The Golden State Warriors will enter the season with the era’s fourth banner and hand out championship rings, but this team has more questions than most returning champions.
Otto Porter as well as Gary Payton II gone and their minutes will go to the young core – Jordan Pool, Moses Moody, Jonathan Cuminga, James Wiseman who will be asked to carry the larger load. Especially during the regular season.
Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area joins NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin on the Warriors’ upcoming season, what to expect, and whether the young core can take the older veterans into the playoffs rested and ready to defend their title. There’s also talk of what’s next for Golden State as there’s a tough contract choice coming up over the next few years.
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The Phoenix Suns had a media day on Monday, but the veteran Jay Crowder there wasn’t, which was part of a mutual agreement with the team to sit it out until a trade could be found. He left players and GM James Jones solve the problem.
Which teams are interested in Crowder? Shams Charania of The Athletic advises keeping an eye on the Heat, Celtics, Mavericks and Grizzlies, among others.
“Sources tell me that both the Suns and Crowder are currently working to find a replacement for him from Phoenix… Look for teams like Boston, Memphis, Dallas, Miami.
— Rally (@TheRally) September 26, 2022
Miami was at the forefront in terms of interest (and Crowder suggested online that he would be happy to return to Miami). The Heat has minutes to fill in at four after PJ Tucker went to Philadelphia, and Crowder—who was on the Heat that went to the final bubble tournament against the Lakers—would be a great option. Making a deal is a little more difficult. The heat would probably like Duncan Robinson at the heart of the deal, but to keep salaries in line with the Suns, they will have to add another player – Dario Saric, Landry Chamet, Cameron PayneTori Craig – which means that the Heat must choose a pick (protected first) or a player with a minimum contract (Gabe Vincent?) to make the deal work. Not impossible, but unlikely.
The Celtics need depth in the top four, but they can offer minutes on the bench by filling Danilo Gallinarirole (he’s out for the season with a torn ACL), but the deal is almost financially impossible given who Boston is willing to give up (not Robert Williams). Dallas could make a deal if the Suns are interested Dwight Powell (probably not, Suns just got paid Deandre Ayton a lot of money to be their center) or Reggie Bullock. Memphis could send dead money Danny Green a contract (out for the season due to injury) and picks, or Zeeir Williamson and a few minimal players (probably also with picks). There are rumors about Atlanta, Chicago and other cities.
As to why Crowder insisted on a trade, the man himself posted his own hype video on Instagram and tweeted it.
YOU NEED TO LOOK FOR A JOB WHERE IT IS IMPORTANT.. WHERE IT IS NEEDED.! I AM GRATEFUL FOR THESE LAST 2 YEARS TEACHING ME! NOW I MUST TAKE ANOTHER CHALLENGE WITH CONTINUED HARD WORK AND DEVOTION.! FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CLOSED THE DOOR TO ME…. THANKS! 99 I WILL BE BACK SOON.! 🥷🏾🤫🤐
— JAY CROWDER (@CJC9BOSS) September 25, 2022
This was reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN. the most frequent rumor in the league about the reason – the Suns were about to start Cameron Johnson on four to shoot more, and Crowder didn’t want any of that – but the reason is now debatable. Crowder will be sold.
The only question is when and where.
Media Day, arguably the most boring and tiring day on the NBA calendar, took place anywhere but Brooklyn.
after summer Kyrie Irving admitted that it was “very embarrassing” – where he and Kevin Duran pushed for the trade, and Durant issued an ultimatum, saying that it was either him or coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks all back under the same roof and trying to stick to the idea that they just wanted to win.
But the drama will follow this team like a dark cloud until they force the conversation to be about something else. For example, how many games they won.
In the meantime, there will be awkward questions and moments. For example, why Kevin Durant asked for a trade this summer? What did he want to change? He spoke about the instability of the team last season. So it was (for various reasons).
“My whole thing was that I wanted everyone to be responsible for their basketball habits. I think a lot of things got swept under the carpet because we got hurt, or this guy isn’t around, or just the circumstances. I thought we could wrestle with it a little more and focus a little more on the guys that were here.
“You know, when I went out with an injury, we lost 10 in a row. And I think we shouldn’t lose some of these games that we’ve lost, no matter who’s on the court. So I was more concerned about how we get through every day as a basketball team. And I felt like we could handle a lot of things that I thought were holding us back.”
KD says you earn respect for the way you work and “last year we skipped some steps.” #networks
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) September 26, 2022
These are the best non-drama answers he could give. But Durant still loves to chat on Twitter and did so later that day.
It’s because of this shit that I don’t like to talk to dumb people like you. That’s not the question he asked, but you love the engagement on twitter, so you’ll ruin everything. https://t.co/nXOnu2jd9v
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) September 26, 2022
(This was a question asked, but both the question and Durant’s answer had a lot more context, it wasn’t a confrontational answer at the moment.)
Kyrie Irving said he had options this summer, albeit limited, because he’s not vaccinated. He also talked about his reasons for wanting to return to the Nets.
Kyrie Irving on whether other teams have opportunities for him in the offseason: “Yes. Yeah. There were options, but not many because of that stigma or whether I want to play or whether I’m committed or not.”
— Chris Millholen (@CMilholenSB) September 26, 2022
Kairi: There was some level of uncertainty about what it would look like when I got back and I had questions. They were given truthful answers, and that’s all I needed … I turned down 160 million dollars in four years, choosing not to get vaccinated, and there was a solution.
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) September 26, 2022
Marks handled the inevitable “did your star want you fired” questions as best he could, at one point saying “this is a professional sport.”
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I think it’s not from us to be angry at what Kevin said, but to say a little: “Okay, if he thinks so, what’s going on here?” For example, what do we need to change?” Marx said.
In the end, everyone was talking about moving forward and the potential of this lineup. Duran is not disappointed with his return.
“I was not…