NBA rumors: Second campus for Warriors, non-Orlando teams has support

NBA rumors: Second campus for Warriors, non-Orlando teams has support

Ever since the Warriors last played in an NBA game back on March 10, nearly an entire typical offseason's worth of time has passed. Throughout the stretch of five straight NBA Finals runs, Golden State inevitably "enjoyed" the shortest offseasons in the league over that span.

With the Warriors not qualifying for the NBA's expanded playoff tournament, that time between games is slated to go on for much, much longer. Next season might not begin until January at the earliest, which, in theory, could place them at a competitive disadvantage. Rest is one thing. Rust is another.

With that in mind, The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Saturday there is "significant support" from most of the teams not participating in Orlando for the possibility of a secondary campus on which they could train, compete and potentially play televised games. 

"Those ideas have been shared openly on the league’s weekly general manager’s call, sources say, with the latest iteration on Thursday including optimism that a solution would be found and a continued focus on building an environment that’s on par with the Walt Disney World campus when it comes to the extensive precautions taken," Amick wrote.

Among the "Delete Eight" teams reportedly pushing the hardest for the secondary site, Amick mentioned the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, while the Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly have expressed interest in serving as the host. Amick also reported Las Vegas and Houston were possible locations mentioned by league officials on Thursday's call, citing sources.

The only team Amick specifically mentioned as reportedly being hesitant to participate is the New York Knicks, due to them having as many as eight players who are pending free agents and might choose to sit out. However, Warriors coach Steve Kerr previously has said Golden State, too, would not be interested in participating in that kind of proposed setup.

"We're in a different space and people understand that," Kerr said on a June 9 conference call with reporters. "We'd be more interested in practice time."

[RELATED: Top five teams Warriors fans want to win 2020 NBA title]

Regardless of what exactly the secondary site would entail, there appears to be a major hurdle for the league to overcome -- outside of the two most prominent "Delete Eight" franchises reportedly being uninterested. On that same Thursday call, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts reportedly expressed severe reservations due to potential health concerns.

"Candidly, while I appreciate (concerns) that there will be a bit of a layoff, I think there are some things these teams can do to get the guys that are not playing some (benefit) by their not being involved in Orlando," Roberts said. "But unless we could replicate in every way the protocol that’s been established for Orlando, I’d be -- I’m being tame now -- suspicious."

"I think our teams are incredibly smart and creative and can come up with ways to get their guys engaged, if not now, before the season starts," she continued. "But I am very concerned and frankly, my concern aside, our players, our teams are very concerned about any -- in terms of play that doesn’t have the same guarantees of safety and health that we’ve provided for the teams in Orlando. 

"So yeah, never say never, but there’s a standard. It’s a standard that’s got to be met, and if it’s not met, next question, as far as I’m concerned."

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

What if Warriors had traded Klay Thompson for Kevin Love in 2014?

What if Warriors had traded Klay Thompson for Kevin Love in 2014?

Editor's note: Twice a week, NBC Sports Bay Area will look back on biggest "What If?" moments in Bay Area sports history in our "Hindsight 2020" series. The first installment: What if the Warriors had actually traded Klay Thompson for Kevin Love in 2014?

Klay Thompson permanently has etched himself into Warriors lore over the last decade, using his superior shooting ability to help win, and even save, the Warriors dynasty. Thompson, along with Steph Curry, has given the Warriors a backcourt never before seen in basketball.

But back in the summer of 2014, the Warriors' eyes were on their first title in 40 years, and Thompson's place in the said mission was murky. His standing in the franchise was uncertain when Golden State dangled his services to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal for Kevin Love

For Golden State -- who ended up winning three titles in five seasons with Thompson -- Love provided star power that would have validated Warriors' rise. For the pre-dynasty Warriors, Love provided something Thompson has never been: A double-double threat not seen in the Bay Area since Chris Webber. 

Despite never making the postseason to that point, Love would bring an established name to a new ownership group led by Joe Lacob looking to make a statement to the rest of the league. However, the deal got nixed when team consultant Jerry West reportedly threatened to quit if Golden State went through the plan. 

But what if Thompson's talents were traded for Love? What if Golden State gave up on the Splash Brothers too early?

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

For context, the timing of the trade is noteworthy. While the San Antonio Spurs won the title with a modern offense in 2014, the league still put a premium on traditional big men who could roam the paint. In the same offseason, the Washington Wizards signed big man Marcin Gortat to a five-year, $60 million dollar deal.

But more importantly, the thought of adding Love -- a three-time All-Star at that point -- allowed Lacob to get the star power that'd spurned Golden State for years. Love was the prize, and the Warriors were eager to acquire him. 

But for Golden State, it would have made the team destined for dynastic glory merely a solid regular-season team. Spacing was a catalyst for the Warriors' success, and Love was most effective in the paint during his time in Minnesota.

Love's presence would have made Draymond Green expendable. At the time of the trade discussions, Green hadn't broken out as a bonafide starter. That wouldn't happen until the start of the 2014-15 season, only after David Lee was sidelined with a hip injury.

With Thompson off the roster, Curry would not have the necessary spacing or the heat-check partner Thompson provides. Love's defensive deficiencies would drive assistant coach Ron Adams insane. 

[RELATED: Six reasons why Warriors will play in 2021 Finals]

In Minnesota, Thompson would have been the franchise pillar leading a rebuild, a distinction he's never had the opportunity to live up to. But alongside Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad, he'd have little chance of success in his first season.

In 2015, he'd likely be joined by draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns. But as we learned in the Bay Area, Thompson is best served as the second or third-best player on a championship roster. The presence of Curry and Kevin Durant allowed Thompson to flourish on his own terms. On Golden State's stacked roster, Thompson's scoring binges and defense set the Warriors apart from the rest of the league. In Minnesota, his contributions alone wouldn't yield a title.

Trade notwithstanding, both players ended up on the right side of history. Love ultimately was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning a title with LeBron James in 2016, beating the Warriors along the way.

Meanwhile, Thompson won three titles in the Bay Area and has become an organizational pillar. The 2014 trade proposal looks preposterous in hindsight. 

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

D'Angelo Russell reveals why he signed with Warriors over T-Wolves

D'Angelo Russell reveals why he signed with Warriors over T-Wolves

D'Angelo Russell could have signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves last summer. But he chose to sign with the Warriors instead (he technically signed with the Brooklyn Nets and then was traded to Golden State).

As you are aware, D-Lo ended up in Minnesota after all when the Dubs shipped him to the T-Wolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins before the NBA trade deadline in early February.

So why didn't he join the T-Wolves initially?

“I remember going through the process and I was like, ‘If I go to Minnesota, I play with Karl- (Anthony Towns) and all the guys who will be there," he told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. "I could potentially settle down and relax and unpack my bags.

"But there’s something telling me you gotta go get every bit of money you’re worth right now.”

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

The Warriors gave Russell the maximum amount allowed -- a little more than $117.3 million over four years.

Minnesota might have been able to get to the max, but it would have been very hard. As Krawczynski wrote back in July:

The Wolves had to do some salary-cap gymnastics and likely engineer a trade or two to create the space to absorb Russell and a four-year, $117 million contract — either through sign-and-trade that would require nearly $22 million in cuts or with cap space, a much more daunting task that required $33 million in fat-trimming from the current roster.

So you can't blame D-Lo whatsoever for securing the biggest payout possible, especially when he knew there was a chance he would be traded to the T-Wolves down the line.

[RELATED: Report: D-Lo chose Dubs before helicopter ride with Wolves]

Plus, he really did want to team up with Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, absorb knowledge from coach Steve Kerr and possibly make a deep playoff run.

“My whole thing was I’m gonna just learn from these guys,” Russell said. “Even if I don’t get to play with them (very long), I’m going to pick their brain as much as I can.”

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