- Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, takes you inside the team as only she can throughout the season with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #AskKerith
Time for the first Ask Kerith mailbag of the season. Great to be back.
This is my fifth season covering the Warriors. This season has a freshness to it...the arena is open again, the supporting cast around Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are improved, Jordan Poole is emerging and this team already feels fun.
Let’s get a trade question out of the way off the top.
No. For a collection of reasons.
First, coach Steve Kerr has repeated frequently how much he likes this team. They have depth and veterans who are contributing well from the get-go. There’s no urgent need on the roster. If trades were gong to happen, the offseason was the time to make them. A shake-up now sets the team back in developing chemistry and understanding roles.
Second, Philadelphia’s asking price for Simmons is too expensive. Even if the asking price is slashed out of desperation, the Warriors want to keep their young players and picks.
Third, you also might recall the Warriors don’t have the salary structure to bring Simmons onboard, a comment Joe Lacob was fined for.
Fourth, tucked in Lacob’s tampering comments was a fit question: Is Simmons too similar to Draymond? Lacob said, “neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking.”
I understand the impulse to think if there’s a good player out there and the Warriors want good players for a championship run, why not get Simmons?
But it’s not happening. The situation is all wrong.
Yes, the starters seem locked until Klay’s return. But @mrdxx20 wondered about Wiggins too, and his 3-point shooting.
I don't assign much meaning to the preseason, but to note: Wiggins shot about 22 percent on threes in the four games he saw action.
Wiggins shot 5-of-10 from the field and 2-of-5 on 3-pointers against the Lakers. He added seven rebounds.
Wiggins came out blazing against the Clippers, starting 3-for-3 on threes against the Clippers. He finished 6-of-15 from the field (3-of-6 on threes) with 17 points.
Wiggins can shoot. But if he has an off-night, consider the other places Wiggins is making an impact. Kerr stated he’s looking at Wiggins for defense, rebounding, and athleticism.
I understand fans might reject the idea that a player making $31.5 million this year, according to Sportac, is encouraged to focus on things other than scoring. Perhaps Wiggins’ scoring seems too quiet?
Remember, he was the second-leading scorer for the Warriors last season with 18.6 ppg. He was the second-leading scorer last night.
The Warriors’ second unit struggled mightily in games last season, so having Nemanja Bjelica off the bench is a boost. He can shoot threes, cut to the rim, and pass.
Belli could get some spot starts, but he’s an ideal second-unit guy in my mind.
I don’t know, and I find that exciting. It’s special that a rookie on a deep team already earned minutes. Making your pro debut against LeBron and the Lakers at Staples? That’s a memorable moment.
Moody got about six minutes against the Lakers, and about four against the Clippers. His minutes will probably depend on who’s injured and what the game necessitates. Is it a close finish? Moody’s not on the floor. Are the Warriors playing with a lot of leads this season? That’s different.
I expect Kerr will prioritize other players because a rookie is the low man in the pecking order, for his own good. Watch. Learn. Develop. Moody will get a handful of minutes occasionally so Kerr can indicate he sees him and Moody stays engaged.
Lots of timetable questions in the mailbag. @markbrac5 @daphatroan @BigPrimo33 were curious too.
Jonathan Kuminga’s next re-evaluation date is Oct. 22 for the patella tendon strain in his right knee. That’s today!
James Wiseman’s next re-evaluation date is Nov. 1 for his right meniscus tear. Wiseman had surgery in April.
As both players ramp up to play again, time in the G League is likely. I think games for both of them against players at their speed will be beneficial and low-pressure. For young players, confidence is a consideration alongside conditioning.
I’m not sure how much Kuminga will play this season with the big club, but Wiseman should be in line for some healthy playing time. The Warriors need size. They need rim protection. They need some verticality, and hopefully Wiseman feasts on dunks with a spaced floor and good passers around him.
Wiseman has bulked up and I bet the work he’s putting in with development coach Dejan Milojević pays off big time.
Lots of love for Andre in the mailbag! @ChimeSchool asked about the fan-favorite too.
Against the Lakers, Andre played 23 minutes, had a couple threes, and finished with 12 points. Solid. He also had zero turnovers, and that’s why the Dubs turn to Andre. He only had one turnover against the Clippers.
Andre is dependable. He defends. He tells teammates where they should be. Andre’s the second oldest guy in the league at age 37, and his experience is what you want on the floor to win games.
Remember the five or six games the Warriors squandered last season because of bone-headed moments at the finish? Andre is the insurance policy so that mess doesn’t happen again. He was on the floor at the end of the Clippers game.
He’s not going to play every night. He’ll get plenty of rest. While his body is in great shape, the Warriors don’t want to run him for 20-plus minutes per night. There’s no need for that on a deep team.
Okay Chuck, this is a GUESS.
Klay had surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon on Nov. 25, 2020.
As I make this GUESS, the fact that doctors say this is a one-year injury comes to mind.
Klay will need to ramp up to game speed with scrimmages before he plays.
Bob Myers said Klay will for sure make his season debut in a home game.
I think the Warriors will be extremely conservative with Klay as he comes off two long-term injuries. I’m looking at games after Christmas.
Two GUESSES come to mind. Either Jan. 3 against the Miami Heat or Jan. 18, the start of a four-game homestand.
For conservative reasons, Klay’s comfort with the home facilities, and Chase Center ticket sales getting to enjoy Klay before away arenas do, I will GUESS Klay’s return is Jan. 18 against the Pacers. This is a G-U-E-S-S informed by nothing but hope.
I asked NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors insider Monte Poole for his prediction. He’s going with a late December return for Klay.
Klay will have a say in when he returns. I think the excitement of the Christmas game will be tough for him to watch if he hasn’t played yet. He may plead with team doctors to return earlier because he’s too antsy to wait anymore. The medical staff has the final say, of course.
It feels great that things are opening up again and fans are back at Chase Center. I will be at Chase Center too, but COVID-19 changed the way NBC Sports Bay Area produces Warriors games on TV.
These production changes do not include sideline reporting this season.
You can still see me reporting for the pregame and postgame shows, I’ll continue to write stories for the web, and engage with all of you on social media. I’m around, I promise!