Warriors will have to choose between Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Paul

It’s been a few exciting days for Golden State Warriors. More dramatic than things are meant to be for an NBA team in the doldrums of late July. Certainly more dramatic than things are supposed to be for the defending NBA team this time of year.

The drama has been brewing for a while, but we all tried to suppress it as much as possible. Fans and writers alike have acted as a human dam to keep the drama out. As the decades grew, the dam refused to budge. As the Warriors set an NBA record in payroll in 2021-22, and committed to setting a new record in 2022-23, Al Sadd held on to a strong hold. When the Warriors refused to match the price needed to hold Gary Payton II, the dam held its ground.

And then it broke.

Wednesday, Athletic players Marcus Thompson II and Anthony Slater View an in-depth report on Dobbs’ financial resilience. It previously featured a glossy quote from Joe Lacobe, given to Athletic’s Tim Kawakami in June, that the team wouldn’t be willing to cross the $400 million mark. revealed it Draymond Green wants a max contractthe Warriors aren’t ready to give him one, and he’s willing to play elsewhere.

And he put the shocking numbers on the page: A $33 million annual extension for Andrew Wiggins, mixed with a $31 million annual extension for Green, mixed with a $27 million yearly extension for Jordan Poole would result in an estimated total of about $564 million in payments. You can search long and hard for some discounts, but they will net you tens of millions, not hundreds of millions.

The conclusion, unless absolutely clear, is this: Warriors can’t keep five of Green, Wiggins, Poole, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson beyond this season.

Someone has to go. And with tax payments, someone would deduct something in the $150 million range from the total bill.

In all likelihood, that decision will be made at this time next year. But Warriors can offer extensions to any of those players at the moment, and Thompson and Slater report that some discussions are already underway, although they note that “nothing is imminent” regarding Wiggins, and “there does not appear to be a level of Urgency” with an appendix of Paul. Even if one player he is Extending this off-season, it does not necessarily indicate a clear commitment, as this player can still be traded.

So except for something odd, one of those players will need to put their wings back next summer, so they can fly somewhere else. Carrie won’t be, for obvious reasons. And let’s get rid of Thompson, too, because he still has two years to go on his deal – he may need to get a discount on his next contract, but nothing he can do now will put the team in a financially viable position for the 2023-24 season.

This leaves Green, Wiggins, and Poole. Let’s make an argument for each player and against each player.

Draymond Green

Why the strange man might be abroad: There’s no denying that Drey’s lack of scoring and shooting hurt crime this year. And he only played in 46 regular season games last year, which, unfortunately, has become something of a trend.

Assuming the retained players will get four-year extensions, it’s not at all surprising to think that Green would look the worst in the back half. He is 32 years old now, which means he will be 37 by the time the four-year extension expires. Even if it’s a three-year extension to put it on Carey’s schedule, the idea remains. Any long-term deal for Green is about doubling the next few years, and handling the rest later.

Also, when I talked about this on Twitter the other day, I was shocked to see how many Warriors fans think Dray is no good anymore, much worse than Wiggins. I don’t agree with that even remotely, nor do I agree with the warriors. But it is worth upbringing.

Why Warriors Don’t Want To Lose Him: Well, this is very clear. He’s been an essential part of the team’s dynasty since day one. According to Thompson and Slater, Curry sees the Warriors’ base trio as a package deal and “would not be happy” if he let the Dobbs Green go because they wouldn’t pay him enough. That’s reason enough to make it the only priority.

Green, when healthy, is considered the best defensive player in the NBA with a crushing defeat. he is Led the league last year at Defensive EPM At +5.0 … only five other players lost +3.0, the closest to Green was +3.6. Their defense collapsed when he was injured – and dropped to 15th in the league in a two-month period. He’s arguably the team’s biggest captain, and you can prove that if he didn’t play last year they wouldn’t even be involved in the post-season.

While the report indicated that Green wanted the maximum, I don’t think the Warriors would have to go there. Nothing is likely to come close to that on the open market, so there has to be a compromise where he feels he is being taken care of by the organisation.

For all of these reasons, I think Green’s place on the team going forward is safe. Which means it’s about two players.

Andrew Wiggins

Why the strange man might be abroad: Wiggins Bridge is exceptional. It’s much smaller than the primary, but much bigger than the last team’s recruit. It can help transition from one era to another… but is it worth prioritizing over the next?

In other words, if Core 3 fades and/or retires within four years, and some groups made up of James Wiseman/Jonathan Kuminga/Moses Moody/Patrick Baldwin Jr. have emerged. / Ryan Rollins as basic mid-twenties staples, would you rather pair them with Paul in his mid-twenties, or 31-year-old Wiggins with a near-max contract?

There is also the question of what Wiggins will look like as the kernel fades. His defense took a big hit when Green came out, and he had two and a half months in which he scored low, with poor efficiency, while turning the ball on the balls, seeming to have forgotten how to free-shoot. throws.

The truth is that in March or April it looked like there was a clear clock counting down Wiggins’ time with the Warriors. Then the playoffs happened, he put the clamps on two of the best offensive players in the world, and he was the second best player on the team in The NBA FinalsNow things look very different.

Wiggins has both facts in him, and it’s fair to trust either one.

Why Warriors Don’t Want To Lose Him: Wiggins can do something Poole probably won’t be able to do: play a good defense. He is also, despite his vaccine status, highly respected in the locker room, and gets along well with his teammates. If you want to maximize your Championship odds over the next two or three years — and the Warriors should want to do so — there’s plenty of reason to believe Wiggins helps more than Paul does. Especially if they end up facing Luka Dončić or Jayson Tatum again.

Fits well with the heart. He is trustworthy and rarely misses matches. He is just a very strong player.

Jordan Paul

Why the strange man might be abroad: Paul has had an electric attack season, but the Warriors may have concerns. They rarely gave priority to offensive players, unless these players were Hall of Fame talent: Curry, Thompson, and Kevin Durant. Paul is all offensive, defenseless, and that definitely freaks out the franchise. They may also have concerns about how much offensive load he can carry when not surrounded by stars.

All of these concerns will only be amplified if they feel that Kuminga, Moody or any other young player can replace the bulk of what Pool does on the offensive side of the field.

And you can also prove that Poole is more exchangeable in agency and free trade than Wiggins, although I don’t think I agree with him.

But Paul’s case for being the oddball is mostly due to this: Most people would probably think that removing him from the squad hurt less immediate team title chances than removing Wiggins.

Why Warriors Don’t Want To Lose Him: Joe Lacobe spoke at length about his desire to be of this generation San Antonio Spurs A team that adapts to its progress without having to indulge in a long period of lull. While Paul is neither Tim Duncan nor Kowhi Leonard, it’s hard to claim that they prioritize building the next best era of basketball for the Warriors if they let their 23-year-old team run.

As a reminder, Poole is smaller than Donči and Trae Young. He’s only two months older than Ja Morant. He’s also not as good as those three guys, but you get my point: He’s incredibly young, and more valuable in the post-Carrie era than Wiggins.

Also, due to his young age, it was still unclear how he could become so good in the end.

So who goes?

I can’t stress enough how important next season is. This has become a flexible mode, and a lot depends on how these two play the game. Is Paul taking it one step further? Is he retreating now that the defenses have adapted to him? Does Wiggins play as he did in June all year long? Does he play as he played in February all year long?

There is a lot to play.

If the warriors had to choose now? I suspect they keep Wiggins. He has proven even more as a contributor to the tournament, fitting into the current schedule while serving as a bridge to the next tournament.

If it was me? While I realize there are no fun options here, I’ll keep Poole. The idea of ​​letting a young man with a lot of potential walking opportunities for something could come back to bite the team. There is also the fact that warriors are an elite defense but a mediocre offense… For me, they should give priority to offensive players. The defense will still be pretty good as long as Green and Kevin Looney stay around. But the offense could not withstand more blows.

It would be nice to live in a world where warriors could simply hold Paul Wiggins, as well as Carrie, Thompson and Greene. Unfortunately we do not live in this world. Which makes the 2022-23 season the first season in which it will not only be the Warriors They are fighting for a second championship in a rowbut also noting some very important battles on the list.


Who should be the strange man?

  • 39%

    Draymond Green

    (1004 votes)

  • 25%

    Andrew Wiggins

    (652 votes)

2558 votes total

vote now