Pacific Notes: Kuminga, Poole, Staples Center, Suns’ Cap

Warriors lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga has a strained patella tendon in his right knee, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Kuminga will be reevaluated in a week, so it’s likely he’ll miss some early-season games. It’s a setback for a rookie forward trying to find his place on a team with postseason aspirations.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • With Klay Thompson still working his way back from the Achilles injury that sidelined him last season, Jordan Poole has seized a starting spot, Slater adds in another tweet. Coach Steve Kerr indicated that Poole has a solid hold on the shooting guard spot until Thompson returns. “For now, he’ll be in that starting spot and he’s playing so well, it’s hard to envision not keeping him there,” Kerr said.
  • A Staples Center spokesperson claims that Los Angeles’ new ordinance mandating that people must be vaccinated to enter a wide range of indoor venues in the city does not apply to the arena, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets. According to the spokesperson, the Staples Center is covered by a previous county health order. Whether or not the new ordinance applies to the arena, it shouldn’t have an impact on the Lakers or Clippers at this point, since both teams are expected to be fully vaccinated when the regular season begins.
  • The Suns are in good shape regarding the luxury tax this season, but that could change next year, John Hollinger of The Athletic notes in his season preview. Phoenix is $8MM below the luxury-tax line and still has the majority of its mid-level exception and an open roster spot at its disposal. But if the team tries to retain Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton and Landry Shamet — all of whom are eligible for rookie scale extensions — it will be difficult to stay below the tax line going forward.
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