Warriors

Warriors counted on Mike Dunleavy Jr. in D'Angelo Russell trade, draft

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AP

Warriors counted on Mike Dunleavy Jr. in D'Angelo Russell trade, draft

Mention the name Mike Dunleavy Jr. to a Warriors fan, and you're likely to get a sour face in response.

The No. 3 overall pick of the 2002 NBA draft never lived up to his potential over four-plus seasons in Golden State, and his seemingly relaxed disposition on the court didn't endear him any further. He was quite a talent drop-off from the first two picks of that draft -- Yao Ming and Jay Williams -- and he was selected six picks ahead of Amar'e Stoudemire, among others.

In fact, arguably the most helpful thing he ever did for the Warriors was be involved in the trade that brought Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington over from the Indiana Pacers.

Time heals all wounds, though, and Dunleavy recently was involved in an important Warriors trade once again.

Dunleavy is back with Golden State, having rejoined the franchise as a pro scout last season. But as The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported Tuesday, it was his involvement in the sign-and-trade for D'Angelo Russell on July 1 that had plenty to do with his elevation to his current position of assistant general manager.

On the night of June 30, Dunleavy sat in a Manhattan hotel room with Warriors general manager Bob Myers, trying to figure out how Golden State would proceed after learning that Kevin Durant was taking his talents to Brooklyn.

"Bob knew before everybody else, so that gave us a little bit more time to figure out what’s next,” Dunleavy told Slater. “But once that 6 p.m. time slot hit, things started flying. There was so much real-time action, intel collecting."

Having been based in New York for his scouting duties, Dunleavy got plenty of exposure to Russell during his time with the Nets, which aided in the Warriors' assessment of the dynamic guard.

"I didn’t see D’Angelo Russell play live 10, 20 times (like Mike),” Myers said. “There’s never been more information available, whether it’s analytics, your ability to watch tape, see games, dig into numbers. But I don’t think any of it is a substitute for actually going to a game in person, talking to coaches and watching the whole day develop, from when the player gets there to warm up, the stuff fans don’t see, interacting on a closer level, how they act when they get subbed out, how they react to winning and losing."

While Myers is at the head of the Warriors' basketball operations department, he encourages a collaborative decision-making process. When it came time to decide on Russell, Dunleavy's familiarity was utilized.

"When we were faced with that short window of time, we certainly asked him,” Myers revealed. “He gave a rundown of where he thought he improved, his strengths, potential weaknesses, fit, all that."

The rest, as they say, is history.

With input from Dunleavy, Golden State made the gutsy decision to complete the sign-and-trade for Russell, which required the Warriors to depart with Andre Iguodala and multiple draft picks. The frantic events of the opening hours of free agency actually served to cement Dunleavy's interest in that kind of work, rather than deter it.

"I kind of got addicted to it," Dunleavy admitted.

Over the course of last season, Dunleavy grew more involved in the draft process. He attended several Villanova games, where he studied Golden State's eventual second-round pick Eric Paschall, and was present for the entirety of the Big Ten Tournament, where he saw future first-round pick Jordan Poole play three times. Dunleavy then joined the rest of the front office in Oakland for the remainder of the pre-draft process, including the evaluation of prospect workouts.

[RELATED: Iguodala planned to teach math before titles with Warriors]

Given who the Warriors ultimately selected in the draft, it's evident Golden State liked what Dunleavy had to say about both Poole and Paschall. Then, after he had further proven his value during the madness of the opening hours of free agency, Myers quickly offered Dunleavy his new elevated role.

"I’m not so arrogant to think I know more than he knows about an NBA offense," Myers conceded. "So I’m just positing questions to him. He takes a deeper look -- kind of like Andre (Iguodala) and Shaun (Livingston) -- just a brilliant basketball mind. It kind of comes naturally."

Dunleavy's first go-around with the Warriors was rocky, to say the least. But if Russell proves to be a good acquisition and the draft picks pan out, the second one will be a lot smoother.

Lakers center JaVale McGee tricks Warriors before dunk in preseason game

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USATSI

Lakers center JaVale McGee tricks Warriors before dunk in preseason game

JaVale McGee pulled a sneaky one from his bag of tricks Wednesday night against his old team. 

In the third quarter of the Warriors' 126-93 preseason loss to the Lakers at Staples Center, McGee began limping and grabbing his left knee. Within about three or four seconds, it seemed his antics became clear: JaVale was faking an injury. 

The Lakers center went from crouched out of bounds to back in play in a flash to catch a pass from fellow big man Anthony Davis and throw down a dunk. McGee couldn't help but laugh at the expense of his former Golden State teammates. 

But on Thursday, McGee claimed he thought he actually was injured. 

After chuckling about the play, McGee told reporters, "I hit my knee, I really hit my knee. And it hurt. I went out of bounds and I saw Draymond guarding AD and I was like, forget the pain, I'm gonna go get these buckets. So I ran back in and got a dunk.

"But I really did bump my knee." 

McGee didn't seem to be in any pain running back on defense, however, only he knows how his body truly felt.

[RELATED: What Draymond was right -- and wrong -- about in Suns rant]

If he was faking an injury, that kind of tomfoolery might seem illegal at first, but in reality, McGee looks like a genius who perfectly knows the rule book. Section XV of the NBA rule book states: "An offensive player shall not leave the playing area of the court without returning immediately and cannot repeatedly leave and re-enter the court." There are exceptions, though, the first of which comes from an injury. 

While the Lakers have been dominating the Warriors in the preseason, McGee has been catching up on his reading. The Dubs, and the rest of the NBA, surely will have their eyes on JaVale goes down.

Andre Iguodala discusses his NBA future, won't be like Vince Carter

Andre Iguodala discusses his NBA future, won't be like Vince Carter

Nobody knows which team Andre Iguodala is going to finish the 2019-20 season with.

But we do know that the former Warriors forward will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

How many more seasons for the 2015 NBA Finals MVP?

"I could play like Vince Carter. I could. I won't," Iguodala said Thursday on Hot 97 radio out of Brooklyn. "I'm really excited about the things that I got going off the court. Patience is killing me on the schedule. I'm ready to go full-time off the court.

"But I'll probably play like two, three more years. Three years max. So we'll see how things shake up. I've been working out. I'm in really good shape. I'm the leanest I've been in awhile."

Iguodala -- who will turn 36 years old on Jan. 28 -- is entering his 16th NBA season.

Carter -- who will turn 43 years old on Jan. 26 and was drafted fifth overall by the Warriors in 1998 -- is entering his record-setting 22nd NBA season.

Iguodala, meanwhile, is waiting for the Grizzlies to strike a deal. If they can't trade him by the Feb. 6 deadline, the expectation is that the sides will agree to a buyout -- allowing the two-time All-Defensive selection to pick his next team.

[RELATEDReport: Iguodala set on two teams if he gets Grizz buyout]

"Hopefully it happens sooner than later," Iguodala told Hot 97.

In the meantime, he will have to keep working on his golf game and watching the Dubs from afar.

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