The summer of 2023 is going to be an infinitely fascinating one for the Golden State Warriors, and will determine the shape of their roster for years to come.
Absent any unexpected trades surfacing over the next few months, the three major developments in Golden State between now and then, in no particular order, are the following:
- Will the Warriors extend Jordan Poole off of his rookie contract by the October deadline or let him hit restricted free agency next offseason?
- Will the Dubs re-sign wing Andrew Wiggins after his stellar season and postseason, or let the former No. 1 overall pick walk due to financial constraints?
- Will Draymond Green opt out of his deal a year early using his player option in order to seek a big-money, multiyear extension from the only franchise he’s ever played for, or will he keep the one-year payday and remain under contract through 2024?
All three of these situations were topics of conversation on the Thursday, August 18, edition of the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast.
“I’ll be interested to see if any of these guys are signed,” Windhorst said. “And if they are signed, which ones? Are all three signed? Are none of them signed? Is Poole extended, but Wiggins and Draymond not? Is Draymond extended, but Poole and Wiggins not?”
“I think what [the Warriors] do with those extensions is a big indication of how they see this team going forward,” he added.
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NBA Insiders Believe Green Likely to Opt Out of Contract in 2023
One thing that is for certain is all three players will be in Warriors uniforms as the team attempts to run it back in 2022-23 and win their second consecutive title, and their fifth in nine years.
After that, the fates of Poole and Wiggins are mainly in the hands of the Dubs front office. However, Green holds more cards than either of his younger counterparts, and therefore more leverage.
“Jordan Poole is eligible for an extension. Andrew Wiggins is eligible for an extension. They’re both going to be on the team this year, we know this. Draymond has two years left,” Windhorst said. “This is the last year of the contract for both Poole and Wiggins, so if they don’t extend, you’re looking at them heading toward … walk years.”
Fellow podcaster and NBA reporter Tim Bontemps of ESPN corrected Windhorst on the one mistake in his assessment.
“Green is a free agent this summer,” Bontemps pointed out. “He’s got a player option next year.”
“Do we think Draymond is opting out of that money though?” Windhorst asked.
“I wouldn’t rule that out,” ESPN reporter Tim McMahon, the third member of the podcast, responded.
“I wouldn’t rule that out either,” Bontemps echoed.
“He’s certainly gonna posture that he’s gonna do that,” Windhorst retorted.
“I’m not saying he will or won’t,” Bontemps added. “But I’d say that [it’s] possible.”
Warriors Title Contenders Now And in Future, Insiders Say
The entire above conversation was spurred on by a discussion surrounding an ESPN article that Bontemps co-authored with Kevin Pelton on Wednesday, August 17. The premise was built around the “all-in” tiers of NBA franchises playing for titles now, in the future, or both.
Ultimately, the Warriors fell in the second tier, which was reserved for teams with the potential to win now and win later.
“This group was about not only are you capable of winning today, but you should be capable of winning five years from now,” Bontemps explained. “I’m not as sold on [the Warriors’] young guys, but they do have all these young guys, they do have all their picks, they do have flexibility going forward and that does separate them from the teams …. who basically all have traded a ton of picks or just have really old teams.”
Pelton, however, believes the Warriors define the group of contenders that can play for now and for the future, simultaneously.
“The title-winning Warriors’ approach perhaps best epitomizes this group,” Pelton wrote. “Although Golden State has one of the league’s oldest cores, led by the four-time champion trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, the Warriors owe one future first-round pick (in 2024) and are developing the foundation of their next team with recent lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman while still winning now.”