After winning an NBA title in 2022, the Golden State Warriors had clear designs on repeating as champs during the 2022-23 campaign. That wasn’t the only goal the team was shooting for, though, as a “two-timeline” plan was also in effect.
That was the conventional wisdom at least. For his part, Dubs owner Joe Lacob has taken issue with the verbiage that his dual-tiered roster has elicited from fans and pundits.
While the Warriors opened last season with three lottery picks on their roster — James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody — all of whom were expected to assume bigger roles, Lacob insisted during a recent interview with The Mercury News’ Madeline Kenney that winning with the veteran core is, was, and will continue to be the sole objective.
“There’s no such thing as the two timelines,” Lacob declared. “There never was and still isn’t and never will be. There’s only one timeline, and the timeline is every year to put the best product on the floor, to compete the best you can to win a championship.”
Joe Lacob Breaks Down the Warriors’ Swap of Jordan Poole for Chris Paul
The notion that the Warriors hadn’t made developing a youth wing to take the baton from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green a priority doesn’t quite hold water. Lacob himself spoke out about “bridging the gap to the future” during a previous denial of the two-timeline concept.
If there was any doubt, though, that the club’s chief objective wasn’t making the most of the present, the Chris Paul-Jordan Poole swap should have laid it to rest. And Lacob spoke to that effect in his interview with The Mercury News.
“We had to change something,” Lacob said of the blockbuster maneuver. “While it’s a short-term move, Chris Paul is a fabulous Hall of Famer who will I think certainly help our second unit, help our first unit if he plays there, wherever he plays, he’s a tremendous guy.”
That’s not to say, though, that the Dubs didn’t have an eye on the future when they executed the trade. By swapping out Poole’s newly extended contract for Paul’s deal (which is non-guaranteed in 2024-25), Golden State could save tens of millions in luxury tax penalties while affording itself greater long-term flexibility.
Still, winning at any/all cost is the top line item.
“We can be good for several years, not just one, but we definitely want to win,” Lacob added. “We’re doing everything we can. We’re gonna have a huge payroll this year, the biggest in the history of the NBA, and we’re trying to win. I can’t try any harder, we’re trying everything we can.
Steph Curry Not Among B/R’s ‘Top 5 to Build Around’
Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale and Grant Hughes just put their heads together to construct a ranking of the top five players in the Association “you’d pick to lead your team over the next five years.” And despite his incredible résumé, Steph didn’t make the cut.
Instead, the Warriors’ cornerstone was relegated to the honorable mention category. Wrote Favale:
Curry is entering his age-35 season, which all but disqualifies him from the top five. At the same time, his offensive transcendence hasn’t been ravaged, at all, by the passage of time.
There’s a real chance he remains a top-five player for the lion’s share of this half-decade window. You can’t reasonably say the same for Durant or Kawhi Leonard or anyone else on the wrong side of 30.