“It’s just a change in dynamic all the way around,” the Warriors’ star guard said. “We’re excited about the opportunities, the challenges for the whole roster, because we’ve got a lot of guys that have the opportunity to really prove themselves and make a difference in our team. Obviously our core, ’til Klay gets back, we know how to win and we know how to play. We’re just going to do it a little differently.”
The Warriors have named Aaron Miles as a player development coach, according to a team press release. He served as the head coach of the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors for the past two seasons, posting a 57-43 record. Miles’ promotion was previously reported by 2 Ways & 10 Days. Kris Weems has officially been named the organization’s new G League coach.
Free agent guard Chasson Randle has received interest from the Hawks, Trail Blazers, Heat, Bucks, Warriors and Bulls, tweets Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops.
Randle, 26, became an unrestricted free agent in June when the Wizards opted not to tender a qualifying offer. He appeared in 49 games in his lone season in Washington, posting a 5.5/1.1/2.0 line in about 15 minutes per night and shooting 40% from 3-point range. Randle played a combined 26 games for the Sixers and Knicks during the 2016/17 season before spending 2017/18 in the EuroLeague with Real Madrid.
Unless someone offers him a fully guaranteed deal, Randle will likely face a process similar to how he earned a roster spot with the Wizards. He signed a training camp contract in September, but was waived before the season began. He had a strong showing during camp with Washington’s G League affiliate in Capital City and was signed for the rest of the season in late October.
Randle was waived again on November 12, but rejoined the Go-Go three days later and re-signed with the Wizards after Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre were traded in mid-December.
August 10th, 2019 at 9:54am CST by Mark Suleymanov
After a successful stint with the Nets in which he evolved into an NBA All-Star, D’Angelo Russell is now preparing to join the third team of his young career. With the departure of Kevin Durant, the Warriors had the opportunity to acquire the 23-year-old point guard as part of a sign-and-trade.
HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy caught up with Russell to discuss the next chapter of his career. The former Laker weighed in on the chance to share the court with the Warriors’ championship core, his Nets tenure and how he hopes to improve.
“I think it’s like a video game. You got three guys who can shoot the three at a high clip. I think that’s really exciting for the fans. Threes are obviously worth more than twos at the end of the day, so I think it gives us an opportunity to win. I’m so excited, and I think we’re going to bring a lot of excitement [to the fans].”
What he can learn in the new environment…
“I think this situation gives me an opportunity to be a sponge. I can learn a lot from everyone: a Hall of Fame coach – one of the winningest coaches ever – and from three different players who are Hall of Famers. It’s cool, man. This is a Hall of Fame organization that I get to a part of.”
How being in Brooklyn helped him develop…
“It was all about having that opportunity. I had the opportunity to be me on the court. I give a lot of credit to the [Nets’] coaching staff for allowing me to be me and to really thrive. I really appreciate that opportunity.”
Jacob Evans, the Warriors’ first-round pick in 2018, is honing his skills as a point guard. The former Cincinnati guard talked about his development in a team website post. “It’s been a great transition, honestly,” he said. “Just learning the offense, trying to learn different reads out of it, some different sets, different looks and just trying to put myself in an aggressive attack mentality.” Evans appeared in 30 regular-season games and seven postseason games last season.
Kris Weems will be promoted to head coach of the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days reports. Weems has been an assistant with Santa Cruz the past two years under Aaron Miles, who will be promoted to Golden State’s staff, Johnson continues. Ryan Atkinson, Santa Cruz’s assistant GM since 2016, will be named the team’s GM. He previously served as president of basketball operations for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
While it’s far less impressive than their run of five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, the Warriors have also won the Pacific Division five times in a row. However, that streak may be in jeopardy heading into the 2019/20 season.
The Warriors figure to be a contender again next season, with perennial MVP candidate Stephen Curry, newly-extended big man Draymond Green, and newly-acquired All-Star D’Angelo Russell leading the way. But the Dubs don’t have quite the same amount of star power that they’ve had in recent years. Kevin Durant is gone. So are veteran stalwarts Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. And Klay Thompson isn’t expected to be back until sometime after the All-Star break as he recovers from a torn ACL. A step back seems likely.
The Suns appear to be on the right track in their rebuild, and the Kings added some intriguing veteran reinforcements after taking a big step forward last season, but it’s probably safe to assume that the biggest threats to Golden State’s streak of five straight division titles are in Los Angeles.
No Western Conference team has a higher projected win total, according to oddsmakers, than the Clippers. Gambling site BetOnline.ag has the Clips’ regular-season over/under listed at 54.5 wins, and it’s easy to see why — the team essentially replaced Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this offseason after winning 48 games last season.
Of course, the Clippers aren’t a lock to be a powerhouse. Leonard was limited to 60 games last season and battled an apparent leg injury in the playoffs. George, meanwhile, underwent surgery on both shoulders at season’s end, and isn’t guaranteed to be 100% by opening night. If either of those players is forced to miss extended time, the Clippers’ “under” is probably a safer bet than the “over.”
As for L.A.’s other team, the Lakers have a superstar duo of their own, with Anthony Davis joining LeBron James. Assuming both players stay healthy, the Lakers will be a force to be reckoned with in 2019/20. However, there will be a lot of new pieces besides Davis for new head coach Frank Vogel to incorporate.
What do you think? Which team will ultimately end up atop the Pacific Division at the end of the regular season? And will that same team make the deepest postseason run, perhaps representing the West in the Finals next spring?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports sat down with Nets forward Kevin Durant earlier this week to discuss several notable topics, including how the 30-year-old star perceives the opinion of some that the Warriors mishandled Durant’s return from a Grade 2 right calf strain. His response?
“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no. I heard the Warriors pressured me into getting back. Nobody never said a word to me during rehab as I was coming back. It was only me and [director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] working out every day. Right when the series started, I targeted Game 5. Hell, nah. It just happened. It’s basketball. S— happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that s— because I’m going to be back playing.”
Durant also spoke about his choice to sign with Brooklyn, saying that the decision was not made until the morning of June 30, as he didn’t want to “disrespect the game” by putting his focus on the future during the season. Interestingly, he also said that he only considered the Warriors and the Nets as potential destinations.
Of course, speculation ran rampant throughout the entire 2018/19 season that the Knicks were a strong, if not primary contender to land both Durant and Kyrie Irving this summer. In response, Durant said “If I was leaving the Warriors, it was always going to be for the Nets. They got the pieces and a creative front office. I just like what they were building.”
There’s more from Durant’s interview with Haynes, which is worth a read in its entirety:
Speaking on how some Toronto fans cheered and applauded his injury before several Raptors players signaled the crowd to stop, Durant smirked and said, perhaps with a suggestion of karma, “It will probably be the last time they will be in the Finals.”
Durant had a difficult time watching the remainder of Game 5 from his hotel room, even turning the channel at one point before flipping back later to cheer on his teammates.
Durant would not confirm that he will miss the entire 2019/20 season, leaving open the possibility that he could return before season’s end.
Durant’s perspective on the entire injury situation is a positive one, saying “Yeah, I still think about that night… that one is definitely always going to be a huge part of my career because it’s the biggest stage and the type of injury I had. But now I look at it as me just going out there playing basketball, and I happened to get hurt. And now I’m just waiting to get back. I know it’s a huge deal to everybody else, but I just try to take it on the chin and keep it moving.”
The No. 25 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Anzejs Pasecniks had his rights renounced by the Sixers earlier this offseason, then joined the Wizards for Summer League action in July. Pasecniks averaged just 4.0 PPG on 28.6% shooting in four games (12.5 MPG), though he did chip in 5.3 RPG.
“I don’t have a contract at the moment and am a free agent, but let’s just say the negotiations are mostly with NBA teams,” Pasecniks said.
Acquired by Philadelphia from Orlando in a draft-night trade in 2017, Pasecniks remained overseas for the last two seasons, playing for Gran Canaria in Spain. He has yet to sign an NBA contract, so we’ll see if that changes before the 2019/20 season gets underway.
Here’s more from around the basketball world:
A top-30 high school recruit, MarJon Beauchamp plans to forgo college and will instead go through a year-long training program with Chameleon BX to prepare for the 2021 NBA draft, writes Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com. Beauchamp was ranked as the fifth-best small forward in the 2020 recruiting class, Borzell notes. A press release from Chameleon BX provides more information on Beauchamp’s decision.
After finishing the 2018/19 season with the Spurs, veteran power forward Donatas Motiejunas is headed back overseas for the 2019/20 campaign. Motiejunas recently signed a contract with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, tweets journalist Zhang Duo (hat tip to Nicola Lupo of Sportando). The Lithuanian big man previously spent two seasons with China’s Shandong Golden Stars.
In an interesting story for ESPN.com, Jackie MacMullan explored how head coaches like Kenny Atkinson (Nets) and Doc Rivers (Clippers) found out about – and reacted to – their teams signing star free agents this offseason. MacMullan also examined the other side of the coin, talking to Nick Nurse (Raptors) and Steve Kerr (Warriors) about losing their stars.
The NBA G League released its list of 50 invitees for this year’s NBAGL Player Invitational. The group of undrafted rookies and veteran free agents will get the opportunity to showcase their skills at the event in the hopes of securing a G League roster spot for the 2019/20 season.
It’s been a while since Golden State entered a season without being viewed as the undisputed favorite to win it all. In many ways, things will feel different in Northern California this upcoming season, as the Warriors will play in a new arena without the championship expectations to which they’ve grown accustomed.
“This summer was painful in many ways, losing the guys that we did,” said coach Steve Kerr said. “But reassuring, in the sense that we brought back some key guys who are going to help us kind of get to that next era, whatever that looks like.”
Draymond Green also signed a new deal this summer, putting pen to paper on a four-year extension. Kerr said that he and GM Bob Myers have discussed securing Green long-term for quite some time.
“I think every player sort of faces these moments where they’ve got to decide, ‘Am I going to mitigate risk and sign something now or play it out?’ That’s up to them,” Kerr said. “Obviously, everyone goes about it differently. But it didn’t surprise me that Draymond signed. He wanted to be here. He’s talked about it all along.”
D’Angelo Russell will join the mix and Kerr called the point guard a “great young talent” who’s going to “fit right in” with the group.
“Without Klay, especially, we’ll need D’Angelo’s scoring and it’s up to us as a staff to figure out how best to use him to shake the team, shake the offense. And we’ll figure it out,” Kerr said.
With Thompson slated to miss considerable time next season, the Warriors will have to rely on young, unproven options to get them through the year. Kerr is embracing the challenge of building the team back up to a championship level.
“I’d rather be the favorite again, to be honest with you,” Kerr said. “But I like coaching. Every year’s a little different. This will be a lot different. But I’m excited to coach the guys who are coming back and the many young, new players that we’ve got. It’s a new challenge and I’m excited for it.”
The NBA salary cap is somewhat malleable, with various exceptions allowing every team to surpass the $109,140,000 threshold once their room is used up. In some cases, teams blow past not only the cap limit, but the luxury-tax limit of $132,627,000 as well — the Trail Blazers have this season’s highest payroll at the moment, more than $11MM above the tax line.
The NBA doesn’t have a “hard cap” by default, which allows a club like Portland to build a significant payroll without violating CBA rules. However, there are certain scenarios in which teams can be hard-capped.
When a club uses the bi-annual exception, acquires a player via sign-and-trade, or uses more than the taxpayer portion ($5,718,000) of the mid-level exception, that club will face a hard cap for the remainder of the league year.
When a team becomes hard-capped, it cannot exceed the “tax apron” at any point during the rest of the league year. The tax apron was set $6MM above the luxury tax line in 2017/18 (the first year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement) and creeps up a little higher each season. For the 2019/20 league year, the tax apron – and hard cap for certain clubs – is set at $138,928,000.
More teams than ever this offseason have been willing to hard-cap themselves, and in at least a couple cases, it will significantly impact a team’s ability to add further reinforcements later in the league year. The Warriors and Heat are nearly right up against the hard cap, and won’t be players in free agency during the season unless they can shed salary.
So far this year, half the teams in the NBA have imposed a hard cap on themselves by using the bi-annual exception, using the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, or acquiring a player via sign-and-trade. Listed below are those 15 teams, along with how they created a hard cap.
Outside of the Warriors and Heat, no clubs on the list above are really being restricted by the hard cap at this time. A few teams – such as the Pistons and Magic – are near the luxury tax threshold, but that still gives them several million dollars in breathing room below the hard cap.
While it’s possible that trades could push some teams closer to the apron, Golden State and Miami appear to be the only clubs that will be noticeably affected by the hard cap in 2019/20.
Of the two new details on Green’s deal, the player option is more noteworthy. Neither Stephen Curry nor Klay Thompson received a player option on his most recent five-year contract with Golden State. The Warriors were willing to tack on second-year player options for Kevin Durant as he went year to year, but it seemed as if the organization was opposed to including those options in long-term pacts. Green’s new deal suggests that’s not the case.
Green will have to decide on his player option during the summer of 2023, when he’ll be 33 years old. If he turns down the option, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent that summer. If he picks it up, he’ll lock in a $27.6MM salary for the 2023/24 season.
At this point, Green seems likely to opt in, but we did just see a 33-year-old Al Horford secure nearly $100MM in guaranteed money on a long-term free agent contract, so if Green’s career follows a similar trajectory, he could score one last big payday in the summer of ’23.
As for the trade kicker, there’s no indication that the Warriors will consider dealing Green anytime soon, but if that changes down the road, the kicker would be a factor. He’ll be eligible for a bonus worth 15% of his remaining salary if he’s traded. The annual salaries on Green’s extension project to fall well below his maximum salaries in each season, so the bonus money wouldn’t be voided unless he chose to waive the kicker.
Green is the third Warriors star to get a 15% trade kicker on his latest contract, joining Curry and Thompson.