As deadline looms, Kerr says Dubs' current group can be 'special'

ByKendra Andrews ESPN logo
Thursday, February 8, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- Just under 24 hours ahead of the NBA's trade deadline, the Golden State Warriors put together their second-largest victory of the season -- a 127-104 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Andrew Wiggins had 21 points and 10 rebounds, his second 20-and-10 game of the season. Klay Thompson rebounded from a poor game two nights before to finish with 18 points, as did Jonathan Kuminga.

It all seemingly backed up what Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said before the game tipped off.

"If we don't do anything tomorrow, I feel like we've got a good group that we can push through with," Kerr said.

Kerr and his players said they believe they can keep building with what they have, even if their group looks exactly the same after the deadline.

"The guys who are here, they are an incredibly accomplished group," Kerr said. "We've got some exciting young players and we've got a good group. Every guy on our team has really overcome a lot, individually, this year. Taken out of the starting lineup, to injuries, young players have emerged through hard work and patience, and I enjoy coaching this team. It is a long haul, but I feel like this team could be something special."

As the trade deadline looms, the biggest question within the organization has been: Is there a player who could help Golden State turn its 23-25 season around better and faster than the players they already have?

"You see Steph Curry, you see Draymond [Green], go home and check our playoff record of our trio. We are champions. I believe [in us]," Thompson said. "I will always believe we can always make a run, especially when we are all suited up."

The trio of Curry, Green and Thompson is often used as the explanation -- both from Golden State and other teams around the league -- as to why you can never count out the Warriors.

But for the first time in his career, Thompson has found his name in trade rumors as he has navigated a rocky first half of the season. Heading into Wednesday's game, Thompson had lost his closing position for the previous two games to a rookie and Gui Santos, who was signed to the 15th roster spot.

"I don't partake in NBA discourse," Thompson said. "I think it's such a waste of energy. At the end of the day, whether I'm wearing a Dubs uniform or another uniform, I'm going to be myself. I'm going to be KT."

It's unlikely the Warriors will actually move Thompson at the deadline. But is it his preference to stay with the Warriors -- even beyond this season as a new contract is still in limbo and free agency looms this summer?

"That is correct," Thompson said.

The same answer was given from Wiggins, who has also been linked to trade rumors ahead of the deadline. He wants to stay with the Warriors.

"I love it here," Wiggins said. "The organization, the coaches, all of my teammates."

Wiggins is averaging just 12.1 points this season after scoring over 17 points per game for the past two years. During the Warriors' title run in 2022, he was the team's second-most-reliable scorer.

Wednesday, Wiggins notched just his second 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season.

The Warriors swear they've seen improvement from Wiggins, most noticeably since Draymond Green returned from his indefinite suspension on Jan. 15.

The team as a whole has gotten better since getting Green back. Golden State has won four of its past five games -- and the loss came in double overtime against the Atlanta Hawks, wasting Curry's 60-point performance.

"I feel like we've been finding something good and it's been working for us," Wiggins said. "As long everyone buys into what we've got going on and always makes it about the team, we'll be good."

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