Warriors

Kerr explains why Draymond logging big minutes at center vs Rockets is not a concern

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usati

Kerr explains why Draymond logging big minutes at center vs Rockets is not a concern

Draymond Green played just under 37 minutes in Game 1 vs the Rockets.

The "Hamptons 5" logged 17 minutes, which is 17 minutes of Draymond at center.

Kevon Looney shared the floor with Draymond for 14 minutes. And while Looney could be considered the center in that pairing, he was forced to play on the perimeter on many possessions when he got switched on to James Harden or Chris Paul.

David West only received four minutes, so ultimately, Draymond logged the majority of his minutes at the five (and you can expect that to continue throughout this series).

Is that more tiring for him?

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: Curry's defense on Harden; Rockets smart to attack Looney?]

"No, because he's not battling anybody on the post," Steve Kerr told reporters after shootaround on Wednesday. "I think playing huge minutes at center for Draymond would be different against some of bigger low-post dominant centers.

"Capela is a great player, but he's a lob-catcher, he's a runner. So it's not a physical game down there. It's more about pick-and-roll -- which is what Draymond's forte is anyways -- getting out and switching and staying in front of people."

While it's true that Draymond isn't dealing with a center who gets the ball repeatedly and tries to back his way down and/or bully him, Draymond wasn't in a bunch of pick-and-roll situations in Game 1. It was Steph Curry and Looney who the Rockets repeatedly attacked in isolations.

Draymond spent most of his time battling Capela for rebounds.

In fact, Draymond racked up a ridiculous 18 box outs in Game 1.

Through the Warriors' first 10 playoff games, he averaged 10 box outs.

Capela -- who averaged a league-best 4.1 offensive rebounds through the first two rounds of the playoffs -- only had one in Game 1.

Ultimately, Kerr's logic is sound and makes sense.

Plus, let's be real -- Draymond is probably relishing all of the contact in the paint with Capela.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Kawhi to the Raptors a sign that super teams don’t just happen at one person’s whim

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Kawhi to the Raptors a sign that super teams don’t just happen at one person’s whim

Wouldn’t it be odd if the Golden State Warriors actually became the last “super team” of this generation?
 
Kawhi Leonard, who was ticketed to the Los Angeles LeBrons as a sure thing by NBA fabulists across the nation, has just been traded as far from Los Angeles as the NBA allows – Toronto. And Paul George, the third peg of this super team, decided to stay in Oklahoma City, which is as far from Los Angeles culturally as the NBA can offer.
 
And no, that is not some lefthanded swipe at Oklahoma City. If it’s good enough for Paul George, it ought to be good enough for you.
 
The point is, Leonard and Danny Green are now Raptors, at the price of DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first round draft pick, which while Leonard is still a rental who may end up in Los Angeles is still a sign that super teams don’t just happen at one person’s whim.
 
And it also means that the Warriors, who introduce DeMarcus Cousins Thursday in one of those weeks-after-the-fact press conferences that never make much sense, remain untroubled by the field.
 
It should be mentioned here that the Warriors, while fitting the rough definition of a super team, were a championship winner before Kevin Durant, and as such gained his love as someone who could dramatically lengthen the title odds for all the other teams in the league. And Cousins is a Warrior to rehabilitate his own career rather than Golden State’s.
 
The notion that James was going to Los Angeles to build a super team of his own was predicated, though, on other great players joining him, and none have. George wouldn’t even talk to the Lakers, and Leonard couldn’t because he didn’t own his employment freedom, and may not have been interested in any event.
 
In short, the Warriors are now further from their closest pursuers than ever, and the most interesting part of this NBA season will be seeing who comes closest to them without actually thinking anything can be done about it.
 
There is an extraordinary level of hubris here, as though the Warriors shall be invulnerable forever. They won’t, of course, for something will separate them eventually, most likely either time or money.
 
But the NBA’s most interesting developments have been at the fringes of the Warrior empire, and the most notable thing is that the super team to challenge them was not built this year, or even approached. Toronto took a huge gamble with Leonard, but one it is willing to undertake. Houston got worse. Boston is having Kyrie Irving issues. The rest of the West is sort of milling around playoff spots three through eight, with the Lakers making the biggest leap despite getting only-third of the things on their shopping list.
 
But there is no super team to challenge the super team, and another narrative dies a hideous death. That’s okay, though. The concept of the narrative is never as much fun as the surprise ending anyway. Maybe someone will knock off Golden State this year, and the fascination will come not in the planning but the shock value. That’s not the way to bet, mind you, but the arms race in the NBA has stopped with only one clear winner.
 
At least for awhile. Given that LeBron james couldn't make a super team in one summer, maybe for a longer while than we think.

Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard to Raptors for DeMar DeRozan-led package

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USATSI

Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard to Raptors for DeMar DeRozan-led package

A blockbuster NBA trade was struck Wednesday morning, when the Spurs sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Raptors, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

The Raptors shipped DeMar DeRozan, center Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round draft pick to the Spurs, who later confirmed the deal.

In the middle of the night, ESPN's Chris Haynes tweeted:

Leonard will make $20.1 million next season and then become an unrestricted free agent (assuming he declines his player option for 2019-20).

DeRozan is scheduled to make $27.74 million each of the next two seasons and has a $27.74 million player option in 2020-21.

Poeltl, the ninth overall pick in the 2016 draft, averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season. He appeared in all 82 regular-season games.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller