp mixes cash with equity with a vesting period. Unvested shares or options are forfeited on ending employment (a "trade", here). Would-be poachers have to offer an equally appealing combo of cash and incentives to lure someone away. Not as good as a guaranteed contract, but it would likely attract vets and 2nd tier players, and most importantly everyone would have a stake in the team winning in the future, not just now.

Expand full comment

I think it’s a fairness issue - if you are traded your unvested shares disappear, but if they were part of your negotiated comp which is not supposed to change in a trade…. And if you keep vesting through the contract that does create weird situations and incentives.

Expand full comment

We can think of lots of scenarios where a trade is the only solution that makes sense, not only for the teams but for the players as well.

Expand full comment
Aug 31, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot

Thanks Eric. I hope folks enjoy it. The issue has me hog tied. Whatever answer you come up with sucks in its own way. But this is the life of a GM. It's like having eggs and toast and having to decide between potatoes or bacon.

Expand full comment
Sep 1, 2022·edited Sep 1, 2022

Ditch the toast and have eggs, potatoes and bacon. Much healthier! Plus Wiggins please because this is not analogous to eating food and the Warriors will be better with the Wiggs. Seriously!

Expand full comment

Defense wins chips. Been thinking about how defense is the biggest question mark on the roster for next year. I thinks this is big for Wiggs.

Over the summer, we lost GP2, OPJ, Bjeli, JTA, possibly Iggy. A year older for Dray, so bearing less of the physical load each night, but hopefully can turn up in playoffs. Klay will hopefully step up, he looked close to full form in the playoffs, but it seems unlikely he should take the hardest, most physical wing assignments most nights.

Of the new guys, Donte seems maybe a slight plus on D, but no GP2. JMG seems a slight negative on D, even before comparing to OPJ, Bjeli, and JTA's surprising toughness. PBJ and Rollins are unknowns in NBA defense, and end of bench.

In light of that, Wiggins' defense looks a lot harder to lose. If Klay steps up to prior D levels and toughness, or Kuminga, Moody, Poole, or Wiseman take unlikely huge steps forward on D, only then can I imagine Myers lets Wiggs walk.

Seems more likely to me we get enough shooting from an aging Steph & Klay plus more diverse scoring from our new guys, and we let Poole's rising price tag walk. Few better ways to keep our D at champ level than keep the ultra-switchable, ironman Wiggs. I'm not just saying this because he's my mom's favorite Warrior, but it's a factor.

Looking forward to a certain beaming smile after he shuts down Ja, Doncic, and Middleton to win our next chip.

Anybody have ideas for how our defense will rise this year to last year's "historic greatness"? Or, for those who think Poole is likely over Wiggs, any ideas for likely free agents/trades who could replace Wiggs on D and at least patch up the void he'd leave on offense?

Expand full comment

I'm hoping that defensive leaps forward for Kuminga, Moody, and Wiseman are NOT unlikely. JK and Wise have superior athleticism, and Moody has unusual length and smarts. I'm /expecting/ them to be better -- hopefully MUCH better -- on defense.

Expand full comment

Yeah, the athleticism is there, and we will probably see it more often in isolation defense. But becoming a good team defender is a lot more work and takes a lot more time. The second you have to think about making the right rotation, you have already been cooked. But you can't get there in practice. It takes real time on the court and expect the tv camera zooming in on Kerr frustrated as Hell as these guys blow assignments all season long. But every blown assignment is another brick in the foundation of their learning to be better defenders. I'm just sayin', get ready for it. If by the end of the season, our young guys rank as "Average Defenders", it will be a huge win.

Expand full comment

Yes defense wins. One thing to point out in what we all felt was an incredible playoff performance by Wiggs is to ask this question. Who was behind him? It's one thing to be guarding a team's #1 player on the perimeter. It's another thing entirely when you have Draymond "Best Help Defender of All-Time" Green behind you. Not to mention the overall team defense where all the players on the court are staying connected and leaving the ball-handler with few options beyond going at Wiggs one-on-one. Of Tatum's 38 FTA in the Finals, only 2 were generated by Wiggs. This makes Wiggs a "Positional Defender" rather than an "Attacking Defender" (like GP2). In the Finals, Wiggs just had to stay connected to Tatum and wait for him to take a tired and ill-advised shot. We all think Wiggins painted a defensive masterpiece on Tatum. But I believe we are short changing the overall team defensive scheme and the threat that Draymond poses should Tatum push past Wiggs and get into the lane.

While I agree that Wiggins is an excellent defender, I think he is more like the Lone Ranger. Take down the bad guys, get the credit, when we all know Tonto did most of the work.

Expand full comment
Aug 31, 2022·edited Aug 31, 2022

If you lose Wiggins after this season, your candidates to replace a lost wing include two lottery picks (MM and JK) coming their 3rd year who they have a lot invested in, plus and another 1st rounder who’ll be entering his 2nd year.

If you lose Poole after this season, your candidates to replace a playmaking guard who can excel in place of Steph or beside him are…Ryan Rollins, Gui Santos and Mac McClung.

I’d argue that we’ve had playmaking guard that effectively could play alongside Steph or run the offense when he’s out at a championship level only twice; Livingston’s first two seasons with the team. Now we have one and he’s young, still on the rise, and possibly an AllStar in the making….and he’s under team control.

Wiggs is a hyper-athletic wing who very very recently decided add 3&D to his game, and even more recently added effort on the boards. This is a wonderful development but to me it goes back to the question of his motor, especially since defense and rebounding are effort-driven, especially when you hear coaches and teammates talk about trying to fire him up. To be blunt; I still don’t see him as a self-starter, much less a leader. OTOH, Poole is, by all accounts, the hardest worker on the team and an obvious leader on the team already at 23.

TL; DR: Wiggins is great, but more easily replaced internally and externally, while Poole is the rarest of gems and harder worker. Choosing between the two is a bet and it seems like there are more reasons to bet on Poole.

Yes, I’m echoing a lot of Alas’ great points in the OP, but I’ve been on this train for some time myself.

Expand full comment

> Defense wins chips.

Yep. That, and offense.

Expand full comment

Also, wasn’t the Celtics’ both vaunted AND ballyhooed before running into GSW’s offense?

Expand full comment

Yep. And touted. And hyped.

Fwiw, the Ws were the #4 rated offense in the playoffs, and the #6 rated defense.

Expand full comment

Yes, that seems possible....but weren't they the #1 rated Champion?

Expand full comment
Sep 1, 2022·edited Sep 1, 2022

No, Daryl Morey had his team audit the postseason and it turns out the Sixers were actually the #1 rated champion by a whopping +10,000 if Harden was given a correct whistle

Expand full comment

DiVincenzo is certainly no GP2 defensively but I think we should expect more than "slight plus" from him on that end this season if his ankle is healed.

Expand full comment

I have to think they'll be making these decisions in the coming offseason with the long term in mind. There's new CBA, new TV deal, new contracts for everybody except Steph & PBJ over the next 3 years, youngsters growing in their role, oldsters fading bit by bit... Lacob has said he'd pay to keep a champion together, whatever that means... Bob has said $400M is kind of a limit, but they've stayed below $350M thus far.

There's way too many moving parts to make sense of what's going to happen next offseason, so just enjoy this season and hope the team stays cohesive and doesn't fracture from competing interests...

Expand full comment

“…just enjoy the season…”

Amateur GMing is what we do, though. If we think Bob should be worrying about, we’re worrying it.

Expand full comment

We out here doing Bob's good works!!!!

Expand full comment

yup. that's why I am remaining irrationally optimistic that we keep everyone I want to keep (hasn't happened yet, but ...)

Expand full comment

As I said before on this topic, the thought of sacrificing any one of Green, Poole or Wiggins just to continue to overpay Klay Thompson, and be it just for one season, is nothing short of horrifying and if it comes to pass, it will eventually be the piece that starts the Warriors episode of Secret Base's "Collapse" series in some way. Plus it further begs the question why not even Curry gets a No-Trade Clause (even though when he signed his first 200m+ contract, he wanted one) when the team is unwilling to trade such contracts. I for one will pray for Threesus that either the FO sees sense or ownership finds hundred million dollars under a couch.

Expand full comment

It’s well short of “horrifying,” lolz.

Expand full comment

It sounds like you’re better at keeping emotions out of a decision about Klay and Curry than most of us here, as well as most Warriors fans, his teammates and coaches, Myers, Lacob and Gruber.

I think most of us want those guys around to root for even if there’s a slight risk of it not being the best bet on paper.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Aug 31, 2022·edited Aug 31, 2022

Pretty interesting point.

I was all prepared to think PGIII was the better player, but they are remarkably similar statistically for 2021-2022. They both score about 25/36 minutes on similar true shooting (George, .538, Thompson, .547).

PGIII has roughly twice as many assists and rebounds per 36 as Thompson, and better defense (IMHO). Those are the main differences I can see.

Both are 32, so no difference in age to consider. You can toss a coin to figure out who is likely to be less prone to injury going forward.

But, they are definitely in a similar ballpark statistically, and that in a recovery year for Klay.

Klay should be a little better next year, so you'd expect the gap to close a bit.

Edit: Just to be clear, I still think PGIII is the better player. It's just that I expected more of a statistical edge to PGIII, especially with Kawhi out.

Expand full comment

The same CJ who was traded by his team when they realized they weren't going anywhere to a team not in a dire tax crunch. I will just ignore the "always injured" part for PG13 since we are comparing him to a player that missed two and a half seasons and point out that we are talking about the LA Clippers, who were in a situation where George had to be extended at whatever money he wanted given as they are the only team in the league whose salary situation is remotely comparable to ours. When I look at guards that make high 10s, low 20s like Buddy Hield, Joe Harris or Evan Fournier and cannot shake the feeling that the Warriors would have most likely won the championship with either of those guys in Thompson's place, the concept of Thompson being overpaid is not too far off. Plus of course, it'd be irrelevant if the Warriors had infinite money, but they don't. Especially now that we seem to be hitting the hard limits of ownership, spending ~10-15m more than the team "needs" is just not sustainable.

Expand full comment

Great points all around, though I still hate this entire conversation.

My heart wants Lacob to keep the team together as long as the total balance sheet on each season is at least $1 into the black, but my mind knows this isn't entirely--or even remotely--realistic. I'm so glad I'm not Bob Meyers. I truly don't know how he does it.

I do hope Abaddon is right and Wigs keeps defending and rebounding like a savage the way he did in the playoffs. And I hope the reports of Kuminga having a lax work ethic are overblown, and that Poole is spending the entire off-season becoming a lockdown defender. Because ultimately, I am all about getting more reasons to eat celebratory ice cream.

Expand full comment

Amen. For now I'm just going to wait excitedly and fantasize about the season:

- JP3 and SC30 competing to be the better two-way player

- Loon adding a reliable middy or reliable-enough corner 3 that he stretches defenses

- Green+Green wiping guys out with the now-classic elevator doors play. Now that's a greenscreen!

- Wiseman and Kuminga vying for fiercest dunk (Winner: Wiggins)

- Klay finding some absurd new record to set in hilarious fashion just to prove that he's "back"

- Dre signing mid-season and immediately landing some mind-boggling dimes

I don't know what to expect from most of the new guys so I'll just wait and hopefully be happy with whatever.

Expand full comment
Aug 31, 2022·edited Aug 31, 2022

Love the well thought out commeticle, but am also convinced that the Dubs will let the season play out and see where the chips fall, so we can probably safely un-wring the hands for a minute. A whole lot can change in a season, and directly after an epic championship run, where everything broke right for the team, seems like a poor time to start cutting people max contracts before they’re due. I’m on board for the possible universe wherein Poole is the second coming of Curry, but won’t be shocked if he’s the second coming of Jamal Crawford. One of those guys you lock up forever and ever, the other while a nice player, can be safely replaced with vet-mins(just not Brad Wanamaker). As for Wiggins, he may have been mayo on offense last year, but he was more like the bun on defense; you’d still eat the burger, but there’s way less substance, and a much bigger mess.

Expand full comment
author

That “second coming of Jamal” line really stung, and I can kind of see it.

However, Poole is WAY more efficient than J Crossover. Not only is he more efficient now (TS% .581 and .598 last two seasons, JC with .529 career TS%), but even in Poole’s nightmare rookie season, Poole had a TS% of .454. JC’s rookie year… .442.

So I’m hopeful that Poole can be an offensive engine and eventually play well enough on D to not get played off the court.

Expand full comment

I wouldn't count him out on defense either. Young players like Poole always push the offensive side of their game because they know the truth, buckets will keep you in the league. I don't believe Poole is the kind of guy to accept the fact that he is the hole on defense. But he had MAJOR skill challenges with a higher priority than his defense last year. He had to be a starting 2 guard. He had to be the primary ball-handler in all non-Curry minutes. He had to be Curry for a while. He had to score. He had to adapt to the re-introduction of Klay. Once Poole has his own minutes stamped on the game and a solid routine, I expect him to start showing some more effort on defense. He may never be great, but in 2 years I expect him to rate as average in the team concept. I just don't think it is in his mental make-up to say "Screw it, they just need me to score." It took Curry a while. I think we need to give Poole a little more room to grow on that side.

Expand full comment

Ok, that may have been a bit hyperbolic. Although I do think Jamal wouldn’t compare as poorly efficiency-wise had he come up more recently. He shot essentially the same 3pt% as last season’s Poole, but took way less of them in favor of long twos…which Poole never takes. They’re both equally remarkable free-throwers. Poole clearly is gifted at the rim, and his ability to convert and-1s is super valuable. But yeah, that comparison was a more bracing for the defensive worst-case.

Expand full comment
Aug 31, 2022·edited Aug 31, 2022

“Second coming of Steph” is no more of a stretch.

And he has spent his whole career apprenticing under one and not the other.

Expand full comment

Its beyond disrespectful to compare Poole to Crawford when Poole at 23 is already a much better player than Crawford ever was!

Expand full comment

I will quibble with the word much. The D looks similar.

Expand full comment

> Intangibles: Wiggins is a robot. He is an iron man. He is Steady Eddy. He is a great complimentary player. But that’s just it. You may be out of mayo, but you will still eat your burger. If you don’t have any meat, you’re not gonna slap some mayo on a burger bun and go to town. Condiments enhance the burger. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some mayo. But not that much. As great as he is, he will always be a complimentary piece, and being the only one on this list is what makes him the odd man out.

Wiggins averaged 39 minutes a game in the Finals, Poole averaged 21 minutes a game in the Finals. Who is the complementary piece and who is the foundational one?

Expand full comment
Sep 1, 2022·edited Sep 1, 2022

Going forward…

Poole: more foundational

Wiggs: more complementary

We’re talking degrees, of course.

Expand full comment

So, what you're saying, is that if we keep Poole over Wiggins, we're #wastingcurrysprime, and if we keep Wiggins over Poole, we're #givinguponthefuture

Expand full comment

I’d probably have worded it as “more important long-tern foundational piece”.

Expand full comment

To be fair, Wiggins doesn't have Steph Curry/Klay Thompson to compete for minutes with! Not to mention Wiggins had the benefit of being in a position where the Warriors just had a dearth of talent at SF!

Expand full comment

You can argue that Wiggins could be replaced by another starter quality minutes eating wing and I'm not sure I'd disagree, but that doesn't make Poole a foundational piece either.

The best SG on the Warrior roster last season was GP2. Having a shot creator sixth man who can play SG in the regular season is a fantastic luxury to have, but it doesn't make him a player they cannot win without. A reason the Warriors had no other options at SF was because they bet on Wiggins to stay healthy and be playable in all situations. That got a bit dicey when he was bricking all his FTs but ultimately paid off as one of their best bets of the season. They used those extra roster spots to carry more guards (among other things) to have matchup flexibility because Poole was not an "every game closer" like Wiggins was.

Note: I am arguing about how necessary Poole's role is on this specific team, not about him as a player. On a team where Poole could start at PG, he'd skyrocket in value like we saw when Curry got injured.

Expand full comment

So you're saying we got the best backup QB in the league? ;-)

Expand full comment

Are the Warriors really going to let $ break up a championship team? They’ll figure it out if the team wins again. If they lose, we’ve probably seen the last of The Warriors for a while as they focus on the youth movement.

Expand full comment

Look at Alas. First the Comment + Reply of the week. Now her or his own featured comment as an article.

Expand full comment

Look at Alas... So Inspirational.

Expand full comment

Not so inspirational. I have to buy Eric Donuts for 3 months.

Expand full comment

Alas shrugged.

Expand full comment

fountain pen

Expand full comment

I'd be inspired by that... if I were Eric.

Expand full comment