Pacific Notes: Baldwin, Thompson, Russell, Okpala

Warriors rookie forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. is getting some playing time and coach Steve Kerr sees a bright future for the first round pick, C.J. Holmes of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.

“When I watch Patrick I see a future rotation player,” the Warriors coach said. “He fits. You can see it. He makes shots from the perimeter with ease. He shoots it from such a level of extension that you can barely challenge the shot.”

Baldwin contributed 11 points in 10 minutes for the Warriors against the Lakers on Thursday and 11 more points in 16 minutes against Houston on Friday.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Klay Thompson has four rings and a contract that runs through next season. The Warriors shooting guard says he’s still hungry at this stage of his career, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make 12 three-pointers in multiple games in a season while scoring 42 points against Houston. “I did something that no one else has ever done before,” Thompson said. “I looked at (Stephen Curry) immediately when I did it because, I mean, that man’s got all the records, so it’s fun to push the game forward with him. I’m still so hungry to be great. I’ll never be satisfied.”
  • Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell went through pregame warmups but was ultimately ruled out of the team’s game against Dallas, according to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register (Twitter links). Acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline, Russell suffered a sprained right ankle against Golden State on Thursday.
  • The Kings still believe KZ Okpala can be a defensive factor in his NBA career, but chose to waive him after determining that he needed knee surgery, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports in a subscriber-only story. Okpala, who appeared in 35 games after signing as a free agent, has been sidelined with bilateral knee soreness and is now expected to undergo season-ending surgery. The team consulted with multiple medical professionals to evaluate Okpala’s injury, Anderson adds.
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