Pascal Siakam represents the Warriors' missed trade deadline

Pascal Siakam made a handful of massive plays down the stretch before Tyrese Haliburton's game-winning goal in extra time gave the Pacers a 2-1 series lead over the Bucks. He is now averaging 30 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists in three playoff games.

Sounds like a man the Warriors would have liked to have.

The Pacers acquired Siakam before the trade deadline for 2 backup players and three first-round picks – two of which can be within the 20s of this 12 months's weak draft. Golden State could have beaten this.

The Warriors must get larger and more athletic. They need more two-way players alongside Steph Curry who can create their very own offense against mismatches. Siakam is such a player.

Siakam is what even Jonathan Kuminga's biggest supporters hope Kuminga can be in three or 4 years: an All-Star player who can rating 30 points on the most important stages.

Mike Dunleavy Jr. said after the season that there was nothing on the table on the deadline that, in hindsight, he would have liked to have done. It was reported that Golden State was one in every of the teams involved in talks with Toronto about Siakam, the two-time All-NBA winger.

The Raptors may need preferred Indiana's draft capital contract over one which involved Kuminga, who is perhaps a little bit of a misfit next to Scottie Barnes. Perhaps the Warriors didn't feel comfortable risking a few of their future on a player who could either demand a max contract or leave as a free agent this summer. Perhaps Siakam's shaky outside jumper was an excessive amount of of a distraction.

There are at all times aspects which are missed in trade hypotheticals, but missing out on Siakam looks like a misfire.

The excellent news is that Dunleavy and the Warriors will likely get a probability at redemption this summer.

Another wing of comparable caliber, Brandon Ingram, could turn into available because the Pelicans have rising star Trey Murphy ready to switch him. Ingram isn't at Siakam's level defensively, but he’s a more gifted and efficient scorer at three levels. He would give Golden State a robust second option alongside Curry, and he's still only 26 years old.

Again, Ingram is at the extent that Kuminga was in a position to reach in his prime. If they wish to compete in the ultimate two years of Curry's contract and end their dynasty with dignity — to borrow Steve Kerr's phrase — the Warriors don't have time to attend for Kuminga to blossom.

Would Ingram get the Warriors back into title contention? The incredibly talented Western Conference makes it difficult. But the last time the Warriors had a scoring small forward like Ingram was when Kevin Durant was here. Ingram would take a load off Curry's shoulders and fit into any lineup. He can be an actual number 2.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob has proven he is decided to win. The only technique to really try is to usher in among the young core to bolster top-notch talent this summer. It's going to take an enormous swing, and the Warriors don't have to observe one other shot fly past them. You don't must make the identical mistake twice.

tea leaves

Speaking of Durant, the previous Warriors star told a commercially for his KD 17 sneakers with Thunder center Chet Holmgren.

Durant's post-Warriors profession included a failed superteam in Brooklyn and a trade demand to Phoenix, where one other completely flawed Big 3 gave the impression to be taking shape. It takes a tinfoil hat to read too deeply right into a business, but could or not it’s laying the groundwork for an additional move, this time back to Oklahoma City?

There are not any public signs that Durant is unhappy in Phoenix. He is under contract until 2026. The demand for an exchange is unlikely, but have to be non-zero. Something doesn't smell right.

The Suns are on the verge of being eliminated from the primary round as they fall to a 3-0 series deficit against Minnesota. If the Flames fail, questions will grow as as to if Durant might see greener grass elsewhere.

Durant's desire for an additional championship is evident. The Thunder are in a significantly better position than the Suns now and in the long run with Holmgren, MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, two-way wing Jalen Williams and a bushel of draft capital.

With his return to Cleveland, LeBron James celebrated his homecoming. Durant could do the identical and return to the franchise that chosen him.

Clutch stuck, not sick

I actually have a sense Steph Curry won't be bouncing on his grandkids' knees and telling them concerning the time he won the 2023-24 Clutch Player of the Year award.

Seriously, what are we doing here? Who does this award belong to?

Each 12 months the leader within the clutch standings will receive the respect. It at all times goes to top-of-the-line players within the league, the identical players who don't need one other meaningless award gathering dust of their trophy cases. The league is solely adding the names of more legends – on this case Jerry West – to the trophies nobody asked for.

Like the Pixar classic “The Incredibles” taught us: If everyone seems to be great, nobody is. When all the things is forgiven, there’s nothing.

Damn doom scroll

A camera captured D'Angelo Russell sitting alone on the Lakers' bench, appearing to scroll on his phone as his teammates huddled together during Game 3 of their series against Denver.

The scene said all the things you want to find out about Russell.

The point guard actually had arguably his best 12 months as a professional, as he tuned out the noise of trade rumors while putting together an efficient scoring season. His distant playoff stinker will put it to shame.

It's a shame that the 2 most defining moments of Russell's disappointing profession now involve telephone malfunctions.

A standard refrain

As a friend watched the thrilling end of Game 2 of the Knicks-76ers, he made the oft-repeated statement: “You only have to watch the last two minutes of NBA games.”

Of course, casual sports fans are free to think that way, however the criticism remains to be annoying.

NBA basketball is the very best combination of elite athleticism and strategy in sports. The former is so tangible it jumps off the screen, and the latter is much more comprehensible than that of football, where you wish an all-22 video feed to investigate Xs and Os.

I'm undecided why the trope specifically targets the NBA. Two-minute drills every half often resolve football games in the identical way. The tight ninth inning is splendidly nauseating, a far cry from the primary eight. A knockout punch in a UFC octagon lacks context.

Incredible plays occur on a regular basis in NBA games, not only during crunch time. It's exciting to follow the flow and dynamics of a game in every quarter and in every period. The first 46 minutes normally explain the last two.

Every game tells its own story. The last two minutes are only conclusions. You don't pick up a book and skim the last page, right?

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