Andrew Wiggins his contract year is coming to an end, and the Warriors want to extend it. Jordan Pool is on a contract extension and if not resolved by the start of the season, he will become a restricted free agent next summer. Draymond Green is eligible – and wants – a four-year extension for $138.4 million (the most they can give him).
Bob Myers has said again this week that he wants to keep all three players – every important part of the Warriors won the title last season – but financial realities could get in the way of that dream. Here’s what Myers said Thursday via ESPN’s Kendra Andrews:
“We need all these guys,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said at a press conference on Thursday. “Can we have them all? I dont know.
“It all depends on what the money will be. What to ask what we can end up doing. We are not yet in a position to make these decisions. Some of these decisions may be made in the next two weeks, some in the next seven to eight months.”
The Warriors caught the attention of the entire league by paying more than $350 million in player salaries and luxury tax last season — and they’ll be at the same level this season. Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob said that even with a cash cow like the new Chase Center, this is not a team that can spend $400 million. Some expenses are blocked, for example Stephen Curry and his maximum contract extension of $215.4. Clay Thompson is at its maximum for a couple more years.
Pool is part of the Golden State’s future – along with Jonathan Cuminga, Moses Moodyand maybe Jonathan Wiseman – and they can’t let him go. Wiggins was the Warriors’ second best player in the postseason last year. This has led to some speculation that Green might be redundant, but this is denied by Myers. Green will earn $25.8 million this season but is expected to forfeit the $27.6 million player option he has next season. This leaves the Warriors and Green a choice.
Something has to give, but Myers and the Warriors seem ready to put off that financial position until next summer and get the group back together this season and race for a new ring.
The pool will be the first (the deadline for its renewal is October 17). Whatever happens will be the subtext of the story throughout the Bay Area season.
Officially, Lonzo Ball will be out 4-6 weeks after he had a knee endoscopy this week.
However, this is his second operation on his left knee this year – he had surgery on his meniscus in January, after which he was never able to return to the court – and there are fears that Ball could again miss significant time. And coach Billy Donovan has no choice but to schedule an extended absence.
On Tuesday, Ball spoke to reporters on Zoom, and his words were too optimistic. Rob Schaefer reported on the call for NBC Sports Chicago.:
“Literally, I really can’t run. I can’t run or jump. There is a range of 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent that I have no strength and I can’t catch myself. Until I can do what I can’t play,” Ball said. “I went to rehab and got better, but I couldn’t go outside and run full speed or jump. So surgery is the next step.”
The symptoms are something that Ball says he has never experienced, and doctors are “a little surprised,” he says.
It’s not good when doctors are surprised. Ball said the doctors don’t see anything on the MRI, but there’s clearly something wrong, so they’re going to find the problem and fix it.
Ball was diligent in recovery from the very beginning, the problem was knee pain. Something was wrong after the first operation. Whatever it is.
In 4-6 weeks, Ball will be back in early November, but you know they’ll be too careful with him after last year. Coach Billy Donovan was honest – he should be planning a season without Ball.
Asked if he should think that Ball’s absence could last all season, Bulls coach Billy Donovan replied, “I think you should.”
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) September 27, 2022
The Bulls need Ball in the deep and complex East. It provides protection, accelerates the pace in transitions and takes care of the rock. There are other players in Chicago who can do the same individually. Alex Caruso can protect Coby White pushing the transition, Goran Dragic taking care of the ball – but the Bulls are missing one player who can do it all. At least they don’t have it until Ball gets back.
Whenever it was.
In Game 7 against the Mavericks last May, the Suns coach Monty Williams center bench Deandre Ayton, who ended up playing just 17 minutes in a crushing loss to Phoenix. When asked about it after the game, Williams said, “This is an internal matter.”
According to Ayton, Ayton and Williams have not spoken since.
DeAndre Ayton said he and Monty Williams didn’t talk about the touchline incident in Game 7: pic.twitter.com/Z9rHYHr5yX
— Gerald Burguet (@GeraldBourguet) September 27, 2022
Yes. Remember, this includes the summer when the Suns didn’t offer Ayton a maximum contract extension, so he went and got it from the Pacers, and the Suns instantly agreed. Ayton didn’t seem thrilled to be back in Phoenix for Media Day, and he was pretty casual with his coach.
Ayton was asked if he was happy here, and he said, “Yes, I’m fine. When I am between these lines, I just work. I don’t play for myself. I have an organization on my chest and a name on my back that I am supposed to represent. I’m just here to work, man.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) September 27, 2022
That’s what every fan wants to hear – “it’s just my job.”
Journalists asked Williams about this, and he fought back by stating that he hadn’t talked to many players yet.
“I haven’t talked to a lot of guys.”
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) September 27, 2022
It’s only the first day of training camp, but there are a lot of red flags around the Suns: Owner Robert Sarver has been suspended and is selling the team, Jay Crowder not in camp, waiting for a trade, and right now there isn’t much communication between the team’s star center and her coach.
Maybe it’s all for nothing. Maybe the Suns will come out onto the court, Chris Paul looks younger Devin Booker looks like Devin Booker and it doesn’t matter. But what looked like a stable situation not too long ago is now causing a lot of fear ahead of the season, and that should worry Suns fans.