Warriors

Forbes: Massive spike vaults Warriors to third most valuable NBA franchise

Forbes: Massive spike vaults Warriors to third most valuable NBA franchise

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Forbes released its annual "The Business of Basketball" on Wednesday, and the numbers are staggering.

The Golden State Warriors are now worth an estimated $2.6 billion -- the third highest valuation in the NBA.

That number is 37 percent higher than last year when the Warriors received a valuation of $1.9 billion -- the sixth highest in the league.

Joe Lacob and Peter Guber's ownership group bought the franchise in 2010 for $450 million.

From Forbes:

"Two consecutive trips to the NBA finals and one title have done wonders for the Warriors. On its way to the best regular season record in NBA history, the team posted the league's highest average cable TV rating (9.76) during the 2015-16 season, more than double the previous season.

"The Warriors also secured a 20-year naming rights deal from Chase for their new arena, expected to open in 2019, worth as much as $300 million. The value of the Warriors is up a league-high 37% and the team could challenge the Lakers and Knicks for the NBA's highest revenue in their new arena, which broke ground in January.

"The Warriors grossed $10 million per game in gate receipts, before the NBA took their cut, during the NBA Finals. The season ticket waiting list was at 32,000 to start the current season with the renewal rate at 99.5% and only 23 seats not renewed during the offseason.

"The Warriors paid a luxury tax bill of $14.8 million for the 2015-16 season, but still posted the NBA’s third-highest profits."

Only the New York Knicks ($3.3 billion) and Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion) were given higher price tags.

The Chicago Bulls ($2.5 billion), Boston Celtics ($2.2 billion) and Los Angeles Clippers ($2 billion) round out the Top 6.

The New Orleans Pelicans are last with a valuation of $750 million.

Warriors welcome all challengers in quest for third straight NBA title

Warriors welcome all challengers in quest for third straight NBA title

OAKLAND -- It’s Year 5 and there is no bravado. Just a quiet confidence and a claim, despite scattered hints to the contrary, not to wonder if this is the end for this core of a group that has made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

Yet the 2018-19 season might be exactly that for the Warriors.

Kevin Durant, who joined the Warriors before Year 3, has made no commitment beyond this season. Klay Thompson says he intends to return but there are no guarantees when free agency arrives July 1. Shaun Livingston is entering the final season in which his contract is fully guaranteed.

With that backdrop, the Warriors are set, if not ready, to open their 47th and final season at Oracle Arena. They’ll get their championship jewelry and then gather once more in an opening-night pre-tip huddle. The journey begins Tuesday night.

“We know exactly what we need to do as a team and how we need to be successful each possession,” Durant says. “It’s a matter of staying healthy, staying on the court.”

Truer words have not been spoken. Even with an infusion of youth, the Warriors are the oldest team in the league. Five of their eight veterans -- Jonas Jerebko, Curry, Durant, Iguodala and Livingston -- have passed their 30th birthday:

Head coach Steve Kerr has acknowledged the need to monitor playing time closer than ever, and that approach begins immediately. Shaun Livingston is questionable for opening night and Draymond Green, who returned Friday after missing 12 days with knee soreness and will play short minutes as dictated by his conditioning.

The team’s big offseason acquisition, DeMarcus Cousins, is continuing rehab in the wake of surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. No timeline has been established, but it’s reasonable to believe he’ll miss at least two months.

“We’re not in perfect shape,” Kerr concedes.

So, no, this is not the ideal start.

And, still, the Warriors are, far and away, the team to beat.

They’ll win between 60 and 65 games because no team can match their fusion of offensive firepower, defensive tenacity, and big-game composure. The two best things to happen to the Warriors since Durant arrived came in the Western Conference Finals last May. First, they fell behind the Rockets 3-2 after five games. Second, they fell behind by double digits in Games 6 and 7 and came back to win both to take the series.

Having survived that, the Cavaliers never had a chance in the NBA Finals.

Having survived that, the Warriors are issuing a warning to the rest of the league: They welcome the challenges of the Rockets and Celtics and Jazz and Raptors and Thunder and 76ers.

The defending champs also welcome the addition of Cousins, whenever the big man is ready, because his availability will invigorate the entire roster. Meanwhile, they welcome the injection of youth provided by Damian Jones, Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney, the trio that will play the bulk of the minutes at center.

The Warriors chased the No. 1 overall seed for three years running to gain a homecourt advantage they utilized once in 12 postseason series.

They gave up that specific pursuit last season and proved it didn’t matter, winning an NBA Finals Game 7 on the road for the first time in franchise history.

They know who they are, and what they’re capable of doing when the games matter most. That’s after the All-Star break and once the postseason begins on April 13.

“I don’t anticipate we’re going to be in high gear right away,” Kerr said. We’re not going to be nearly as good (Tuesday night) as we will be down the road.”

Agreed.

Here are some specific projections regarding the Warriors in 2018-19.

Record: 61-21

Record by month: October (6-3), November (10-4), December (11-4), January (10-3), February (9-2), March (10-2), April (4-2)

Postseason record: First round (4-0), conference semifinals (4-2), conference finals (4-1) and NBA Finals (4-2)

Date of Cousins' return: Dec. 25

Scoring leader: Durant

Rebounding leader: Durant

Assists leader: Curry

Seven fearless Warriors predictions for 2018-19 NBA season

Seven fearless Warriors predictions for 2018-19 NBA season

Predicting the Warriors’ 2018-19 season is hardly worth the effort – if all you’re looking for is the answer to the identity of the eventual world champion.
 
I mean, those tests will all come back positive for one last Oakland parade ... unless (and this is the caveat that saves you from the Freezing Cold Takes guy) they suffer some catastrophic injury or injuries.
 
But let’s say for the purpose of argument that luck doesn’t usually run that bad. So what, other than rings, can we predict for Year Five of the Golden Age?

A daily dose of 'Where's Kevin Going?'

Sorry, but that’s how it plays in the new fortuneteller’s media landscape. Speculation on Durant’s next team began after Year One, and it has not only not abated after Year Two, it has intensified.

Unlike Klay Thompson, who has all but signed a new deal, Durant has played coy and let the specuguessing run rampant, mostly toward the New York Knicks with the Los Angeles Clippers a considerable second. Now we can’t give you what he’ll do, but we can give you how often the punditocracy will cover it -- Every. Damned. Day.
 
The chance of him leaving: Currently 55 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 15 percent.

Less talk about Thompson and Green

It only stands to reason that if Durant is leaving, there will be plenty of money for the other two potential free agents, in which case much of the payroll drama will be made moot.
 
The chance of them leaving: Thompson, zero percent, with an margin of error of zero percent. Green, 30 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 30 percent depending on Durant.

More technicals

Team Zen doesn’t project itself on the continually shifting lineup of officials. But, they led the league in T’s a year ago, and they seem to remain sufficiently dissatisfied with the human whistles.

And as more and more veteran officials with more flexible tempers hit retirement age, the replacements have bones to make. Plus, the Warriors don’t back down easily, so expect more swords to clash in the new year. That is, unless new officials official Monty McCutchen can figure out to make refs a bit less imperious and a bit more flexible.
 
The chance of them winning the T war: 70 percent, with a margin of error of 15 percent plus or minus depending on how many times they see Scott Foster. They've gotta be themselves, and part of the deal is the chips they carry on thei fielders when it comes to the officials.

Fewer nights off

The theory goes that the Warriors have been trying to create a deeper bench so that their core six can remain constantly in the 32-35 minute/game range, and once DeMarcus Cousins gets cleared to play, maybe get some nights off to be fresh for the real season in April.

But the bench does not look fully formed yet, and the new team mantra of having fun rather than focusing on the grind is as likely to get in the way of the grand schedule plan. The Warriors want to make a different statement than they did a year ago, and the occasionally sludgy moments of a year ago may continue for the first part of the new season.
 
In short, fewer nights off for everyone until Cousins can make more nights off possible. The chance of this happening: 38 percent, with a margin of error of 12 percent. Steve Kerr is in charge of this, so he can’t bet into the line.

Making the Lakers the Lakers again

This is the narrative that feeds itself, and suddenly the Warriors are being positioned to have a rival they don’t actually have. As we have said before, if the Lakers become a rival, it’s because something went bad with the Warriors.

But because we have been hammered with the idea since the moment LeBron James headed west, it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy that might actually offer a bit of extracurricular fuel for a team looking for reasons to get jazzed about the day.
 
The chance of the Lakers becoming the Warriors’ new version of the Clippers, The Rivalry That Died Too Quickly: 60 percent, with a margin for error of 11 percent. Based on the two games this past week, the Warriors seem to want this is much as the Lakers. I just don’t know why they should want it.

The Oakland conundrum 

Logically, a new building is a good thing for the people moving into it. Realistically, the waves of nostalgia about the current arena tinged with bitterness about Oakland being abandoned will make this a weird season for the fan base.

To say Oakland deserved better misses the point; it deserved better with the Raiders, but the Raiders have done nothing this past quarter-century -- save kick its fan base in the junction. As for the Warriors, they won’t know what they’ve got until it’s gone, and since there’s no convincing them otherwise, we’ll just consider it a real estate deal and move on.
 
The chance of everyone wishing they weren't leaving: If everyone includes Joe Lacob, zero. If you exclude the principals, 99.3 percent with a margin for error of three percent in case you like to do your retail shopping while watching basketball.

The championship

Of course. Why would you ask? With a margin for error of five percent plus or minus depending on human frailties. Waiting for players to get hurt is no fun, so just pretend for one more year that they are all invulnerable when it matters.

What else is a dynasty for?