Warriors

Jared Dudley disagrees with Steve Kerr on Anthony Davis trade criticism

Jared Dudley disagrees with Steve Kerr on Anthony Davis trade criticism

Steve Kerr has filled several roles in and around NBA organizations, having spent the last 31 years as a player, general manager, commentator and currently as head coach of the Warriors. As such, he's quite experienced with the power struggles within NBA front offices and quite familiar with the league's history.

On the most recent episode of The Warriors Insider Podcast, Kerr reflected on that history and told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole that he isn't a big fan of what he sees as a bad developing trend, exemplified by the trade demands that ultimately got Anthony Davis to Los Angeles.

"Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, ‘I want to leave,’" Kerr explained, "that’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with.

"If you come to an agreement with the team that, hey, it’s probably best for us to part ways, that’s one thing. But the Davis stuff was really kind of groundbreaking -- and hopefully not a trend, because it’s bad for the league."

Davis' new teammate with the Lakers and longtime NBA veteran Jared Dudley was recently asked about Kerr's comments, and he didn't hold back from disagreeing with his former GM.

"You know what, I am a huge Steve Kerr fan," Dudley told The Athletic's Ethan Sherwood Strauss. "Obviously, he traded for me. I was in Phoenix with the same agent (Mark Bartelstein). That’s the only time I think I’ve disagreed with him. Because, why can’t a player ask out of his contract if what you sold him on changed? Happens all the time. Hey, we want to win, but now we’re going to rebuild. Vice-versa where a guy gets traded after a year when there are three years left on his contract. And so why can a team be able to trade but a player can’t ask for a trade?

"Now, the only difference of this is the perception," Dudley continued. "Paul George asks for a trade, but no one knows about it. But Anthony Davis comes out and because it’s public, now he’s getting killed, just because it’s public. So you know, the way for players to do it is in private, but obviously, he thought he couldn’t get out of there if he did it privately. And so people ask for trades all the time, all the time. 

"And so I just don’t understand Steve’s stance on that because, if you run your organization well enough, Anthony Davis was in New Orleans, he didn’t make it past the second round in eight, nine years. Like, what do you want him to do?"

There's a lot to break down there, and Dudley brings up several relevant points. As Strauss writes, "In an age when players fear the repercussions of honesty, Dudley’s answers are often equal parts well considered and candid." For instance, it's awfully tough to argue with the hypocrisy that Dudley suggests, that it's more acceptable for teams to get out of unwanted situations than it is for players.

However, Dudley's assessment misses the mark in one particular area. Much like Kendrick Perkins, he fails to adequately distinguish between Davis and George's demands, which came about at different times in entirely different situations. 

George didn't request a trade -- publicly, at least -- until the season was over, after he had given everything he could to a full regular season and abbreviated playoff run and finished third in MVP voting. Conversely, Davis and his representation made his demands publicly known halfway through the regular season (at the latest), and essentially forced the Pelicans' hand into benching him throughout much of the second half.

In the end, Davis got what he wanted, just as George did. And, things didn't work out so badly for the Pelicans, who lucked into No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and an expedited rebuild. 

[RELATED: Pelicans view Zion as an 'extremely athletic' Draymond]

Do the ends justify the means? If you ask Davis, he'd undoubtedly tell you yes. Chances are his new teammates would, too. As for the league as a whole, though, don't expect Kerr's concerns to be allayed anytime soon.

NBA rumors: Warriors' Steph Curry targeting March 1 return to lineup

NBA rumors: Warriors' Steph Curry targeting March 1 return to lineup

Steph Curry reportedly is targeting a March 1 return. 

The two-time MVP has not played since breaking his left hand on Oct. 30, and The Athletic's Marcus Thompson has "been told" that Curry hopes to play on March 1 at Chase Center against the Washington Wizards, though the date is not "set in stone."

Curry told Warriors broadcasters Bob Fitzgerald and Kelenna Azubuike during Golden State's win over the Orlando Magic on Saturday that he has had "no setbacks" rehabbing his broken hand. 

"Rehab is going great, every day is tough,” Curry said Saturday. “When you're hurt, and we've all been there in some way shape or form, its a grind, every day kind of being monotonous with the little strength workouts you have to do, and you understanding that it takes time and patience to get back to 100 percent.”

[RELATED: Poole shows even more progress in Dubs' win over Magic]

Curry is traveling to road games with the Warriors, and the 30-year-old has impressed his teammates and coaches during individual shooting drills. Warriors coach Steve Kerr told the "Posted Up" podcast earlier this month that there was an "excellent chance" Curry would return in March. He'll be re-evaluated Feb. 1, and NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke wrote last week that a minutes restriction is possible as Curry "gets his wind back."

Before Curry is re-evaluated, though, he reportedly already has a timeline in mind. 

Warriors' Jordan Poole showing more progress after bad start to season

Warriors' Jordan Poole showing more progress after bad start to season

SAN FRANCISCO -- With four seconds left in the third quarter of the Warriors' 190-95 win over Magic on Saturday, Jordan Poole ran full speed to the right-wing with a bucket on his mind. 

Sprinting alongside teammate Omari Spellman, Poole received a pass from the big man, pump faked, took a dribble and drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer, pushing the Warriors lead to 11. 

Walking to the bench, Poole had both arms in the air, and was yelling "Yeahhhh" towards the crowd. Similar plays have been the norm for Poole over the last week as he gradually digs himself out a bad start to his rookie season. 

"He's starting to figure out where his spots are," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "Where his spots are and his comfort zone and how to impact a game." 

Remnants of Poole's improvement were on display early Saturday night. After Golden State went down 13-0 four and a half minutes into the contest, Poole scored 11 first-quarter points, helping Golden State take a 28-25 lead by the end of the period. Poole totaled 21 points for the game, including four 3-pointers, providing another example of his evolution. In his past three outings, Poole is averaging 16 points on 45 percent from the field. 

Such stretches are uncommon considering the start of Poole's career. During his first 29 games -- with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson out of the lineup -- he shot just 25 percent, prompting a demotion to the G League. While his shot was ineffective, it was his propensity to not give all-out effort that drew ire of the coaching staff. On his way down to Santa Cruz, Kerr gave him a player that he'd like Poole to use a blueprint for success: Pelicans guard JJ Redick. More specifically, the shooter's habit of constant movement on the defensive end, complimented by his shooting ability. 

Poole followed suit during his G League stint, averaging 26 points, 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals in three games. The performance has carried over back to the NBA, as he's making 42 percent of his 3-pointers over his last three games. But he showed his  growth six minutes into the third quarter Saturday, when he fought through two screens, moved his feet on Magic guard Evan Fournier before stripping the guard, causing a fast break on the other end, prompting praise from his coach and teammates along the way.  

"He's doing better on defense, handling the ball and making plays," Kerr said. "The game is so fast at this level. Everything happens much faster, so whether you are defending somebody or having to get over a screen or leave a rotation or if you have the ball and you are trying to make a pass, everything just happens quicker than you are used to. I think the time in Santa Cruz helped him gain more confidence and maybe the game has slowed down a bit ... He just looks more confident and comfortable."

"I think his approach has been better," teammate D'Angelo Russell added. "I think that's what's contributed to him successfully on the court. Not just worrying about his shots but his demeanor, his approach is business-like."

Poole's progression comes as the Warriors are in transition. As he works towards a long-term role, organizational cornerstones Curry and Thompson are working their way back from injuries, while Russell -- an All-Star guard -- is giving 20-year old daily lessons on how to be a pro.

[RELATED: Paschall regains form after tough stretch]

"I'm like a kid in the candy store, especially being able to have Steph, Klay and [Russell]," Poole said on Warriors Postgame Live. "I'm in awe every day. You wouldn't want to be in any other situation." 

As Poole celebrated his buzzer-beater, Curry sat on a makeshift stage, soaking in the rookie's latest step as a pro, leaving compliments along the way. 

"The way that he's fought through his early-season struggles and gone down to Santa Cruz, really able to work on his game, see the floor, get his rhythm and shoot the ball the way he's been doing the last few games," Curry said during NBC Sports Bay Area's broadcast. "That's what an NBA player is made of. It's not going to be pretty but you got to keep coming back to try and make it work."