After bringing home a championship banner last season, there’s no question that this year has been somewhat of a disappointment for the Golden State Warriors. Instead of competing for a top seed in the West, they have been fighting to maintain their spot in the playoff picture.
Golden State has hovered around the .500 mark all year, and at the trade deadline, they made the important decision to move off of James Wiseman and make a deal for Gary Payton II. According to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, this move was crucial, as guys like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were getting frustrated with the team’s approach.
“And getting Payton back was a good move,” a Western Conference executive told Deveney. “The players really liked Gary Payton. The coaches really liked him. No one wanted to see them lose him to Portland and not really even be in the mix on re-signing him. The injury thing really screwed them. But guys like Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson), that was a good signal that they’re trying to win now, that they don’t want to give away this season to develop young guys. That’s important. There’s no question those guys were frustrated with the team and the way they were approaching everything.”
The front office was resistant to the idea of trading Wiseman, as they had invested the second-overall pick on him, but that idea didn’t work out when it came to competing for a title.
“Everybody liked James Wiseman, there was nothing against the guy, and he might have a bright future. But there is no doubt that the coaches and players could see the writing on the wall – this guy is not going to help us this year, and he might not help us the year after,” the executive said. “They had wanted the front office to be more active going back to last year and seeing if there was something they could do for Wiseman, send him somewhere else. Ownership took the position of, we had the No. 2 pick, we took this guy, we are keeping him. But it was obvious that holding onto that line of thinking was not going to hold up. It would have been too embarrassing to win a championship, then miss the playoffs because you wanted to hold onto James Wiseman.”
Bob Myers Could Leave Warriors This Summer
With the differentiating ideas within the Warriors organization, there is a sense that Bob Myers could potentially leave Golden State this summer, as he is stuck in the middle.
“Bob has had to work both sides,” a Western Conference GM told Deveney. “He has been trying to do that really since Kevin Durant left. There is a vision of, let’s win championships and have a bunch of young players we can develop, too, and the vision of, let’s give away all the young guys and get guys who can help us win now because Steph and Klay and Draymond are getting old. You have ownership on one side, they want the young players, they want to think about the future and the tax bills. And you have coaches and players on the other side. Bob is in the middle.”
Draymond Green Unveils Stephen Curry Trash Talk
“Steph had CP [Paul] below the break. He hit him with a couple of moves and got an amazing and-one,” Green recalled on the March 14 episode of The Draymond Green Show. “And if you read his lips, he got up, and he said, ‘This ain’t 2014 no more.’ And I appreciated the bar by Steph Curry because you gotta dig into that comment. That’s pretty much saying that ‘the last time you were better than me since 2014.’ That was nine years ago. Like, this hasn’t been a debate since 2014. Nine years ago? That’s almost a decade. That’s a bar. So I just hope that those that enjoy that part of the game, which I do, that you appreciated that bar.”