Warriors

So far, Warriors are on periphery of free agency

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So far, Warriors are on periphery of free agency

Programming Note: Log on today at 11 a.m. for our live stream of the Warriors introductory press conference for rookies Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green, live from Oakland!

The NBA free agencyperiod is 36 hours old, and already a lot has transpired. The Warriors,however, havent been involved in a lot of it. Because they are over the salarycap, the Warriors only have their mid-level exception worth approximately --5 million to spend.Thats not going tobe enough to put them in the running for any of the big boys. Still, theWarriors would like to get something done. Heres a quick thumbnail on whatsbeen going on with Golden State and some moves that have affectedthem.AndreMiller to re-sign with Nuggets: Few players in free agency made asmuch sense to the Warriors as Miller, one of the leagues most solid pointguards and a positive veteran influence.Those are two areaswhere the Warriors need help, but Miller wont be the guy. He is reportedlysigning a three-year, 9 million contract to stay in Denver. It seemed alongshot that the Warriors would be able to acquire Miller.Conventional wisdomheading into free agency was that Miller would likely receive an offer worthmore than 5 million.That Miller istaking 3 million per year to stay is a little bit surprising. It would seem tosuggest that either the Warriors didnt want to play Miller more than that peryear which they could have or that Miller had no interest in coming to theWarriors.Either way, not agreat sign.What aboutKirk Hinrich?: Point guard Kirk Hinrich, who played last season withthe Hawks, is drawing interest from more than a half-dozen teams and the Warriorsare one of them.Hinrich, likeMiller, makes sense for the Warriors for a number of reasons. He can play bothguard positions, can defend and possesses the veteran savvy the Warriors arelooking at.Hes been banged-upa little bit for the past three or four years, but if hes healthy he wouldgive the Warriors a backcourt toughness they desperately lack rightnow.Warriorsinterested in trading for Dwight Howard: There was a report over theweekend that the Warriors are still interested in trading for Dwight Howardeven though he has made it clear he has no interest in playing in Golden Statelong-term.Well, a pattern isdeveloping and its this: When a star player seems to be available, theWarriors are always mentioned as a possible partner. Its happened with ChrisPaul, its happened with Lamar Odom, with Brandon Roy, Pau Gasol and a fewothers.It seems apparentthe Warriors dont mind when theyre linked to these types of players becauseit gives the perception they are in the middle of all the action and have ashot at acquiring some of them. But until the Warriors land a player of thatstature, its natural for fans to be skeptical that they even can.The reality isHoward coming to the Warriors is beyond remote. He doesnt want to play here,and the Warriors dont have a realistic package to put together.Warriorsinvolved in talks with J.J. Hickson: This would seem to make sense.Hickson is a player the Warriors were interested in signing after the Kings hadwaived him late last season.The Warriors seemedpoised to sign Hickson at that time, but he was claimed off waivers by Portland then subsequently waived again.Hickson certainlymakes some sense for Golden State. But he wouldnt be the kind of upgrade manyfans were hoping for.Noextension for Curry: It was reported a few days ago that the Warriorsand Stephen Curry were unlikely to reach an agreement on a contract extension.But that was not a surprise.Late in the season,Curry and the Warriors both acknowledged that it was probable that both sideshold off on any kind of deal. Why? Well, because the Warriors need to be sureCurry is healthy before they make him a part of the long-term future, and Curryneeds to be healthy to receive the kind of contract he likely feels hedeserves.Charactercounts: After Thursdays draft, Warriors owner Joe Lacob and generalmanager Bob Myers talked extensively about the character of their top threepicks: Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green.There seems to be apattern developing with the Warriors, and its that theyre targeting thesekinds of players.They traded StephenJackson for Richard Jefferson months ago, and even accepted an extra year onJeffersons deal. The reason was because the Warriors didnt want to bring avolatile veteran like Jackson onto their young team.While thats a toughstrategy to criticize, the logical extension is that theyre most likely notinterested in players such as Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith, Reggie Evans orDelonte West.

Players Voice Awards: Draymond not the 'Best Defender'

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USATI

Players Voice Awards: Draymond not the 'Best Defender'

The players have spoken.

The 2017 Players Voice Awards pick for "Best Defender" goes to...

Kawhi Leonard.

On June 26, Draymond Green took home the Defensive Player of the Year award at the first annual NBA Awards Show.

He received 73 first-place votes, 22 second-place votes and three third-place votes. (Yes, he was left off of two ballots entirely)

Rudy Gobert was the runner-up with 16 first-place votes, 53 second-place votes and 30 third-place votes.

Kawhi finished in third with 11 first-place votes, 23 second-place votes and 58 third-place votes.

While the media recognized Draymond as the best defensive player in the NBA last season, his peers don't agree.

In 2015, Draymond finished runner-up and was left off 42 ballots.

In 2016, he finished runner-up and was left off nine ballots.

Bravo For Durant: No White House visit proves he has a set of principles

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AP

Bravo For Durant: No White House visit proves he has a set of principles

Though the Warriors have yet to receive an invitation to visit the White House in the wake of their championship season, one of their superstars already has decided he would not participate.

Kevin Durant, the NBA Finals MVP who grew up practically in the shadow of the White House, said he would not visit.

"Nah, I won't do that," Durant told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now."

Bravo for Durant. For speaking up when so many others are silent and, by acknowledging that this is an individual decision, proving he is willing to stand on a personal set of principles.

Visiting his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Md. for “Kevin Durant Day,” the forward didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name but made clear his disdain for the man who currently occupies the White House.

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that," Durant said. "That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Durant is not the first Warrior to publicly express such sentiments. Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have specifically said they would not be willing to make the visit that has become customary for American championship teams. Coach Steve Kerr and veteran forward David West have been vocal in denouncing Trump’s discriminatory rhetoric and boorish behavior.

Uncertain whether an invitation is forthcoming, the Warriors issued a statement in June saying any collective decision regarding a White House visit would be made “when and if necessary.”

Their championship season ended two months ago. Training camp for next season begins next month. There has been no invitation.

Durant’s comments Thursday represent his first that directly address the possibility of visiting the White House. The Warriors, after their 2105 championship, made the visit when Barack Obama was president.

"I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts," he told ESPN. "I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.”

Addressing the division that has infected the national landscape, Durant pointed directly at Trump.

"He's definitely driving it," Durant said. "I feel ever since he's got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it's not a coincidence. When Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.

"So, to see that, and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top -- leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn't care about all people, then we won't go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won't see any progress."

Though not all Warriors have publicly commented on the subject, Durant’s hunch is accurate. This team has a collective conscience. There are causes in which every member believes, and two such causes are equality and inclusiveness.

Those alone are enough to ensure they would not splinter on this issue.