Pacific Notes: Ayton, Oubre, Warriors, Lakers

The Suns are excited about the progress of Deandre Ayton during their early workouts in Orlando, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The second-year center was dealing with an injured ankle when the shutdown began, but he’s fully healthy now and feels ready to make a greater impact.

“I feel like I’m in my, damn, I don’t know, third or fourth year, and I know what I’m doing now,” Ayton said. “It’s not really me being told what to do. It’s me understanding and finding what’s available and being a playmaker. (Devin Booker) and Coach (Monty Williams) seen it so we just collaborate our differences and make things happen. Whatever is best for the team.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns haven’t given up hope that Kelly Oubre can play in Orlando, Rankin adds in the same story. Oubre has a knee issue and there have been reports that he will opt out of the restart, but general manager James Jones said this week that Oubre may be ready before the season ends. “Kelly’s doing fine,” Williams said Saturday. “He’s rehabbing. He does a little bit of court work, but for the most part, he’s on the side rehabbing and trying to get himself in tip-top (shape). He’s in good shape, but he’s not in the type of game shape that he wants to be in.”
  • Despite their historic five-year run, the Warriors‘ stars still feel like they have something to prove, Damion Lee said this week on the Runnin’ Plays podcast (hat tip to Kerith Burke of NBC Sports). “Steph (Curry) revolutionized the game,” Lee said. “But if you look at him, Klay (Thompson), Draymond (Green), a lot of guys on this team, we’re all guys that have a chip (on our shoulders).” He explained that all three players had doubters when they came into the league.
  • Dwight Howard and Danny Green both missed the Lakers’ practice Saturday for testing-related reasons, tweets Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. Howard was required to take an extra COVID-19 test because he didn’t travel to Orlando with the team, while Green had an error in his last test.
  • Two Kings players who tested positive for the virus have recorded two straight negative tests and have been cleared to join the team, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports. Coach Luke Walton refused to confirm their identities, but Buddy Hield was spotted getting on a plane today, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).
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23 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Ayton, Oubre, Warriors, Lakers

    • Sillivan

      Warriors put the rings on their shoulder
      Other players put the rings in their finger

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The problem is their Big 3 is making way more now than they were five years ago, $100M now compared to just $40M then. They had money left over to spend on good support players to help them, especially on defense. Now they have to rely on players like injury-prone Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole, Marquese Chriss, Damion Lee, and the rest instead of experienced veterans who helped them to win championships.

      • Strike Four

        Chriss is really good now though, he figured out a lot of stuff last year. Definitely an important rotation guy moving forward. Poole has skills but is super raw still.

        The $17M trade exception and the $3M and $2M exceptions they have will bring in a very good borderline star and a couple familiar vets trying to get a ring. If they get the right guys, they could be in line for more titles.

      • 5 straight finals with players like this. Javale McGee minimum salary, David West minimum salary, Leandro Barbosa minimum salary, marreese Speights minimum salary, Shaun Livingston mid-level exception, Zaza pachulia minimum salary, Ian Clark minimum salary. You don’t think they can do it again and find two guys three guys are chasing a ring? I beg to differ.

      • Sillivan

        Starters
        Curry
        Klay
        Green
        Wiggins
        17.2M TE (Gallo?)

        Benches
        Luke Kennard (via Wolves pick?)
        Wiseman or Okongwu
        Looney
        MLE player
        Paschall

        Will trade Wiggins and future picks to save tax?

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          There’s more than just a few problems adding Gallo. You can’t use a trade exception to sign a free agent, it don’t work that way. It might theoretically work in a sign and trade, but that would hard-cap the Warriors although it would be impossible for them to stay below the luxury tax apron (when you receive a player in a sign-and trade you can’t go over the luxury tax apron). Maybe if they found a team that has $30M in cap space they could trade Wiggins there, but even if they are allowed to do that, I highly doubt anyone would go for it.

          • arc89

            Coming from a Houston fan whose team is one the highest payrolls and no flexability your rant is boring. Difference is the warriors have draft picks coming to keep payroll down. Houston window of opportunity is almost closed. Warriors still have that 5 year window open. Draft a young big man staring 5 is set for the next 4 years.

  1. arc89

    NBA has done such a poor job. Insisting on playing out the regular season is a mistake. Just have a tournament like NCAA and call it a season. There is no way they can play that many games without a outbreak happening.

  2. Sillivan

    Kelly Oubre and Luke Kennard have knee issues
    Market price is about 3 years 42 million

  3. Strike Four

    Many still doubt Steph is the #1 best player of all-time…

    Many will be proven wrong, again.

    • When I first read what you wrote I thought it was a little bit far-fetched, even though I’m the biggest Warrior fan in the history of mankind. I sat through Lewis Lloyd Terry teagle Larry Smith Jim Peterson Lester Conner sleepy Floyd and the rest. I remember a washed-up gimpy need Greg Ballard as our starting small forward in 86? 87? I remember our head coach was so boring and so rigid when the starting shooting guard needed a rest the backup shooting guard came in. The starting power forward needed a break the backup power forward came in. There was no creativity with lineups it was first unit and it was second unit.

      But enough rambling, let’s take a look at the resume a little closer:
      5 straight finals appearances, check.
      2 MVP awards, check.
      Pocket full of All NBA teams, check.
      Bunch of All Star appearances, check.
      Exclusive ownership of all-time NBA records, check.

      So just a quickie glance and the resume stands up. Not so far-fetched? Check !!

      • arc89

        I would love to say Curry is #1 but Wilt changed the game because he dominated so much. Each decade is different so saying who is GOAT is impossible. Curry will go down as the greatest shooter of all time. Jordan as the best all round player of all time. Wilt the greatest big man of all time.

      • takeitback

        I’m a huge Steph Curry fan, but I’m not even sure he is top 10 all time.

        Greatest shooter? Absolutely.

        Greatest player? Uhhhh……..Definitely not.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    What NBA records would that be. Best player, really. You must mean best Warrior. Well he has a shot for that. Wilt played six yrs and his numbers are insane. For those six yrs. Warriors have more than a few HOF players lifers with team. But Barry is probably best all time. He avg 35.6 a gm his second yr. Then he jumped to ABA as first superstar and part owner. Warriors made sit out yr. So he sat at 23 yrs old.
    link to sports.jrank.org
    You can read it all. Finally came back to Warriors. Led them to 1st Title in 1975. Barry is one of best scorers in history of gm. And if he had the three point shot. He’d be second all time in scoring. One of best FT shooters of all time. He has 6.3 FTA a gm in his career. No one in top FT shooters even comes close. Curry is a great story and great player. He’s not better than Barry. Not yet …. still got time to do it. Barry played 14 yrs and lost a yr. Barry was a SF who could play SG. Was one of first in not first to do that. If you never saw him. Trust me he could play today and could lead the league in scoring.

    • He holds the NBA record by a long shot for three-pointers made and attempted in a season. I think he holds the top three positions for that.

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Lakers lost Rondo 6-8 weeks with a broken thumb, what a blow. That leaves them without two of their most important backcourt players, both him and Bradley. This makes Caruso the backup PG with the rest of the 2nd unit being Howard, Kuzma, Morris and maybe JR Smith or Waiters.

    • x%sure

      Caruso is dynamic. If the Lakers are lucky they will be stuck with him, then stuck with JR shirtless in the parade for winning a title.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Caruso will be playing in his first career playoff game next month.

  6. TheGoldenStateWarrior30

    The Warriors will return to glory, Chris is an athletic and energetic addition, they still have every all star besides Durant, and they haven’t gotten a chance to all play together which will make a huge difference.

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