The Golden State Warriors just won their fourth championship in eight years.
Often times when franchises win a chip the front office decides to run it back. Re-sign the vets, reward the loyalists – that sort of thing.
Golden State has opted to go the opposite route. Warriors brass let Gary Payton II go to the Portland Trail Blazers, Otto Porter Jr. go to the Toronto Raptors and Juan Toscano-Anderson leave for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, a decision needs to be made on two major stars: Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins.
This week, team owner Joe Lacob spoke out about what the future holds in regards to that duo.
“We have time to do those things,” Lacob said in an interview with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “There’s no rush on all that. I’m sure there will be some discussions this summer. But we haven’t talked to them.”
Haven’t talked to them? Yikes. That doesn’t exactly suggest that something will get worked out on this front. Fans may need to accept that Poole (and his girlfriend) may be on the way out.
“They are two great players in their 20s,” Lacob continued. “We’d love to retain them. But this becomes the problem going forward when you have a team like ours where you’ve got three guys that have been with us for a long time, make a lot of money, huge salaries — Steph, Klay and Draymond.
“You’ve got these two guys who will be getting into – well, [Wiggins] already is in big salary mode and wants to stay there. And [Poole] is going to be clearly making a lot more money.”
Lacob also made it a point to reiterate that change was inevitably coming to the Warriors. It could be this summer. It could be next summer. But one way or another, fans will need to get used to that idea.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Lacob said. “I’m not going to sit here and lie to the fan base. It’s going to be really difficult to figure out what we’ll do next summer.
“This year, we’re good. I would call this as running it back. Some people may think because Payton and a couple people are not back — there’s always going to be some change. Yesterday is yesterday, the future is the future. We think we’re going to have a great team this year.”
It will be interesting to see how this entire situation with the Warriors shakes out. Wiggins has been out partying it up with his girlfriend, but it’s hard to see a scenario where he returns to Golden State in 2022-23.
Draymond Green has been very blunt regarding what it felt like to lose Payton. He also wasn’t shy in revealing which departing player he’ll miss the most. Are Wiggins and Poole about to join that list as well?
DK Metcalf kept it real on the Zach Wilson drama. https://t.co/DnVdUabvnt
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 11, 2022
Clearly losing role players stings – both for fans and the remaining guys on the roster.
How will this whole thing play out with Poole and Wiggins when it’s all said and done?
Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.