Warriors

Warriors' Draymond Green makes bold prediction about Chase Center

Warriors' Draymond Green makes bold prediction about Chase Center

SAN FRANCISCO - High above Mission Bay, adjacent to the soon-to-be-christened Chase Center, Draymond Green is holding court in a semi-full conference room. 

Wrapping up the Warriors' 'Reveal Week' for the arena, Green announces Golden State's first preseason game in the new arena is Oct. 5 against the Lakers.

But not without making a declaration about the current season first. 

"We're thrilled about the opportunity," Green said Friday. "We're thrilled about finishing off Oakland right, we're coming into Chase Center as champions and then being champions again when we get to Chase Center."

Soon after, Green ditched his Off White Nike Blazers for construction boots, adding a reflective construction vest and glasses. For the next hour, he weaved through the unfinished structure, seeing the grand circular locker room, soon-to-be barbershop and what will be a practice facility.

The privately financed arena, slated to open in September, is expected to hold concerts, sporting events and, if Warriors COO Rick Welts has his wish, political conventions. But the Warriors also sought out players, coaches and even trainers' input to improve the locker rooms and training areas in the new building. 

"It's truly special the way this organization treats us as players," Green said. "There's no surprise that most NBA players are close nowadays. The common theme, even when guys come here, guys tell me, 'hey Draymond, you haven't experienced the real NBA. You don't know what it's like to be in another organization.' So from that standpoint, I am blessed because I've been taken care of, like my teammates, like no other."

During a team dinner the night before training camp, Warriors coach Steve Kerr stressed the Warriors play with purpose during their last season at Oracle Arena, with the goal to bring another championship to Oakland. In recent weeks, the champs have fallen short of that initial goal, going just 3-3 at home since the All-Star break. 

"We focus on the big picture a lot," Green said. "Steve, especially within the last two weeks, every day has been stressed 'this is it for Oakland, this is it for Oakland. We have to do it for Oakland. Everybody is excited about the move. The thing that people don't understand is moving from Oakland to San Francisco, that's a new life. If you move from Oakland to San Francisco, you switch your doctor ... you switch your dentist. It's a completely different life." 

Over the past two weeks, the Warriors have improved. Following a 4-5 stretch, which included a loss to the lowly Phoenix Suns, the Warriors have found their stride. They have won four of their last five games, all while in pursuit of the Western Conference's top seed.

"You can definitely feel that there's a different level of focus that you see from everyone," Green said. "It's not that there's one player or one guy over here or one guy over there, it's everyone. The coaching staff has a completely different focus than they had two weeks ago and it's on all of us. It's been really exciting playing with each other over the last week and a half. Just seeing what we're capable of and what's more exciting is that the defense has been incredible." 

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Despite averaging more than 110 points and 30 assists over their last five games, including a season-high 39 assists in Thursday night's win over the Indiana Pacers, Green believes the team has another level to reach. 

"The offense has been horrible," Green said. "You're talking 32 assists, 39 assists and it hasn't been good. Coach Kerr and Mike Brown have been preaching 'pace, pace' - so you literally seeing guys flying around like 'pace, pace' and it's horrible. We haven't figured out the timing yet, so I'm excited about that because to play the way we've been playing over the last week-and-a-half and still figuring it out, that's going to be a sight to see." 

Why James Wiseman is, is not a perfect fit for Warriors in NBA Draft

Why James Wiseman is, is not a perfect fit for Warriors in NBA Draft

It's been a long time since the Warriors have had to worry about pick at the top of the NBA Draft.

But, barring a miraculous turnaround, that's exactly what Bob Myers and his staff find themselves thinking about midway through January.

The Warriors enter the weekend with the worst record in the NBA and appear set to land one of the top overall picks in the draft on June 25.

Assuming the Warriors land one of the top three picks in the draft, there are three names that have been tied to Golden State: Center James Wiseman and wings Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball.

NBC Sports college basketball writer Rob Dauster explained to NBC Sports Bay Area this week why he believes Wiseman should be the pick for the Warriors.

"I think in an ideal world, if you can get a top-three pick, and you end up getting James Wiseman, that's the perfect fit for this Golden State team," Dauster said. "You look at the players they've run through at the [center position], whether it's Kevon Looney, whether it's Damian Jones, anybody that they've brought in, they are looking for that guy that can be that athletic center, that can be switchable defensively, that's gonna be able to block some shots, that can rebound the ball, that can run in transition and James Wiseman is the guy that makes the most sense to me.

"He's 7-foot, he's got a 7-foot-6 wingspan, he's got all the tools to be a really good defender at the NBA level and I think he has a developing offensive skill set that should allow him to space the floor a little bit.

Dauster did add a bit of caution with Wiseman. The 18-year-old began his college career at Memphis, but was ruled ineligible on Nov. 14. In the summer of 2017, Memphis coach Penny Hardaway paid $11.500 to help Wiseman's family move from Nashville, Tenn. to Memphis.

A little over a month later, Wiseman decided to leave Memphis and declared for the NBA Draft. He ended up playing in just three games for the Tigers.

"Now, the thing about Wiseman is that there are always questions about his competitiveness and whether or not he loves basketball," Dauster said. "Of all the red flags you see come along with big guys that kind of loff their way through high school and loff their way through college a little bit, and it hasn't been helped by the fact that he basically quit on his Memphis team earlier this month. There are red flags involved with him, but if you have a guy with competitiveness issues, I think the absolutely perfect fit for him would be to put him in a locker room with guys like Draymond Green and Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. You're not going to be able to loff when you have those guys to answer to after every single practice and after every game.

The other issue Dauster brought up is the Warriors' window to compete for an NBA championship. Assuming Curry and Thompson are healthy to begin the 2020-21 season, most experts feel the Warriors will return to the top of the Western Conference standings. But Wiseman might not be ready to compete at that level, according to Dauster.

"Now, the problem there is, Wiseman to me, is probably two or three years from really becoming the guy that you want him to be when you're drafting him and I don't know if you have a two or three year window with this crop of players," Dauster said. "How long is Steph Curry going to be at his peak? How long is Klay Thompson going to be at his peak? Have those guys already crossed that threshold and now on the downside of their careers? So the big question to me is, if you want to use this pick on James Wiseman, are you doing it knowing that you have a year or two before he becomes the guy that can impact the game the way you want him to impact a game?"

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The Warriors will have a big decision on their hands come June. Of course, they could package the draft pick with D'Angelo Russell and bring in an All-Star caliber NBA player.

The options for the Warriors are unlimited. Wiseman will surely garner consideration from the Warriors. But they must do their homework and make sure he's the right fit.

Quakes' Tommy Thompson challenges Steph Curry after making tunnel shot

Quakes' Tommy Thompson challenges Steph Curry after making tunnel shot

During the Warriors' final years at Oracle Arena, Steph Curry capped off his pregame routine with a tunnel shot.

It became a must-see event for anyone attending a Warriors game.

But due to the different layout of Chase Center in San Francisco, Curry had to adjust his tunnel shot. Now the shot has a higher degree of difficulty. He almost made the shot before the regular-season opener against the Clippers.

Curry hasn't been able to try the trick shot for a few months because of his broken left hand, but when he returns, he has some work to do.

This week, San Jose Earthquakes defender Tommy Thompson joined the Harlem Globetrotters for an event at Chase Center and made Curry's trick shot ... with a twist.

After kicking in the tunnel shot, Thompson challenged Curry.

"Can you make that, though?" Thompson said.

Curry has yet to respond to Thompson on Twitter or Instagram, but we're sure he'll have a response once he returns to game action.

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Curry is a wizard when it comes to trick shots, but even this might be tough for him to replicate.

Good luck, Steph.