Warriors

Warriors execs scout top 2020 NBA draft prospect James Wiseman up close

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Warriors execs scout top 2020 NBA draft prospect James Wiseman up close

The Warriors likely will pick much higher than they've gotten used to in June's NBA draft. 

Golden State is a league-worst 2-9 this season, appearing like a lock to keep the top-20 protected 2020 first-round pick the Warriors sent to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the Kevin Durant sign-and-trade. The Warriors would have no shortage of options if they picked at -- or around -- the top of the draft, and their front office got an in-person glimpse at Memphis center James Wiseman on Tuesday night, according to The Athletic's John Hollinger. 

Wiseman, plagued by foul trouble early, finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds as Memphis lost to Oregon on Tuesday night.

Wiseman will be one of, if not the best player available in the draft. The 7-foot freshman center averaged 22.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game entering Tuesday's game, and the 18-year-old has the upside to develop into something the Warriors have not had in the Steve Kerr era: A truly dominant big man.

[RELATED: Warriors' injury report still growing through trying season]

How much more Wiseman will play this season remains to be seen. The NCAA ruled Wiseman ineligible for taking $11,500 from current Memphis coach Penny Hardaway in order to help Wiseman's family move when he transferred to play for Memphis East, the high school Hardaway was coaching at the time. A Shelby County, Tenn. judge placed an immediate temporary restraining order on the college athletics governing body shortly after the NCAA's ruling. Plus, as SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell noted, Memphis has not ruled Wiseman ineligible and the Tigers plan to continue playing him. 

Myers' presence at the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, as well as that of Harris and Dunleavy, suggests the Warriors are taking their new reality very seriously. Golden State will need the lottery balls to bounce its way, too, in order to select Wiseman, but the Warriors should have done their due diligence by then, at least. 

NBA rumors: NBPA doesn't want Warriors, non-bubble teams in Orlando

NBA rumors: NBPA doesn't want Warriors, non-bubble teams in Orlando

Here's hoping the Warriors didn't already pack their bags for Walt Disney World.

Following reports that the NBA was exploring the possibility of sending Golden State and the seven other teams that didn't participate in the NBA restart to the Orlando bubble, the National Basketball Players Association reportedly has "no interest" in the possibility.

"It's a non-starter," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday morning. "The inevitable solution for the eight teams left out of Orlando: The NBA and NBPA agreeing upon voluntary workouts in the team facilities, sources said."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Friday that the NBA was looking into sending the Warriors and the seven other non-bubble teams to Orlando to hold practices and workouts at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex once the six teams eliminated from the restarted season left the campus. Amick and Shams Charania reported earlier this week that there was a "growing belief" that a second bubble outside of Orlando wouldn't happen due to the logistical hurdles imposed by the continued spread of the coronavirus within the United States.

The NBPA's hesitancy shouldn't be too much of a surprise if recent comments from one of the Warriors' biggest names are any indication.

Golden State star Draymond Green wasn't enthused about the possibility of a second bubble during an interview on "The Steam Room Podcast" earlier this week. Kenny Smith asked Green on Friday during a guest appearance on "Inside The NBA" if he would play in a secondary bubble, and the 30-year-old's response was begrudging at best.

"I'm gonna go to work," Green said, pausing. "I don't know if I'm going to play. I'm going to work."

[RELATED: How Iguodala's contract exemplifies Warriors' turnaround]

Warriors general manager Bob Myers has said the team would be "good partners" and follow the NBA's lead, but coach Steve Kerr likely is a fan of the possibility of in-market workouts that Wojnarowski reported. Kerr said in June that Golden State would be "more interested in practice time" rather than participating in something resembling Summer League.

The coach fully expected Green, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to be on board with a minicamp at Chase Center, too.

"Given that we would be staring at a nine-month break, I would be shocked if any one of those three guys said to me, 'No, I don't want the work,' " Kerr said in June, referring to the possibility of the 2020-21 season starting in December. "They all know they need the work and we all need the work."

Why Warriors don't regret signing Andre Iguodala to second contract

Why Warriors don't regret signing Andre Iguodala to second contract

During the Warriors' down years -- or decades, rather -- they signed a lot of bad contracts.

Corey Maggette and Derek Fisher come to mind. Adonal Foyle continues to be affiliated with and do important work for the franchise, but he's included on that list, too.

Throughout their recent dynastic run, however, the Warriors didn't have any albatrosses on their balance sheet. They had several huge salaries, yes, but the players signed to them were worth it.

Andre Iguodala was one of those players, having signed a four-year, $48 million contract with Golden State upon arriving in a three-team trade in 2013. He signed another three-year, $48 million contract with the Warriors at the conclusion of that deal, of which he currently is in the final year of while playing for the Miami Heat.

Considering the Warriors never missed the playoffs during Iguodala's tenure with the team, reached five straight NBA Finals, won three championships and set the regular-season record for wins, both of those contracts were money well spent.

And yet, Bleacher Report's Greg Swartz listed Iguodala's second contract as the Warriors' worst free-agent signing of the last decade.

Huh?

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

To be fair, Swartz's entire premise was built off a methodology in which he broke down the contract value of the time that player spent with the team into cost per win share. Before Golden State traded Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies last offseason, he earned $30.8 million of that $48 million total with the Warriors.

Dividing that $30.8 million by Iguodala's total win shares over those two seasons, you get a value of $4.2 million in cost per win share.

Iguodala averaged 5.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 0.9 steals over those two seasons, so on paper, his production didn't match his salary. However, looking at it through that limited scope completely ignores Iguodala's contributions that didn't end up on the stat sheet.

Throughout his career, Iguodala always has been more valuable than his stats might appear. Ask anyone who he played with on the Warriors or the coaching staff, and they'll rave about everything he provided.

In those two seasons that Iguodala spent with Golden State on the second contract, the Warriors won one NBA championship, and quite likely would have won a second had Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson not sustained serious season-ending injuries in the 2019 NBA Finals.

I'd say that alone proves Iguodala's contract was well worth it.

But that's not all.

In trading Iguodala to the Grizzlies, the Warriors received a huge $17.2 million trade exception that expires on Oct. 24. With that trade exception, Golden State could acquire any player whose 2020-21 salary is of equal or lesser value.

[RELATED: Warriors Twitter Roundtable: Ideal trade exception targets]

That trade exception arguably is the Warriors' top non-player asset at the moment, right up there with their top-five 2020 first-round draft pick and the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected 2021 first-round pick. In theory, Iguodala's contributions to Golden State haven't yet concluded.

Sure, Iguodala's second contract might seem exorbitant when broken down into win shares. But if that's the worst free-agent contract the Warriors signed over the last decade, it just goes to show how monumental of a turnaround the franchise has undergone.