Warriors

Warriors trading top-five pick for veteran is best, PJ Carlesimo says

Warriors trading top-five pick for veteran is best, PJ Carlesimo says

The Warriors are guaranteed to land a top-five selection in the 2020 NBA Draft. They will find out exactly where they are slated to pick when the lottery is held Aug. 20.

But in the end, the front office might decide to trade the asset to acquire a veteran player who is more likely to contribute immediately.

Hey former Golden State coach PJ Carlesimo -- what would you do if you were general manager Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr?

"There's not a Zion (Williamson). There's not somebody that's really gonna impact the Western Conference race," he said this week on KNBR 680. "If they're able to get a veteran who can come in and contribute -- yeah, I think that's the way to go. 

"They're gonna know what's available there (in a trade). I still think they're looking more now. If those two guys (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson) are healthy, what's the piece that's gonna make the team a little bit better? That's all anybody is gonna be able to do.

"The nucleus is still there, they're gonna be in the hunt."

The path the Warriors ultimately choose very well could be decided by what happens with the ping pong balls. If they win the lottery and get the No. 1 overall pick, perhaps another franchise falls in love with a prospect and offers Golden State a package it can't refuse. Or maybe it's the Warriors who determine they simply can't pass up on a certain guy, and turn down any trade requests.

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

But if the lottery is not in the Warriors' favor and they slide all the way to No. 5 (there is a 48 percent chance this happens), they won't have as many options or as much flexibility.

So yes, the lottery is extremely important and plays a massive role in how NBA history unfolds. But no matter what happens, Carlesimo is bullish when it comes to the Warriors' title aspirations in the immediate future.

"Golden State is very, very close," he said. "Bob and Steve are gonna know what's available for them that literally is gonna make a difference next year and the following year.

"Forget down the line."

[RELATED: Report: Wiseman 'high' on Warriors' list for draft workouts]

Lastly, don't forget that the Warriors could keep the pick and use their $17.2 million trade exception, the taxpayer mid-level exception and veteran minimums to add some legitimate contributors.

They have many options at their disposal.

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Warriors' Steph Curry jokes about waking up in NBA's Orlando bubble

Warriors' Steph Curry jokes about waking up in NBA's Orlando bubble

Steph Curry is jonesin' to play basketball.

The Warriors superstar misses the game so much that when he woke up on a recent morning, he thought he was in the NBA's Orlando bubble.

OK, maybe not. Clearly, Steph needs to work on his acting skills. But the sentiment isn't too far off.

After five straight trips to the NBA Finals that saw Curry play roughly an extra 20 games a season, the two-time NBA MVP broke his hand in the fourth game of the 2019-20 season. He returned to play in one game in March, but a combination of Curry catching the flu and the coronavirus shutdown ended his season early.

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

So between the end of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 13, 2019 and the potential start of the 2020-21 NBA season in December, Curry will have played five regular-season games in a year and a half.

So you can understand why Curry is dreaming of being in Orlando.

Alas, the Warriors finished the 2019-20 season with the worst record (15-50) in the NBA. They were one of eight NBA teams not invited to the NBA season restart at the Disney World complex in Orlando. The combination of Curry's injury, Klay Thompson's ACL injury and Kevin Durant's departure crushed the Warriors' hopes of a sixth straight NBA Finals appearance.

The bright side (of the bed) for Curry is that his body has been given an extended break, the longest of his professional career. After five long seasons, a long 18-month break could do Curry a lot of good.

[RELATED: Simmons wonders if Lillard is better than Steph]

The Warriors are expecting Curry and Thompson to come back healthy and rested when the 2020-21 season starts, ready for a return to NBA title contention.

Based on the video Curry posted, he's getting plenty of rest.

Bill Simmons wonders whether Damian Lillard is better than Steph Curry

Bill Simmons wonders whether Damian Lillard is better than Steph Curry

Steph Curry is a better basketball player than Damian Lillard.

We don't make that declaration in an attempt to slight Dame, because the Portland Trail Blazers star is awesome. We certainly aren't rooting against the Oakland native or saying he is overrated.

But we feel compelled to defend Steph when necessary. And we are doing that now because of the following back-and-forth that took place Monday on "The Bill Simmons Podcast."

Simmons: "Dame -- I don't know where he is on the top-10 players in the league list and what the qualifications are -- but is Curry better than him at this point?"

Ryen Russillo: "Oh come on. Let's take it easy. Don't do this when Curry's missed a year."

Simmons: "I'm not talking about career. I'm not talking playoff chops (or) stuff like that. I'm just talking game-to-game, the stuff Dame is doing now consistently, reminds me of Curry. I feel like he's money. He's in the top eight or nine for me now. And I don't know what the list is. But I just think he's great."

Lillard is great. No doubt about it. And the 30-year-old was fantastic in Portland's first two games in the Orlando bubble.

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

But we need to remind everybody -- again -- what happened during the Warriors' sweep of the Blazers in the 2019 Western Conference finals:

Curry: 36.5 points, 7.3 assists, 46.9 percent overall, 42.6 percent 3s
Lillard: 22.3 points, 8.5 assists, 37.1 percent overall, 36.8 percent 3s

Yes, Lillard is putting up big statistics this season with 28.9 points and 8.0 assists per game. But his shooting numbers -- 45.6 percent overall and 39.1 percent from 3-point range -- don't match up to what Steph did last season: 47.2 percent overall and 43.7 percent from beyond the arc.

[RELATED: The disrespect Steph gets absolutely blows Redick's mind]

The day possibly will come when Dame is considered the superior player by the majority of the basketball world. We aren't that naive.

But it definitely has not arrived yet.

So the answer to Simmons's question is ...

... "yes."

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