Why Warriors pursuing Anthony Davis doesn't make sense ... for now

Why Warriors pursuing Anthony Davis doesn't make sense ... for now

The Warriors covet Anthony Davis. They have quietly visualized him joining the squad that has become the best in the NBA.

But now is not the time to make their move.

With Davis reportedly requesting a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, a number of teams are sprinting to line up for the chance to deal while simultaneously scanning their rosters to determine who can be sacrificed to acquire the rangy power forward.

The Warriors, even with the uncertainty surrounding Kevin Durant’s future, won’t be among them.

Nor should they be.

No matter how much a team likes a player that comes available in trade, there are certain conditions that make it improbable and, moreover, reckless. Two such conditions exist with the Warriors.

The first is that they’re 10 days from adding an impact player to the lineup. DeMarcus Cousins, who missed the first 45 games while recovering from serious injury, has played four games and already it is apparent he’s able to contribute.

Adding a second such player in the middle of a season is a recipe for chaos. As Draymond Green said Friday, winning in the NBA is more complex than simply gathering the best talent and putting five guys on the floor. Though the Pelicans utilize an offensive system similar to that of Warriors, the core of the two teams is dramatically different.

The second condition is that the Warriors, as currently constituted, are playing better than any team in the league. They’ve won 10 in a row because the offense is humming, assist numbers are rising, turnover numbers are falling and the defense has been there every time it was needed.

To choose this time to make a move that would require sending away at least one starter might be great in fantasy sports. It would be misguided and disruptive in reality.

[RELATED: Tom Haberstroh explains why Anthony Davis sweepstakes might have to wait]

The key component to making a trade in today’s NBA is matching the salaries. The Warriors have the capacity to do that, even though Davis has a 15-percent trade kicker. Davis is making 25.4 million this season, and he’s due $27 million next season, after which he is able opt out. The trade kicker, basically a bonus for being dealt, would add roughly $8 million to his contract.

When you’ve won three championships in four years, when you have the best core group in the league, and when you are the hottest team in the NBA, you don’t take silly risks. As great as Davis is, it’s not prudent to chase him via trade.

There are a number of good teams that might need a “shake up” or a rebuild before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. The Warriors, at this time, are not one of them.

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young has never been one to blend in with the crowd, and he's not about to change anytime soon.

Even though his NBA playing days are behind him, Young still is very much keeping tabs on the league, and -- this might shock you -- he has some noteworthy opinions. In speaking to Adam Caparell of Complex, Young offered some thoughts on the upcoming NBA season, and as you'd expect, he didn't shy away from hot takes.

One of those takes, in particular, concerned the Warriors.

When asked if he had one crazy prediction for the upcoming NBA season, Young provided a double dose.

"I will say either New Orleans making the eighth seed or Denver not making the playoffs," Young initially replied. "I don't think the Warriors going to make it this year. If they do, it's the eighth seed."

Predictions for the Warriors are all over the place, and Swaggy P is no different. ESPN projects Golden State as the third-best NBA team over the next three seasons, but some of the company's personalities have a considerably lower opinion of the Dubs.

[RELATED: Why center-by-committee is Warriors' best course of action]

Young won his one and only NBA championship as a member of the Warriors, but clearly, that's not biasing his predictions. As for who he thinks the 2019-20 NBA champion will be, however, he went with one of the other five teams he played for in his 12-year career.


I suppose they can't all be hot takes.

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With Kevon Looney on mend, Warriors' best plan is center-by-committee

With Kevon Looney on mend, Warriors' best plan is center-by-committee

SAN FRANCISCO -- With two practices remaining before opening night on Thursday, the Warriors have yet to identify their regular starting center.

That likely will be the case for at least a few weeks, according to coach Steve Kerr.

Though Marquese Chriss started the final four preseason games and appeared to have the edge, the return of Kevon Looney -- after being sidelined by a hamstring strain for nearly three weeks -- on Sunday provides some flexibility.

“Loon scrimmaged,” Kerr said after practice. “I just talked to him and he said he felt good. He’ll continue to get more work in as the week goes on. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go on Thursday night.”

Asked if Looney, the only big man on the roster with experience as a Warrior, might be the starter Thursday against the Clippers, Kerr did not dismiss the possibility.

“He probably would be,” he said. “But I’d probably do it based on matchups from game to game.”

As the Warriors prepared for training camp, it was generally assumed that the majority of the minutes at center would go to Willie Cauley-Stein and Looney. Cauley-Stein, acquired as a free agent after four seasons with the Kings, was the presumed starter, with Looney maintaining his role as an early sub.

That was before Cauley-Stein sustained a mid-foot sprain a few days before camp.

That was before Looney strained a hamstring on the first day of camp.

And before Marquese Chriss -- signed to a non-guaranteed contract one day before camp -- started four of five preseason games, opening eyes and minds and earning a roster spot.

Chriss, 22, might have the most comprehensive set of skills. Cauley-Stein, 26, offers the greatest length (7-foot-3 wingspan) and most experience as an NBA starter. Looney, 23, is most familiar with the team’s playbook and culture.

[RELATED: Warriors GM Myers happy with what Chriss brings to team]

Those three represent most of the center committee, with leftovers going to Omari Spellman.

“We lack size, obviously with Willie and Loon out,” Kerr said. “So, if we get Loon back, we’d probably look at the other team’s lineups and see what makes the most sense.”

The Warriors have been here before. Damian Jones and Looney rotated starting assignments at center last season before DeMarcus Cousins was cleared to play. Both Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee were utilized as starters in each of the two previous seasons.

A rotation of three, however, provides tremendous flexibility -- a platoon system of sorts -- while also presenting potential challenges to court chemistry.

Above all, it maintains the spirit of competition while also keeping everyone fresh.

Until someone emerges as the clear starter -- Cauley-Stein has progressed to non-contact drills, but he’s not expected to return until next month -- a center-by-committee system seems the smart way to go.

Indeed, for now, it may be the only way.