It’s safe to say at this point that the Warriors’ “two timeline” approach that first began during the 2020-21 season has been a failure. After three seasons, No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman was traded, Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga are the subject of trade rumors after disappointing seasons and Moses Moody wasn’t able to crack Golden State’s rotation until the playoffs, more out of desperation than anything.
Yes all of those players are still young, but the Warriors’ core is not. They were supposed to be good enough to keep the dynasty going by now, and that ship sailed with this season’s second-round exit.
With that in mind, it was not surprising at all to hear Warriors head coach Steve Kerr call for a minor-league system in the NBA during his hit with Tolbert & Copes on Tuesday.
“That’s actually what I think should happen in the NBA given the age of most of these guys coming in, we really should have a system like Major League Baseball,” Kerr said on KNBR. “You get drafted, maybe you get a big signing bonus, and then you go to the G League for two years. Baseball players need 1,000 at-bats or whatever it is where they’re ready to hit big league pitching. It’s the exact same concept, only in the NBA we throw them out there and they’re on the payroll at a huge number.
“I think we need to shift our thinking in terms of how the league is operating.”
Of course the NBA has the G League, but it is quite rare that relatively high draft picks spend a significant amount of time there. If you read between the lines here, it’s clear that Kerr is frustrated with the lack of development of his young players, and the difficulty of the current system requiring that they get up to speed and contribute right away.
Frankly, a MLB-esque minor league seems like a pipe dream, so the Warriors’ only path forward is to develop these players quickly or cut bait and roll with veterans for as long as possible.
Listen to the full interview above. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Catch Tolbert & Copes weekdays from 2 – 6 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.