Jordan Poole

Warriors can find these silver linings from lost 2019-20 NBA season

Warriors can find these silver linings from lost 2019-20 NBA season

Ever since the ninth day of the season, when they were informed that Steph Curry would miss at least three months, the Warriors have had one request of the 2019-20 season.

End it.

Kevin Durant had departed for the Brooklyn Nets. Klay Thompson was in the early stages of a nine-month rehabilitation and, then, Curry was out for medical reasons. With 78 games remaining.

Management and coaches immediately knew what was coming, that their hope for a bridge year -- with no realistic chance to win it all but the possibility of tested veterans Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and Curry introducing the playoffs to a gang of new faces -- would instead be a dreaded gap year.

The Warriors on Thursday finally got the wish they’ve been so reluctant to share since the NBA was shut down on March 12 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The league announced that Golden State’s season of aches, injuries, rehabs and despair is over.

The Warriors will not be among the 22 teams to go active when games resume July 31. The schedule is limited to teams sitting on a playoff berth or still with a chance of getting in. The Warriors were eliminated in their final game before the hiatus, a 131-107 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at Chase Center, that left them with a 15-50 record that they truly earned.

“So,” general manager Bob Myers cracked to NBC Sports Bay Area recently, “I guess we got to see we’re not very good without Steph and Klay.”

Yet those 65 games provided Myers and his lieutenants in the front office a large sample size to evaluate the roster and devise a personnel plan. The Warriors know they need more size, better interior defense and, of course, more shooting.

It gave the expanded, 10-man coaching staff plenty of opportunities to teach and also learn. Indeed, for the first time since Steve Kerr’s initial season in 2014-15, the focus was on schemes and tutorials. Draymond was forced to become something of a player-coach, which he said raised his level of patience.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

It was exceedingly valuable for rookies Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole to get far more playing time than they would have under normal conditions. Paschall was needed and he shuttled between both forward spots without embarrassing himself. Poole had enough time to lose his shot and realize what it would take to rediscover it.

Players like Poole and Paschall, as well as Andrew Wiggins and Marquese Chriss, who are expected to be in the rotation next season got a chance to soak in the culture and spoke highly of it.

“No matter what your record is, there's so many ways to steal the joy from a team,” Myers said. “There's ways to kind of make it feel a lot harder than it should. Steve does a great job of keeping things in perspective, keeping it light but also competitive.”

[RELATED: Steph took noteworthy knee in protesting police brutality]

The most important thing the Warriors can take from this season, though, is the mental and physical intermission afforded their three stars. That cannot be overstated.

Coming off five consecutive runs to The Finals, Curry, Green and Thompson never got much of a break. All three, even with Klay coming off an ACL tear, should be refreshed when the next season starts, probably in December. Given the tremendous energy Draymond must expend to be at his most effective, he probably needed more recovery than he is willing to admit.

The unspoken but prevailing sentiment beneath Warriors ownership was that the NBA would be wasting of a couple weeks on a team going nowhere.

The Warriors, knowing there was minimal chance they would return to finish the season, already had begun shifting toward 2020-21. Now, they can bury the season they want to forget and go full speed toward what they have reason to believe will be better days.

Warriors' Jordan Poole serves as witness for wedding at Chase Center

Warriors' Jordan Poole serves as witness for wedding at Chase Center

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole was at Chase Center on Saturday. He wasn't getting up shots at the practice facility, which is still closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Standing outside the Warriors' arena, Poole served as a witness for the wedding between Lindsay Hirsch and Dustin Schneider.

Poole, wearing a mask while standing a safe distance away from the bride and groom, was wearing a custom Warriors jersey with the couple's last name and the date of the wedding.

Poole posted on his Instagram Story, and said being there for Lindsay and Dustin's big day was one of the "dopest" things he has been a part of.

So how did this all come together? The San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau said he received an email from the bride and passed it along to the Warriors.

According to The Chronicle, Lindsay and Dustin were supposed to get married at Walt Disney World in Orlando -- ironically, the proposed location for the resumption of the current NBA season. In their search for alternate location, they decided to see if they could say "I do" outside Chase Center. As you can see, their plan worked out.

“I couldn’t say no to that,” said Poole told The Chronicle's Ann Killion, who attended the wedding.

[RELATED: Poole's improvement should be encouraging]

As it turns out, Poole and Dustin have something in common: They both attended the University of Michigan, Killion wrote.

Not a bad way for Poole to spend part of his Memorial Day weekend.

Warriors pick Onyeka Okongwu, Tyrell Terry in fake NBA draft, earn A-plus

Warriors pick Onyeka Okongwu, Tyrell Terry in fake NBA draft, earn A-plus

The Warriors got off to a tremendous start in the 2020 Bleacher Report NBA fantasy general manager league, pulling off a highway-robbery three-team trade that brought Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart to Golden State.

As well as the fake Warriors general manager -- Bleacher Report's Sean Jordan -- began the week, it appears he closed it in even more impressive fashion.

The 2020 NBA Mock Draft was held Saturday, and the Warriors came away with an A-plus haul.

As part of the earlier three-team trade, the Warriors dropped back from the No. 1 overall pick in the draft to No. 3. In doing so, Jordan still was able to acquire who Bleacher Report Lead NBA scout Jonathan Wasserman has ranked as the top big man in the draft -- USC's Onyeka Okongwu.

"Okongwu would be a terrific fit with Golden State for his athleticism, motor, low maintenance and defensive versatility," Wasserman wrote in giving that pick an A-plus grade. "He'd give the Warriors a rim protector who’s mobile enough to switch and run the floor for easy baskets. But he’s also developed into a skilled scorer whom the Warriors can feature in the half court, where he'll have plenty of space to operate in a lineup with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

"He’s the No. 1 big on Bleacher Report’s board, and the Warriors front office clearly had the same vision."

Jordan explained that he simply couldn't afford to pass up on all that Okongwu offers.

"Big O has as high of a ceiling as any prospect," Jordan told NBC Sports Bay Area, "Love his rim running talent in the Warriors system. Just a physical freak who has a lot of untapped potential."

The Athletic's John Hollinger recently wrote that Okongwu "would seem to be an outstanding fit" with Golden State, and clearly, Wasserman and Jordan are in agreement.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Wasserman only gave out four A-plus grades for all 60 picks of the draft. The Warriors received half of them.

Jordan entered the draft with two second-round picks, but combined them in a trade to move up to the No. 37 overall pick, which he used to select Stanford guard Tyrell Terry. Wasserman was quite impressed with that selection, as well.

"Skeptics question Terry’s lack of size and athleticism," he wrote in explaining another A-plus, "but his versatile shot-making, shooting touch and passing IQ are perfect for the Golden State roster and system."

Jordan drew a comparison to another Warriors guard in lauding Terry's abilities.

"I love his shot off the dribble, especially in transition," he said. "Legitimately has shades of Steph [Curry] minus the handle. Think there's a world where he's the best shooter in this draft and we all know how valuable that attribute is in today's NBA. Keep in mind, I already traded Jordan Poole earlier in the week in the Marcus Smart deal. I think Terry already is a better shooter than Poole. And the Warriors low-key need shooters."

[RELATED: Here are Warriors' best free-agent targets this offseason]

In total, Jordan traded away Poole, the Andre Iguodala trade exception and the No. 1, No. 48 and No. 54 overall picks for Smart, Okongwu and Terry. This, of course, is a fake exercise, but if this were to occur in reality, Warriors fans would be jumping for joy -- and rightfully so.

The winning GM is supposed to be announced Sunday. Don't be surprised if it's fake Bob Myers.