Andrew Bogut

Warriors notes: Lacob willing to pay luxury tax, Hellmuth says Bogut could be a poker pro, Festus returns

It’s not that I’ve been ignoring the Warriors since their loss in Chicago, I just haven’t had time to give them their just due on BASG dot com. On Friday I watched them lose in Salt Lake City (or “Saltuh Laykuh Ceetee” as they say in The Book of Mormon) while watching our two-month-old daughter by myself for the first time, so my wife could eat dinner with her family since her sister was in town for the weekend. (hey, don’t laugh … it’s not as easy as it sounds). Once my wife got home, I was on my way to talk about the loss and other football-related subjects on Yahoo SportsTalk Live.

Then I watched Saturday’s game while rocking a sleeping baby, as my wife and sister-in-law were off getting drinks and I was on solo parenting duty once again. By the time they got back, the game was over and I was too tired to write anything. So there you have it — part of me wants to say I earned a ton of brownie points over the weekend, but my wife has watched our daughter by herself while I’ve attended two 49ers games and a few Warriors games, so I’m not even sure if we’re even yet … or if we’ll ever be.

Moving on from DadChat (hey, it could be worse — I could just as easily write about my two fantasy basketball teams) to some assorted Warriors notes.

Joe Lacob told Tim Kawakami that he expects the Warriors to go into the luxury tax for the first time next season.

I don’t think we have any other choice. Numbers would dictate–anyone can look at them–that we’re very likely in the luxury tax and very likely very substantially, next year.

And you know what? We’re OK with that. I tell Bob all the time; he keeps asking me, ‘Are you sure?’ We’re prepared to do whatever it takes to win a championship; I’ve said that before.

You want to do it when the timing is right. Maybe the timing’s right, right? We’re pretty good. And so, I think we need to take advantage of that and go for it.

Our fans, that’s what they want to hear. And the truth is, it’s what I want to hear. And what I want to think. And what our management and ownership… there isn’t one owner that I know of or one person in management here that doesn’t think this way.

Luxury tax? It’s not something you want to do, it’s very penal. But can’t be worried about that right now. That is really not the issue. The issue is being the best team we can be and we’re going to do whatever it takes.

— Lacob also said that he can’t discuss players they want to sign due to tampering rules, but impending restricted free agent Draymond Green was “born to be a Warrior.” As Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders points out, letting teams know they plan to retain Green could be part of an effort to keep teams from putting in crazy bids (good luck … one has to imagine that Detroit is going to throw a ton of money at Green, and they won’t be the only team to do so).

David Lee was photographed watching poker pro Phil Hellmuth play well into the early morning hours back in 2011. TMZ recently asked Hellmuth who he thought was the best athlete he’d played poker against.

You know David Lee from the Golden State Warriors, I played with him last week and he smashed us for $32,000. He’s excellent. Steph Curry’s pretty good at poker, by the way … Klay’s good. Bogut’s really good, too.

When Hellmuth was asked if any of the basketball players were “professional level,” he said, “Probably Bogut.”

— As for the games on Friday and Saturday, it looked fairly simple. When the Warriors defended, they won. When they didn’t feel like rebounding and allowed Gordon Hayward and Trevor Booker to do as they pleased, they lost.

— During Friday’s forgettable affair, it looked like Bogut was still dealing with the effects of the illness that kept him out of the loss to the Bulls. Otherwise, why would he look so lifeless? After all, Enes Kanter said Bogut was “nothing special” at Friday morning’s shootaround.

— Stephen Curry won Western Conference Player of the Month for November. James Harden was the man in December. January’s honor could go to Klay Thompson, who averaged 25.9 ppg on 53.6% shooting (49.1% on threes). There was also a 37-point third quarter that caused somewhat of a stir. Thompson gets some grief for his subpar rebounding numbers (he averaged 3.7 rpg in January), but how many shooting guards go through an entire month averaging at least one steal AND one block per game? Thompson is at 1.2 spg and 0.9 bpg for the season, which makes him very valuable in fantasy hoops (sorry).

— Then again, Curry averaged 23.5 ppg, 9.1 apg, 4.0 rpg and 2.1 spg in January while shooting 48% from the field and keeping his turnovers for the month to under three per game (2.9, but still) for the first time since the 2012-13 season. One could also make a strong case for Zach Randolph.

— Festus Ezeli was recalled from the Santa Cruz Warriors, where he played in two games and averaged 21 mpg, 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 3.0 bpg. James Michael McAdoo was signed to his second 10-day contract after averaging 37.5 ppg and 13 rpg in those same two games at Reno.

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