Andre Iguodala

Warriors Notes: Looney, Durant, Iguodala

Warriors center Kevon Looney believes he will be able to play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

“They’re comfortable with me going out there as long as I can tolerate the pain,” Looney said (via Mark Medina of The Mercury News). “I feel like I should be able to play in Game 6.”

Looney was originally injured during Game 2 and at the time it was reported that he would be done for the series. He came back in Game 4 and played again in Game 5, but aggravated the fracture near his chest and rib and was unable to return. Looney underwent x-rays following the contest and “everything came back clean,” per the big man.

“They said nothing got worse, but it’s about me dealing with the pain,” Looney said. “I feel confident I should be able to play through it.”

Here’s more from Golden State:

  • Prior to his latest injury, the Warriors were planning to offer Kevin Durant a long-term deal with the understanding that if the former MVP wanted to depart at any point during the contract, Golden State would accommodate that wish, Frank Isola of The Athletic hears. Isola adds that this type of arrangement could still be on the table even if Durant is forced to sit out the entire 2019/20 season.
  • Andre Iguodala has hinted that he doesn’t have many more years left in him, but he’s confident he’ll return to the Warriors next season, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic relays on Twitter“I’ll be here next year for sure, and I’m pretty confident that we’ll have our core back and we’ll try to make another run at it,” Iguodala said.
  • Earlier today, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports relayed that Durant wasn’t “anywhere close” to 100% prior to Game 5. Throughout the process of returning, Durant was experiencing discomfort pushing off his right foot, the scribe added.

Warriors Notes: Cousins, Iguodala, Durant, Williams

DeMarcus Cousins felt like quitting the game after being sidelined by a torn quad in the Warriors‘ first-round series against the Clippers, according to an ESPN story. In an interview today on ESPN’s “The Jump,” Cousins talks about the frustration of suffering another injury so soon after recovering from a torn Achilles.

“I was just ready to quit,” he said. “Like, throw the towel in. … Human nature is the first thing. It’s like, ‘Why? Why me? Why now? What did I do wrong? Why do I deserve this?’ And that’s not always the case. It’s usually [that] it’s repaying you for the next moment. This is you putting your armor on. Slowly but surely. Because your next moment’s gonna be even tougher.”

Cousins’ return to action was gradual, as he played just eight minutes in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But he was a key contributor in Game 2 with 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 28 minutes. The injury-plagued Warriors may need more performances like that to pull out the series.

“I had to dig deep,” Cousins said of the recovery process. “I had to do some soul-searching and, you know, throughout both injuries, it was times where I just — you know, like, ‘Forget it.’ Like, I’ll just take my time with it and whatever happens, happens. … I just couldn’t go out that way.”

There’s more Warriors news as Game 3 approaches:

  • Andre Iguodala addresses the topic of retirement in an interview with Marc Stein of The New York Times about a book from the veteran forward that will be released this month. “I have a good idea how much longer I want to play,” Iguodala said. “I’m keeping it to myself, but it’s going to be soon. I can play four or five more years. But I won’t.” Iguodala, 35, has one more season on his current deal at nearly $17.2MM, so it seems safe to say he’ll at least be back next year.
  • Coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Kevin Durant had good workouts yesterday and today, but hasn’t attempted to play in three-on-three or five-on-five games, tweets Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. Durant will practice tomorrow with some of the team’s younger players in hopes of returning for Friday’s Game 4.
  • Add Golden State to the list of teams that brought in Tennessee’s Grant Williams for a pre-draft workout, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Warriors Rule Out Durant For Game 3, Looney For Series

Speaking today to reporters, including Anthony Slater of The Athletic (all Twitter links), Warriors head coach Steve Kerr provided a handful of health updates on his banged-up squad. Here’s the latest on the injured Warriors, via Kerr:

  • Kevin Durant (calf) has been ruled out for Game 3. He’s said to be “ramping up” his exercise routines and will get on the floor at the practice facility later today for some individual work.
  • Kevon Looney (chest/collarbone) has been ruled out for the rest of the series. We already knew that Looney would be sidelined indefinitely, so this development doesn’t come as a huge surprise.
  • Klay Thompson (hamstring) is questionable for Game 3. He did some light work at shootaround today and wants to play, but the Warriors want to make sure the risk of aggravating the injury isn’t significant.
  • Andre Iguodala (calf) will play in Game 3. The calf injury Iguodala suffered vs. Portland is still bothering him, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell (Twitter link). But he practiced today and will be good to go on Wednesday.

With practically half of their rotation dealing with health issues of some sort, the Warriors may have to lean more heavily on role players like Quinn Cook, Jonas Jerebko, Alfonzo McKinnie, and Andrew Bogut on Wednesday. Of course, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and DeMarcus Cousins will play leading roles.

Any Warrior who misses Game 3 will have a couple days to try to get healthy for Game 4, which is scheduled to take place on Friday night. After Game 4, there will be two full days off in between each of the remaining games, which are scheduled for June 10, 13, and 16, if necessary.

Warriors Notes: Durant, Iguodala, Cousins, Green

Kevin Durant‘s return date remains uncertain, but he’s finding other ways to help the Warriors during their playoff run, writes Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Durant made a brief appearance at today’s practice before undergoing treatment for his strained left calf. He has already been ruled out of Sunday’s Game 2, which will mark the seventh straight contest he will miss because of the injury.

Durant has adopted a greater role behind the scenes and has been vocal during film sessions. He spent time talking with Quinn Cook, Jordan Bell and Damion Lee during today’s workout.

“His presence is becoming more and more evident and becoming more and more normal,” Draymond Green said. “It obviously means a lot. When you’re talking about a guy like Kevin and a talent like that, he comes from a different view. He sees the game from a different perspective. It’s always good to get that perspective and try to incorporate what people are doing.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Andre Iguodala confirmed today that he will be ready for Game 2, relays Steven Loung of Sportsnet. Iguodala had an MRI Friday on his left leg after experiencing pain late in the series opener. He didn’t say how close he feels to 100%, but the Warriors need him to help contain Raptors star Kawhi Leonard. “It’s always difficult going up against top players,” Iguodala said. “You’ve gotta be locked in mentally, physically. It’s just part of the game, though. … If you’re injured or you’ve got pain, you just play through it and just try to help the team win.”
  • DeMarcus Cousins talks to James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area about the rehab process that enabled him to get back on the court six weeks after an apparent season-ending quad injury. “Once I kind of started to the doctors, they gave me a little more knowledge on everything that was going on with injury and the usual timeframe,” Cousins said. “My first week I sat in a hyperbaric chamber for a week straight like two or three hours a day. That was my first week just to speed up the whole process of healing and things of that nature.” Coach Steve Kerr said Cousins didn’t experience any pain after playing eight minutes in Game 1, according to a tweet from Medina.
  • Green had an unlikely dinner companion Friday night, according to Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area. Raptors fan Drake, who had a verbal exchange with Green after Game 1, joined him and Alfonzo McKinnie at a Toronto restaurant.

Pacific Notes: Iguodala, Vucevic, Culver, Jackson

Andre Iguodala underwent an MRI on his left leg on Friday which revealed no structural damage and he is expected to play in Game 2 of the Finals, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. The Warriors swingman experienced left calf tightness in the late going of Game 1, the same injury that caused him to miss a game in the conference finals.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings are interested in Magic free agent center Nikola Vucevic, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 tweets. This reiterates a previous Athletic report in late March that revealed Sacramento’s desire to sign Vucevic.
  • In their first individual workout, the Lakers will bring in Texas Tech shooting guard Jarrett Culver on Saturday as they begin examining Top 10 prospects, according to Joey Ramirez of the team’s website. The Lakers own the No. 4 pick and the 6’5” Culver, the Big 12 Player of the Year, is currently ranked No. 6 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
  • Suns forward Josh Jackson has a minor foot injury, Gina Mizell of The Athletic tweets. Jackson was spotted in a soft cast and on crutches Friday at the arena. GM James Jones told Mizell that Jackson tweaked his foot and that the cast is precautionary.

Warriors Notes: Iguodala, Cook, Finals, Bogut

The Warriors have injury concerns heading into the NBA Finals, but Andre Iguodala doesn’t expect to be among them. The 35-year-old defensive specialist has missed practice the past three days to rest a sore left calf, but he tells Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News that he expects to be ready when the series opens Thursday.

“Just a lot of minutes and overuse. I’m old,” he said. “It just flared up real quick, but we have a good training staff. When you’ve been playing for five long seasons, it’s bound to come up. … My career is almost over, anyway. So I don’t really care.”

Iguodala wasn’t completely serious about the last part, as he has speculated about playing beyond the end of his current contract, which runs through next season. Head coach Steve Kerr has lightened the workload for his veteran forward, who had a non-invasive procedure on his left leg over the summer after being injured during last year’s playoffs.

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • Backup guard Quinn Cook has been able to succeed because he has a coach who understands his situation, Medina writes in a separate story. Kerr played the same role with the Bulls’ title teams in the 1990s and appreciates how difficult it is to stay sharp during long stretches on the bench. “There’s a real trick to maintaining confidence level, conditioning level, your rhythm, your timing through all those times you’re not in the rotation. It’s a very hard job,” Kerr said. “If you can do it you’ve got a place in the league for a long time because coaches really value that.”
  • This will be first NBA Finals with a greater focus on what happens in July rather than June, notes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. No matter who wins, the series will play out against a background of upcoming free agent decisions for the Warriors’ Kevin Durant and the Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard.
  • Andrew Bogut is defending Durant amid negative fan reaction on social media, Medina tweets. “People criticize him for it bothering him,” Bogut said. “You know, he’s a human being just like anyone else, and I think he has a right to put comments forward, and he has a right to sign where he wants as a free agent. The whole point of free agency is the first word is ‘free,’ so if he wants to sign wherever he want to sign, it’s his decision.”

Kevin Durant Addresses Injury, Value To Team

Kevin Durant isn’t sure when he’ll return from his calf injury but he is sure that the Warriors are better with him in the lineup. Durant addressed those topics while meeting the media, including ESPN’s Nick Friedell, on Friday.

Durant noted that while he’s showing steady improvement, the right calf strain he suffered in Game 5 against the Rockets in the conference semifinals still needs time to heal. Durant has not been cleared for on-court work. He’s doubtful to play in Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday.

“I’m just taking it a second at a time,” Durant said. “Every rep we do in the weight room, I just try to focus on that rep and not try to think too far down the line. ‘Cause I don’t really know too much about this injury. I’m leaving it the hands of the team doctors. I trust the direction they’re trying to put me in.”

Durent initially feared he tore his Achilles, the same injury teammate DeMarcus Cousins suffered last season with the Pelicans.

“I pushed off to run down court and I felt somebody trip me up,” Durant said, according to an NBA.com post. “First thing that came to mind, ‘Boogie (Cousins) said, Kobe (Bryant) said…’ that it felt like somebody kicked them (after they tore Achilles tendons). So the first thing in my mind was to slow down and process what happened. Then I started walking, and I could put weight on it, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

The Warriors have won all five playoff games with Durant out of action, prompting many observers to say the team is better off without the impending free agent and more fun to watch. Durant has heard the talk and says it’s not factual.

“I felt like my teammates and the organization know exactly what I’ve done here off and on the court to become a part of this culture, stamp my flag in this culture and this organization. … I know what I bring to the team, but I also know a lot of people on the outside don’t like to see us together, and I get it,” he said.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob has repeatedly said he’ll do whatever it takes to keep the core group together this offseason, including Durant.

Forward Andre Iguodala (calf), who missed Game 4 against Portland, and Cousins (quad), who has been since the opening round, are closer to returning. Both participated in a full team scrimmage on Friday without restrictions on contact or playing time.

MRI Negative On Andre Iguodala’s Left Calf

1:23pm: Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the results of Andre Iguodala’s MRI came back negative. He is questionable for Game 4 in Portland, adds Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

9:02am: The Warriors could have a third member of their rotation sidelined as they try to wrap up a fifth straight Western Conference title, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. Andre Iguodala will have an MRI today on an injured left calf that limited him to 17 minutes last night and caused him to miss the entire fourth quarter.

“He was sore,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters after the Game 3 victory. “Lower leg, just had some soreness. He’s going to get an MRI tomorrow. We didn’t want to risk anything and put him back in the game. So, when we took him out mid-third, trainer said that’ll be it for him. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Iguodala was pulled from the game in the first quarter to have the leg examined. He was able to return for a while before the Warriors decided to sit him for the rest of the night. Iguodala was favoring the leg somewhat after the game, Friedell adds, but didn’t seem worried about the injury

The 35-year-old swingman has started nine of the Warriors’ 15 games this postseason and is averaging 30.2 minutes per night. He is posting a 10.6/4.2/4.1 line and is taking on the toughest defensive matchups. Kerr limited him to a career-low 23.2 minutes per game during the regular season to make sure he was rested heading into the playoffs.

Golden State has a chance to sweep the series with Portland tomorrow, which would create a nine-day window for Iguodala, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins to recover before the start of the NBA Finals.

“We won’t talk about anything other than Game 4,” Kerr said. “What’s after that doesn’t matter, maybe game 5, maybe game 6. So, we just focus on the next game ahead of us. We’ve got some guys banged up, but we’ve done a really good job. I’m really proud of this group for playing through a number of injuries we’ve had. It’s a remarkable group to continue to press and play at this level without so many key guys, so I’m very proud of them.”

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Durant, Iguodala, Cousins

Speculation over Kevin Durant‘s future has been hounding the Warriors for months, but Klay Thompson‘s upcoming free agency is being almost overlooked, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Thompson will also be unrestricted this summer, but he is expected to re-sign with the organization. He has said publicly that he expects a max contract, which would pay him $188MM over five years or $221MM in a super-max deal if he makes an all-NBA team.

“The media, I think, give him a little bit of a break as far as over-speculating and throwing him into the fire because he hasn’t really fueled it — at all,” teammate Andrew Bogut said. “You’ve never heard him say anything bad about wanting to leave here or going to another team or being the No. 1 option. You’ve never even heard that off the record. Some players say the right thing publicly but have different feelings [in private]. He completely wants to be here and he gets it that this is a very rare situation.”

Re-signing Thompson would give the Warriors a measure of stability heading forward, regardless of what happens with Durant. He has been part of the Warriors’ core over the five years that they have been elite and ranks second only to LeBron James in the number of playoff games in that span.

“I think Klay sort of ties it all together in a lot of ways,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “There’s not one person in this organization who would ever question Klay’s agenda or motives.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Knicks fans shouldn’t start the Durant celebration just yet, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who talked to Marcus Thompson II, author of a new book titled, “KD: Kevin Durant’s Relentless Pursuit to Be The Greatest.” Thompson acknowledges that the Knicks will be strong contenders, but he believes Golden State’s chances of keeping Durant have improved.
  • Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have both been cleared to play in tonight’s Game 5, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The Warriors were upset about how Iguodala got hurt at the end of Monday’s game, accusing Chris Paul of intentionally clipping his knee from behind on a rebound, according to Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Livingston has been dealing with a sore left hip.
  • DeMarcus Cousins was jogging and putting up 3-point shots in a workout this afternoon, relays Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Cousins is determined to overcome a quad injury and return to action before the postseason is over.

Warriors Notes: Looney, Durant, Iguodala, Curry

Kevon Looney can expect salary offers in the $3-$5MM range when he becomes a free agent this summer, according to sources who spoke to Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. Looney became the Warriors‘ most reliable center in his fourth NBA season, averaging career highs with 6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 80 games.

Golden State has the league’s highest payroll, but Looney may have made himself too valuable to part with, Strauss adds. He’s only 23 and could be the starting center of the future, considering the uncertainty surrounding DeMarcus Cousins. Looney has expressed a desire to play in the Chase Center when it opens next season, and there won’t be any cap-related roadblocks because the team owns his Bird Rights.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Kevin Durant has a major free agency decision to make in less than two months, but it’s not distracting him during the playoffs, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Durant has been on a scoring tear through the first two rounds of the postseason as he tries to lead the Warriors to their third straight championship since he arrived. “It’s just fun being out there,” he said when asked about playoff pressure. “What’s the worst that can happen to either team? We both lose and we got another game. One team loses, we play another game. I think once everybody looks at it in more of a wider view of things, I don’t think it’s that much pressure.”
  • There were concerns that Andre Iguodala might have been overpaid when he signed his current contract, but the Warriors are happy to have him for $16MM this season and $17.18MM next year, relays Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Iguodala averaged 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 68 games this season, career lows in both categories, but the team considers him to be invaluable in the playoffs. “Are we overpaying statistically? Probably,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Are we overpaying in terms of his value on winning a championship? Hell, no. Can you imagine us without him? No. He’s been worth every penny and more.”
  • Not much has gone wrong for the Warriors so far in the conference semifinals, but Stephen Curry‘s foul problems have been a concern, notes Martin Rogers of USA Today. Curry has gotten into early foul trouble in the first two games, finishing with five each time, which affects Kerr’s planned rotations.