Draymond Green

Warriors Notes: Curry, Livingston, Cauley-Stein, Cook

Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry is confident he’ll mesh his skills with D’Angelo Russell, who was acquired from the Nets in a sign-and-trade, according to an ESPN report.

“The chemistry will develop quickly. We’ll be really purposeful about that and trying to set the tone for how we’re going to play this year,” Curry said.

He’s also looking forward to being in an underdog role for a change with Kevin Durant signing with Brooklyn and Klay Thompson expected to miss a large chunk of the season.

“I’m excited, to be honest with you,” he said. “Five straight years in the Finals and we’ve accomplished a lot, and three championships. There’s a lot to be proud of. But everybody wants a new challenge in terms of how do you get back to that level.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • The Warriors are likely to offer Shaun Livingston a role in the organization if he opts to retire, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. The veteran guard was waived this week before his $7.7MM salary for next season became fully guaranteed.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein was courted by Curry, Draymond Green and coach Steve Kerr and that made his free agency decision easier, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic relays. Cauley-Stein accepted a salary slightly above the veteran’s minimum in order to join a perennial winner after the Kings rescinded his qualifying offer. “It honestly just came down to situation. I know I had said something about getting paid at the beginning of the year,” he said. “But by the end of it, it was no longer about getting paid. It was about staying secure and building off that security.”
  • Guard Quinn Cook harbors no ill will toward the organization, though he was surprised it pulled his qualifying offer in order to clear cap space, as he told Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News. Cook wound up signing a two-year, $6MM deal with the Lakers. “It was tough for me with how everything went down, but no hard feelings,” Cook said. “We’re family forever and champions forever.”

Free Agent Rumors: Klay, Horford, Brogdon, Jordan

The Warriors have long hinted that they plan to offer Klay Thompson a five-year, maximum-salary deal, and there have been no signals that they’ll change that stance in the wake of Thompson’s torn ACL. So why are there rumblings about Thompson potentially meeting with other teams if the Warriors don’t put that offer on the table right away?

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst, there are some “outstanding issues” that could force Thompson to try to generate some added leverage. Stephen Curry‘s five-year deal with the Warriors didn’t include a fifth-year opt-out or a no-trade clause, setting a precedent for what Golden State’s five-year max deals might look like going forward, as the ESPN duo notes. If Thompson prioritizes a player option or a no-trade clause, talking to the Lakers and/or Clippers may be his best chance to create a little extra leverage with the Warriors.

Elsewhere on the Warriors front, Draymond Green is eligible for a contract extension and is open to discussing a new deal before he reaches free agency in 2020, sources tell ESPN. Those talks are expected to happen later in the offseason, though I’d be surprised if they get something done, since Green could earn more in free agency.

Here’s more from Shelburne and Windhorst on the 2019 free agent class:

  • The Sixers and Kings are among the potential suitors for Al Horford, according to ESPN’s report. Sacramento, in particular, has a clear path to making Horford a big offer, but the club is believed to have other centers – including Brook Lopez and Nikola Vucevic – on its list of potential targets, per ESPN.
  • League executives believe a team may look to pry Malcolm Brogdon away from the Bucks by putting together an offer sheet that starts at a high number and descends in later seasons, according to Shelburne and Windhorst. A player option and various bonuses could also be added to such an offer sheet, the ESPN duo adds, identifying the Bulls, Suns, Mavericks, and Celtics (if they don’t get Kemba Walker) as possible suitors for Brogdon.
  • The Bucks will almost certainly waive George Hill to avoid guaranteeing his $19MM salary, but there’s mutual interest in a new deal between the two sides, especially if the club doesn’t retain Brogdon, according to ESPN.
  • DeAndre Jordan is believed to have interest in playing in Los Angeles again, sources tell ESPN. Either the Clippers or Lakers could be a fit for the veteran center.

Knicks Notes: Free Agency, Fine, Iguodala, Kings Trade

The Knicks are hoping to land at least one of the marquee free agents — Kevin DurantKawhi Leonard or Kyrie Irving — but if they come up short, they won’t eat up their cap space with multi-year contracts, Ian Begley of SNY TV reports. They don’t want to take on a bad contract in order to accumulate more assets. It’s uncertain if they’d trade for a player with a big contract in his walk year.

Instead, they will most likely sign free agents to one-year deals, much like the Lakers did last summer after LeBron James committed to them, in order to retain cap flexibility. The New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy reiterates that sentiment, adding that the Knicks could shift gears and go after Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Draymond Green, Ben Simmons and Pascal Siakam next summer.

We have more on the Knicks:

  • The team was fined $50K by the league for violating rules regarding equal access for media, according to a league press release. The Knicks did not allow Bondy access to their post-draft press conference on Friday while allowing all other credentialed media who cover the team to attend. The organization has agreed to comply with media access rules in the future.
  • Warriors forward Andre Iguodala took a jab at the organization and its pursuit of major free agents, including his teammate Durant, Ethan Sears of the New York Post relays. In an interview with CNBC, Iguodala said, “Nobody’s gonna sign with the Knicks, sorry.”
  • The Knicks gave up $1MM in cash along with the No. 55 pick to the Kings on Thursday, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. New York moved up to the No. 47 spot and chose University of Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis. The Kings selected Virginia’s Kyle Guy.

Western Notes: Cousins, Cook, Valanciunas, OKC

While Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson have been the most-discussed free-agents-to-be on the Warriors‘ roster all season long, a handful of the club’s other players who are headed for the open market are seeing their stocks impacted by what they’re showing in the postseason.

As Marc Berman of The New York Post writes, DeMarcus Cousins is one of those players. When he tore his quad in the first round of the playoffs, he seemed unlikely to return into the fall, raising uncertainty about what sort of offers he could expect in free agency. However, Cousins helped key the Warriors’ Game 2 win on Sunday, and is now in position to take on an even more crucial role with Kevon Looney sidelined for the rest of the NBA Finals. Cousins could be earning himself some extra money with each game he plays this series.

Meanwhile, one of the Warriors’ most reliable contributors off the bench in Game 2 was Quinn Cook, who played 21 minutes and knocked down three big 3-pointers to help hold off the Raptors. After the game, Draymond Green referred to Cook as “our Patty Mills,” adding that the young guard “should be here for a long time” (Twitter link via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated).

The Warriors will have to decide in a few weeks how strongly they agree with Green, as Cook will be up for restricted free agency. Even if Golden State issues a qualifying offer to gain the right of first refusal on Cook, a rival suitor could swoop in with an offer sheet that the Warriors may be reluctant to match, given the luxury-tax implications.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Jonas Valanciunas once again stated this week that the Grizzlies‘ head coaching decision will play a part in his decision on his $17.6MM player option for 2019/20, as Lithuanian reporter Donatas Urbonas relays (via Twitter). “Deeper into the summer, we’ll have a better picture [of] who’s staying and what are the team’s plans,” Valanciunas said. “First, I want to see who’s the head coach. It’s gonna be a huge factor.”
  • With Darko Rajakovic prepared to head to Phoenix, the Thunder will have three openings to fill on Billy Donovan‘s staff, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Mark Bryant and Bob Beyer also accepted jobs with new teams.
  • Brett Dawson of The Athletic explores Patrick Patterson‘s outlook as the Thunder forward prepares to enter a contract year. Despite two up-and-down years in Oklahoma City and the possibility that he’ll be on the trade block, Patterson could be a rotation player if he returns, Dawson writes.
  • The Nuggets worked out six prospects at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday, bringing in Javon Bess (Saint Louis), Kavell Bigby-Williams (LSU), Jordan Davis (Northern Colorado), Justin James (Wyoming), Tanor Ngom (Ryerson), and Josh Reaves (Penn State), per a team release.

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.

NBA Announces 2018/19 All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2018/19 season, with Jazz center Rudy Gobert once again coming in as the leading vote-getter.

Gobert, a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, was listed on 99 of 100 ballots, with 97 of those ballots giving him a First Team vote, for a total of 196 points (two points per First Team vote; one point per Second Team vote). The All-Defensive nod ensures that the big man receives a $500K bonus, which had been considered likely since he was named to an All-Defensive team last season, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Gobert was closely followed by fellow Defensive Player of the Year candidates Paul George (Thunder) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), who received 195 and 193 total points, respectively.

[RELATED: NBA Announces 2018/19 All-Rookie Teams]

Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday secured a $100K bonus by earning a spot on the All-Defensive Second Team, notes Marks (via Twitter). Like Davis, he was an All-Defensive player last season as well, so that bonus had been considered likely — his cap hits for this year or next won’t be impacted by him earning it.

Here are the full voting results for the All-Defensive First and Second Teams, with each player’s point total noted in parentheses:

First Team:

Second Team:

Raptors guard Danny Green actually totaled 66 points, including 19 First Team votes, while Clippers guard Patrick Beverley had 48 points (14 First Team votes). However, All-Defensive teams are determined by position, so they didn’t make the cut because they ranked fifth and sixth in voting among guards.

Pacers center Myles Turner (39 points), Rockets forward P.J. Tucker (38), Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (24), and Spurs guard Derrick White (15) were the other leading vote-getters.

You can find the full voting results right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Rumors: Green, Durant, Bogut

After some early-season struggles, Draymond Green has hit his stride for the Warriors as of late, anchoring the team’s defense and averaging 14.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, and 8.0 APG on 68.4% shooting in his first two games vs. the Rockets. As Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic writes, team owner Joe Lacob was never concerned that Green wouldn’t have an impact during Golden State’s postseason run.

“He’s Draymond Green,” Lacob said. “I wasn’t worried. I want Draymond Green to be here forever. He’s as Warrior as they come.”

Lacob’s assertion that he wants Green to be a Warrior “forever” may be put to the test this offseason. While the former Defensive Player of the Year is under contract for one more year, he’s eligible for an extension this summer, and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports that Green is “gearing up” for those extension talks, having recently hired Rich Paul to represent him.

Green, who signed his current deal in 2015, one year before the NBA’s salary cap spike, has long felt that he’s underpaid, but his “mounting injury history and advancing age” may limit his earning power going forward, Windhorst observes. As such, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of proposal the Warriors are willing to put on the table during the offseason. The team could offer Green a four-year extension that starts in 2020/21 and is worth up to approximately $99.7MM.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Speaking of Green, the NBA has rescinded the technical fouls called against him and Rockets center Nene on Tuesday night, Windhorst reports. That means Green’s postseason technical foul count is back down to three — players who rack up seven technicals during the playoffs receive a one-game suspension.
  • Marcus Thompson’s upcoming book “KD” provides some clues that suggest Kevin Durant may be leaning toward leaving the Warriors this summer, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who obtained an advance copy. As Berman explains, the book portrays Durant as someone who wants to erase the “negative feelings” that his move to Golden State generated and hints that his “final chapter” will happen elsewhere.
  • Whether or not this ends up being Durant’s final playoff run with the Warriors, he certainly appears to be enjoying it so far, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “This is where this sh– is fun, this is when it’s serious and I’m just embracing it,” Durant told Haynes. “I’m just having so much fun right now. This time of year is what I’m geared for. I’m just hooping at a high level and enjoying the competitiveness of the playoffs. You go through such a long season to get to this point, and now it’s time to produce.”
  • Andrew Bogut‘s current stint with the Warriors is happening in the middle of a two-year contract with the Sydney Kings, an unusual arrangement that will see Bogut return to Australia’s NBL next season to complete his deal. Speaking to Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group, NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger explains why he has no problem with that arrangement and could be open to other players doing something similar in the future.

Warriors Notes: Kerr, Durant, Green, Iguodala

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is calling for a change in the rule that imposes an automatic one-game suspension on any player who receives seven technical fouls in the playoffs, relays Tim MacMahon of ESPN. The penalty is significant for the Warriors because Kevin Durant and Draymond Green were among the league leaders in technicals during the regular season.

“I will never understand the rule that everybody falls under the exact same category, in terms of whether you lose in four games in the first round or you play 25 games and you go to the Finals, that it’s the same technical fouls points that lead to a suspension,” Kerr said. “It seems strange. But I do know that Kevin and Draymond have a good feel for when they reach that number. They generally are able to shut that off, shut that emotion off and stay on the floor. That’s going to be important.”

Green and Durant each picked up two T’s in the first-round series with the Clippers. Both of Durant’s came in the opening game, which got him ejected, while another technical in Game 3 was rescinded. Golden State is hoping the league will also rescind a technical foul Green received last night.

“He ran over to [referee David Guthrie] and said, ‘Tell me what I have to do to defend that better,’ and he got a T,” Kerr explained. “I was surprised. We’ll see what happens, but we’ve got to understand that we’ve got to be on alert, because the rules are the rules in terms of the suspensions and all that stuff.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Durant tells Anthony Slater of The Athletic that the key to finishing off the Clippers was to block out distractions. After giving up a 31-point lead in a Game 2 loss, Durant averaged better than 40 PPG for the rest of the series. “There’s a lot of speculation about me, about my attitude, about where I’m playing next season that a lot of these (media) dudes in here are trying to distract us with and then want to blame it on me because it’s easy to blame it on me,” Durant said. “I understand that. We understand that. So for us, we just made it about basketball.”
  • Durant has established himself as the best player in the league and should stay with the Warriors to see how many titles he can win, contends Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.
  • Andre Iguodala‘s value as a playoff defender convinced the Warriors to give him a three-year, $48MM contract when he was a free agent in 2017, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. After Golden State made an original offer of $36MM, Iguodala had discussions with the Spurs, Lakers, Kings and Rockets before owner Joe Lacob approved the larger deal.

Pacific Notes: McGruder, Suns, Iguodala, Green

Clippers forward Rodney McGruder is getting a unique perspective of the playoffs due to his ineligibility to play, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times writes.

McGruder, 27, was claimed by the Clippers after being waived by Miami earlier in the month. Because he was released after March 1, NBA rules prohibit him from playing in the postseason — causing him to participate in practice and watch games from the sidelines.

“They welcomed me like no other,” McGruder said of the Clippers. “They made me feel welcome, and it’s been a great experience just getting to meet the guys and see how everything works around here. It’s basically like a recruiting visit.”

Los Angeles respected the grit and determination McGruder has played with in his short professional career, believing in his ability and bringing him on board.

“You play against people, they leave an impression,” teammate Patrick Beverley said of McGruder. “The impression he left on us is he plays extremely hard.”

The Clippers can extend a qualifying offer to McGruder by June 29 and allow him to enter restricted free agency, though it’s unclear where their plans stand ahead of the offseason.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division today:

  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic examines the Suns’ offseason and potential draft options, noting that several sources around the NBA believe Phoenix may prefer to end up with Ja Morant rather than Zion Williamson. Suns general manager James Jones, according to Vecenie, is enamored with Morant’s playing abilities — coupled with the fact that his team needs a point guard.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr agrees with Andre Iguodala that he could play beyond his current contract, which is set to expire at the end of next season, as relayed by Mark Medina of The Mercury News. “I think he can play beyond this contract, if he really wants,” Kerr said. “He may not want to be. He may just want to go to the golf course and call it a career. But he can keep playing if he wants.” Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, has averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists in a career-low 23.2 minutes per game this season.
  • The playoffs could be a prime chance for Draymond Green to raise his value ahead of potential contract extension talks with the Warriors this summer, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. When asked if he could use the playoffs as an opportunity to boost his value entering any potential negotiations, Green said, “Not at all. No, I can’t negotiate any contract right now, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to stress myself out trying to negotiate it in my head. It makes no sense. It’s a waste of time and energy.”

Warriors Notes: Iguodala, Green, Durant

Andre Iguodala believes he can play past his current contract, which expires at the end of next season, but he’ll only do it if the price is right, relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Iguodala will be 36 years old when his $17.18MM deal is up next summer, and he has no doubts about his ability to remain in the league.

“Yeah I can easily,” he said. “But it’s going to cost you.” Iguodala refused to name a dollar amount, but added, “For whoever wants me to play, I ain’t playing to play. I’m playing to help my guys. It’s got to be worth my time. … Depending on what the salary cap is. What is the team, coach, ownership as well as the stakeholders?”

Coming off a non-invasive procedure on his left leg during the offseason, Iguodala played in 71 games, even though his minutes were limited to a career-low 23.2 per night. A vegan diet has helped to prolong his career, along with weight training, meditation, yoga and icing.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Draymond Green responded to a February request to improve his conditioning by losing 23 pounds, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Green already had a plan in place when GM Bob Myers approached him about the issue. “I knew I wasn’t in good shape,” Green said. “But I also know if anybody knows how to get in shape and get in shape quick, I know how. I’ve been doing it all my life.” He added that a toe injury and a sore knee contributed to his conditioning problems. He took motivation not only from the approaching postseason, but the knowledge that he is eligible for a contract extension this summer and the negative reaction from some Golden State fans after his early-season altercation with Kevin Durant.
  • Technical fouls called against Durant and the Clippers’ JaMychal Green during Game 3 of their series have been rescinded by the league, The Associated Press reports. The news is especially significant for Durant, who picked up two technicals in the series opener and faces an automatic one-game suspension if he reaches seven.
  • Facing a rare 12:30pm (Pacific Time) start tomorrow, the Warriors insist the L.A. nightlife won’t interfere with their preparations for the game, Medina writes in a separate story.