The Warriors new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. addressed the media for the first time and of course, he was asked about Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga.
Dunleavy is replacing Bob Myers, who held the position for the past 11 seasons and was the architect of four championships, so Dunleavy has got big shoes to fill.
Since Golden State flamed out against the Lakers in the WCF last season, rumors of Poole and Kuminga trades have been constant but Dunleavy says they will both remain at the franchise this upcoming season.
“We love having those guys here. Jordan, especially with his contract extension, we plan to have him here for 4 more years at least,” Dunleavy told reporters. “… [Kuminga] has shown really good progression and growth. Unfortunately for him, the playing time hasn’t been there. So that’s on all of us to figure out how to get him in the game more. It’s on Jonathan’s shoulders to improve and make the adjustments to his game…Both those guys are really, really good young players we’re pleased with. They have great value around the league. Obviously a lot of rumors come up at this time of year, but we’re happy with those guys.”
If Poole or Kuminga aren’t on the chopping block then who is?
The Warriors will be dealing with an untenable luxury tax bill if they decide to run the same squad back.
The franchise already had the highest bill in the league by far last year and with new rules in place for this season, they’ll be paying more and be penalized with trade restrictions, among other things.
Draymond Green has just opted out of his player option for next season and the team are keen to re-sign him by all reports.
At least two to three players will need to be moved and Bill Simmons believes Poole could be one of those.
Simmons even suggests Golden State could be the third team in a trade with the Suns and Wizards to get Chris Paul.
“If you’re Golden State, do you feel good about the Jordan Poole contract?” Simmons said on his podcast. “You have Draymond [Green] you’ve gotta pay … I’ve got Klay Thompson for $40 million. There’s some ‘Kuminga is actually gonna be good this year’ buzz. [Steph] Curry’s contract goes up every year. Like, if I could turn Jordan Poole into a year of Chris Paul and figure out what that looks like … I think that would be really interesting, to watch a true point guard play with Steph.”
The Warriors did have interest in Paul before he was traded to Washington, so that interest may not have waned yet – according to one NBA insider.
Watch this space.