Warriors

Warriors kind of got what they wanted in T-Wolves trade, Monte Poole says

Warriors kind of got what they wanted in T-Wolves trade, Monte Poole says

The Warriors knew they were dealing with desperate teams when they talked about trading D'Angelo Russell.

Bob Myers and Co. had all the leverage, so they felt comfortable asking for a lot in return.

In the end, the Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins, a top-3 protected 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick from Minnesota for Russell, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman.

So, was it surprising the Warriors pulled the trigger on the trade now rather than waiting until the offseason and did they get enough for the All-Star point guard? NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole answered those questions during NBC Sports' NBA Trade Deadline show Thursday.

"A little bit because everything they had done and said, everything that I had heard indicated they were willing to wait, they were not impatient, that they were waiting for Minnesota or New York or whoever to become desperate enough to give them what they wanted," Poole said. "In this instance, they kinda got what they wanted. That top-3 protected pick is not exactly ideal, obviously, but because I think next year you're looking at another bad season in Minnesota.

"So the question becomes, if it's the fourth pick in the [2020] draft, is that going to be worth it? Hard to say, but I do know this, that the 2021 draft, by all accounts is going to be much deeper than the 2020 draft, so in that instance, I think they are feeling a little bit OK making that deal."

The Warriors now possess two first-round picks in next year's draft -- their own and the T-Wolves' pick, assuming it's not in the top three. Having an extra asset like that opens up a world of possibilities. They could use it to improve their roster through a future trade, or they could draft another young rising star.

[RELATED: Grading warriors-Timberwolves trade]

It was not a perfect trade for the Warriors, but Wiggins will fill the small forward position once Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are healthy and they got two future assets in the move.

Why NBA draft analyst would take LaMelo Ball at No. 1 for Warriors

Why NBA draft analyst would take LaMelo Ball at No. 1 for Warriors

We have no clue when the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery or 2020 NBA Draft will take place.

We have no clue if the Warriors will have the No. 1 overall pick, or the No. 2 pick, or the No. 3 pick, or the No. 4 pick, etc.

But for the sake of content, we can make some assumptions and discuss some hypotheticals, right?

And that's what Mike Schmitz -- ESPN's NBA draft analyst -- did last night with Scott Van Pelt when examining what the Warriors might do if they end up with the grand prize:

"Golden State has a plethora of options here when you're talking about James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and potentially LaMelo Ball. Every scout, every GM, every executive I talked to all year called this a 'needs-based draft.' This is a 'fit draft.' They don't see a transcendent talent.

"So when you look at Golden State's roster, that's where Wiseman makes some sense. I think he can be a DeAndre Jordan for the Splash Brothers -- rim runner, lob catcher, shot blocker. And then you have Anthony Edwards also, who is a very talented three-level scorer.

"Personally -- if I had the pick -- I would still go with LaMelo Ball. I think he's the most talented prospect in the draft. I'd be very interested to see his fit in that style. This is a team that likes to get up and down, they like to shoot 3s, they like to play off of instincts.

"Steph is not a point guard who traditionally really pounds the ball or needs it in his hands. I think it would be a great place for a guy like LaMelo Ball to develop."

Listen and subscribe to the Runnin' Plays Podcast:

Speaking of Wiseman and Ball, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco reported the following Wednesday:

According to multiple league sources The Chronicle contacted in the past few days, the Warriors — contrary to what mock drafts might suggest — aren’t believed to be high on two of the three players being mentioned as possibilities at the No. 1 pick: former Memphis center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball, who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League.

Schmitz, clearly, is very high on Ball. And so is Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, who just moved Ball to the top of his big board.

[RELATED: LaMelo not an ideal fit to play alongside Steph, Klay]

As Vecenie writes:

There was no single player in this draft class that consistently left me in awe as much as Ball ... if Ball reaches his ceiling, he has the most potential to be an absolute difference-maker.

Really, it's all going to come down to the shooting. If Ball can hit shots, he's going to be a perennial All-Star.

Does Warriors general manager Bob Myers -- and the rest of the front office -- feel the same way?

We will find out ... eventually.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Warriors fans reveled in James Harden's faults in 2015 Western finals

Warriors fans reveled in James Harden's faults in 2015 Western finals

Programming note: Relive Game 5 of the 2015 Western Conference Finals when NBC Sports Bay Area re-airs the Warriors' win over the Rockets on Thursday, April 2 at 8 p.m. PT.

The roar of Dub Nation is a creature unto itself, and exponentially so when targeting those identified as true enemies of the Warriors. The list is relatively short, and James Harden ranks among the top three.

Which is why one of the most deliciously satisfying victories in Warriors history was the 104-90 triumph in Game 5 of the 2015 Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets.

As wonderful as it was for fans to watch the Warriors advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years, it was the historic unraveling of Harden that had those inside Oracle Arena howling with delight and shaking with laughter.

Harden had strolled into the building five hours earlier in the afterglow of a fabulous Game 4 in Houston, scoring 45 points on 13-of-22, including 7-of-11 from deep, to force Game 5. Though the Rockets were down 3-1, he was onto something, he thought, hoping to send the series back to Texas for Game 6.

The Warriors weren’t having it. Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson spent the night shadowing Harden so snugly (14 points, 2-of-11 shooting from the field, 0-3 from distance) that his mounting frustrations led to a litany of mistakes that amounted to an NBA-record 13 turnovers.

“I thought the defensive performance was brilliant, was fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr, in his first season, said after the Warriors held Houston to 35.1-percent shooting, 20.8 percent from beyond the arc in Game 5. “This is what happens in the playoffs.”

Harden was placed on the enemy’s list after expressions of casual immodesty that Dub Nation perceived as slights of Steph Curry, which was and still is the surest route to the enemy list. Curry was leading the MVP race, with Harden a distant second.

So, yes, Harden’s misery was to be savored. The Oracle crowd showered the bearded guard with increasingly louder “approval” after each blunder. His pain was their joy.

"I tried to do a little bit too much and turned the ball over and gave them easy baskets in transition," Harden muttered.

Harden’s performance was welcome on a night when Curry, nursing bruises from a spill in Game 4, shot 7-of-21, including 3-of-11 from beyond the arc. Draymond Green was 3-of-15, 0-of-5 from deep. Harrison Barnes and Thompson, combining for 44 points on 18-of-34 shooting, rescued the offense.

"I always think of Pat Riley's great quote when you're coaching in the NBA, 'There's winning and there's misery.' And he's right," Kerr said. "It's more than relief. It's joy. Our players are feeling it. I know our fans are."

And with that, the Warriors, after a two-generation wait, were on to The Finals. After a 67-15 regular season, they’d gone through the Pelicans, the Grizzlies and the Rockets to go against the Cavaliers and LeBron James, who soon found his way the Dub Nation enemy list.

“This franchise was down for a while before most of us got here, and they all stuck with it,” Iguodala said. “That had to feel great for all the fans who sat through the bad times.”

Listen and subscribe to the Runnin' Plays Podcast:

It felt great for the fans, clad in bright gold T-shirts, to emerge with victory. It was even greater to witness one of the threats to Curry’s place in the order of NBA elite slink out of Oakland facing nothing more than the offseason.

"This isn't where we wanted to end at,” said Harden, who finished second in the final MVP voting. “It’s a really good season for us. Next year we want to be better, and we will."

The Rockets were worse the following season, tumbling to the No. 8 seed, getting the Warriors in the first round and losing in five.

And, naturally, fans at Oracle Arena made sure to give Harden constant reminders of his epic meltdown 11 months earlier. Even now, nearly five years later, they revel in any despair that finds its way to The Beard.