NBA Notes: Warriors, Celtics, Draft

After two years of missing the playoffs, we hadn’t heard much from Warriors owner Joe Lacob lately. But he was back on center stage Thursday, after the Warriors defeated the Celtics in six games to win the seventh title in franchise history — and fourth since 2015.

“They were doubted,” Lacob told reporters of veteran stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. “But these guys are not 40 years old. We believed in that core. Not many teams have a core four. A lot of people say core three. I say core four. We’re spending the money to do that. Then, we supplement and surround that team.

“I know some people thought we could’ve done more, got another star. But who were we going to get? Who was available that would make a difference? We didn’t think there was, and we really wanted these young guys to be developed and learn from these guys. They have learned. We are going to be even better as a result of that in the years going forward.”

This is the Warriors’ first title since Kevin Durant left for the Nets, making the run even that much more impressive. Curry proved that he was the face of the Warriors all along on his way to Finals MVP.

“This one is definitely different because of the three years of baggage we carried coming out of that Game 6 in 2019,” Curry said, via Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “I can say it now, I don’t know how many teams could carry that as long as we have with the expectations of comparing us now to teams of past and make it to the mountaintop again.”

  • Thompson and Green are both eligible for contract extensions, as are Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins, and all should be back with new deals, wrote Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. The only wild card is Thompson, who wasn’t quite as productive as normal after coming off a pair of major leg injuries. But it’s easier to believe he can get closer to his old form than it is to think he won’t be back for the long haul.
  • Less certain are the futures of Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II with the Warriors, Gozlan wrote. Payton in particular could be in line for a larger payday after a strong performance in reserve. That said, the Warriors would likely match an offer for Payton within reason.
  • The Warriors are oddsmakers’ early favorites to win the title again in 2023, wrote ESPN’s David Purdum, with the Celtics and Nets listed as second and third, respectively.


The Celtics are hoping they can learn from their painful Finals loss and take the next step to a championship next year.

“It definitely is tough,” guard Marcus Smart said, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “But it’s definitely one of those things we’ve been through hell to get here, and you take that. You know what I’m saying? We got to use that.

“It’s going to be tough. That’s what I know for myself. I’m viewing it and looking at all the s— we had to get through to get here just to even get to this situation to have an opportunity.”

Celtics coach Ime Udoka also lost in a Finals as an assistant with the Spurs, who fell to the Heat in 2013. But the Spurs bounced back to win it the next year.

“It’s going to hurt. It will hurt for a while. Probably that stuff never goes away,” he said. “I’ve lost one before.

“That was part of the message (to the players). Let it propel us forward, the experience. Growth and progress that we made this season. Obviously, getting to your ultimate goal and fall a few games short is going to hurt. There are a lot of guys in there [that are] very emotional right now.”


  • Twenty prospects have been invited to attend the 2022 NBA Draft, per Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The first 16 are as follows: Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray, Bennedict Mathurin, Dyson Daniels, Shaedon Sharpe, Jalen Duren, AJ Griffin, Johnny Davis, Ousmane Dieng, Jeremy Sochan, Ochai Agbaji, Mark Williams and Malaki Branham.
  • The final four invited, per Givony: TyTy Washington, Tari Eason, Jalen Williams and MarJon Beauchamp. You can check out our full list of draft-eligible players at this link.
  • Also be sure to visit all of our NBA Draft coverage at this link, and check out our first mock draft right here.

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