Willie Cauley-Stein

Willie Cauley-Stein discredits Chris Webber's wild Warriors prediction

Willie Cauley-Stein discredits Chris Webber's wild Warriors prediction

Injured Warriors center Willie Cauley-Stein took issue with Chris Webber's playoff predictions, and he had receipts.

WarriorsTalk's Instagram page highlighted that the "NBA on TNT" broadcaster -- and former Warrior -- predicted that Golden State would not make the playoffs this season. Cauley-Stein exposed one of Webber's old takes in the comments, noting that he predicted the Kentucky product would not be an NBA starter.

During Kentucky's run to the Final Four in 2015, Webber said that comparisons between Cauley-Stein -- then a junior with the Wildcats -- and DeAndre Jordan -- then one of the NBA's most dominant defensive big men -- were premature at best. If the thought of Cauley-Stein playing in college or Jordan dominating the league didn't date this context enough, the fact Webber made his prediction on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" just might. 

"These days in basketball, if you're a junior in basketball, and you're 7-feet and you don't average 10 points, you're telling me he could be a DeAndre Jordan?" Webber said (via SportsNation)."... There is no way in the world. He can't jump as high. ... He will not start in the league. He's a great kid, and hopefully he will have an NBA career."

Cauley-Stein ultimately started 199 of the 295 games he played in his first four NBA seasons with the Kings, and he was in line to start at center for the Warriors before a foot strain ruled him out for the entirety of training camp. He has averaged 10.1 points per game to date in his career. 

[RELATED: Why Warriors' Chase Center debut was predictably ugly loss]

As for Webber's more recent prediction, the Warriors missing the playoffs isn't out of the question, and their postseason hopes depend on how well the team manages in Klay Thompson's absence. Despite that, it's hard to envision a team led by Steph Curry, D'Angelo Russell and Draymond Green not -- at the very least -- being among the eight teams left standing in the Western Conference when the playoffs begin. 

If Webber's wrong, you know Cauley-Stein won't forget. 

NBA rumors: Warriors work out former lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet

NBA rumors: Warriors work out former lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet

The Warriors have yet to play a preseason game, but they're reportedly already looking for reinforcements.

After a seemingly endless stream of injuries, Golden State's cupboard of big men is severely depleted. Kevon Looney has a hamstring strain, and he'll miss the preseason opener Saturday night against the Lakers. Free-agent signing Willie Cauley-Stein will miss all of training camp and is out until late October with a foot strain. Then there's second-round draft pick Alen Smailagic, who will be out for the "foreseeable future" with an ankle sprain.

With little in the way of big men depth -- healthy, that is -- the Warriors reportedly brought in a former lottery pick for a workout Friday. According to Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops, that player was Hasheem Thabeet.

The No. 2 overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, Thabeet was selected by Memphis one pick ahead of James Harden and five picks ahead of Steph Curry at No. 7. He owns career averages of 2.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game, and most recently played in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2013-14.

While he has been out of the league for a few seasons, Thabeet apparently has been staying active hoping for another chance.

[RELATED: Draymond intent on rediscovering 3-ball for new-look Dubs]

There's a reason why Thabeet fell out of favor in the NBA, as his offensive limitations outweighed his defensive contributions. Still, similarly, there's a reason he was the No. 2 overall pick.

At the very least, Thabeet offers intriguing potential and above-average rim protection at the center spot. Beggars can't be choosers, and right now, he might be the Warriors' best available option.

Warriors practice takeaways: What we learned on Day 3 of training camp


Warriors practice takeaways: What we learned on Day 3 of training camp

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a diminished roster forcing shorter and lighter practices, the Warriors concluded their shortest session of the week Thursday with more questions than answers.

They did not bother scrimmaging, believing it was more productive to work on conditioning, skills and video study.

Here are three takeaways from Day 3 of training camp:

Too many cooks? Not in this case

After utilizing seven coaches the last few seasons, the Warriors this season increased the total to 10, which is more than they’ve had at any time in their existence.

“We actually need everybody because of how much youth we have,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’re doing a lot of individual training before and after practice. A lot of individual film work. So, we need all these coaches because they’re all divvying up the individual instruction.”

Kerr’s primary assistants are Ron Adams, Mike Brown, Jarron Collins and Bruce Fraser. Adams’ role has shifted away from the bench, toward player development. Rather than the full travel schedule of the last five seasons, he’ll be on the road for select games.

Chris DeMarco operates in a hybrid position of assistant coach/player development, while four others -- Seth Cooper, Luke Loucks, Aaron Miles and Theo Robertson -- operate solely in player development.

Just one more sign of the franchise understanding it is in the midst of a major transition, with as many players under 25 as over.

Help Wanted: Centers apply here

When the Warriors take the court Saturday for their preseason opener at Chase Center, they will be without their starting center, their battle-tested backup and the man who would be no worse than third-string if he were on the active roster.

Kerr said Thursday he didn’t know who would start, or come off the bench, or finish, when they face the Lakers, but his options obviously are limited.

“I assume Omari (Spellman) will start, if I had to make a guess right now,” Kerr said after practice. “Marquese Chriss will play some 5 as well. I believe those are our only two options.”

Kerr then added that 6-foot-7 rookie Eric Paschall also could spend time at center.

Putative starter Willie Cauley-Stein is out until November with a mid-foot sprain. Kevon Looney, scheduled to come off the bench, is out with a “slight” hamstring strain. Zaza Pachulia is in the building, but in the role of consultant.

Spellman, a second-year player acquired from the Hawks in the deal that sent Damian Jones to Atlanta, is 6-9, 275, with a nice shooting touch. Chriss, a 2016 first-round draft pick, is on his fourth team in four years.

Expect Paschall, at 6-7 and a solid 250 pounds, to be shoved into the fray.

“He’d be the shortest 5-man in the history of the NBA,” Kerr said. “But he’s got the strength and athleticism and the length, with his (7-foot) wingspan, to play bigger than he is.”

’Nova West? Warriors East? Take your pick

The Warriors have won three of the last five NBA Finals. Villanova has won two of the last four NCAA national titles. Coincidence?

Maybe not, if you listen to Paschall, who spent his final three seasons of college at ‘Nova, under coach Jay Wright, before being drafted by the Warriors in June.

“Coach Wright has done a great job of preparing all his Villanova guys like that,” Paschall said. “He kind of runs an NBA-style offense. And the type of practices we have here are exactly what we do at college.”

And that was before the Warriors drafted Paschall, before they acquired Spellman and before Kerr and Wright spent much of the summer working alongside each other on the staff of Gregg Popovich during the FIBA World Cup.

“I talked to Jay this morning, actually, about his two guys,” Kerr said. “That’s one of the big advantages I have with coaching Eric and Omari. I’ve got an automatic ally in Jay. And some insight into what makes these guys tick.”

[RELATED: Injuries forcing Warriors to bet on young core quickly]

The similarities have helped Paschall make a relatively quick adjustment to the Warriors.

“When I said after a few meetings I thought this was Villanova again, it’s because how coach Kerr runs this place and how Bob Myers runs it, it’s kind of exactly like Villanova,” he said. “Just knowing it’s a very cultured place. They want everything to be as it is, so they can continue to win. And that’s how coach Wright is. Coach Wright is very big on making sure that we can continue to win by doing what we do.

“I feel like I fit in perfectly because some of the stuff coach Kerr talks about, coach Wright talks about.”