Draymond Green

Warriors Notes: Thompson, DVEs, Curry, Crawford

Klay Thompson was recently asked on The Athletic’s podcast about whether he’d be willing to accept any sort of discount to remain with the Warriors on his next contract, and the veteran sharpshooter suggested he’d be open to it. As Tim Kawakami of The Athletic notes, it’s not a surprise that Thompson would be willing to entertain a somewhat team-friendly deal, since he’s not inclined to be the player who blows up a potential Warriors dynasty.

Thompson’s free agency is still two years away, so it’s not like a decision is required of him right away, but for their part, the Warriors are appreciative of his sentiment, says Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News.

“Our guys know how special this era is. I think that’s the main thing Klay is trying to express,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “This is a pretty special era. We know this isn’t going to last for a long time. We’d like to be part of it and also know how special it is to be a part of it. That means more than money. That doesn’t mean you’re going to give up everything. But you do what you can to make a living and make the best living you can and best life that you can. Whatever balance that is, that’s what guys are going to do.”

Here’s more from out of the Bay Area:

  • Danny Leroux of The Athletic explains how the Designated Veteran Extension rule – which gives players an early shot at the full 35% max – could have an impact on Thompson and Draymond Green. Teams are limited to two DVEs on their roster, and Stephen Curry already has one of the two for Golden State. Still, Kevin Durant won’t require a DVE because he already has 10 years worth of NBA experience, and I’d be surprised if both Thompson and Green prove worthy of that significant an offer down the road. I wouldn’t expect it to become an issue for the Dubs.
  • As the Warriors prepared for the offseason in the spring, owner Joe Lacob was considering offering Curry a contract worth less than the max in free agency, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. GM Bob Myers kept Lacob from bringing that reduced offer to the negotiating table, according to Thompson, and Curry ultimately ended up with a five-year max deal.
  • Speaking on Wednesday to reporters, including Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), Jamal Crawford confirmed that he received some early interest from the Warriors when he reached the free agent market this offseason. However, it didn’t go anywhere.

Pacific Notes: Bogdanovic, Reed, Bell

The Kings made 2014 draft-and-stash prospect Bogdan Bogdanovic the highest paid rookie in NBA history this summer and now will look to incorporate him into their core, James Ham of NBC Sports writes.

The 25-year-old shooting guard recently helped guide the Serbian national team to a silver medal at EuroBasket 2017 showcasing the perimeter skillset that he’ll be bringing with him to the Kings next month.

Bogdanovic will earn $9.5MM this season and $27MM over the course of his three-year deal. That’s twice the amount of money fifth overall pick De’Aaron Fox will make with the Kings this season.

While it’s possible Bogdanovic sees time at the three, his natural position will be at the two, where he’ll compete with Buddy Hield for opportunities to lead the Kings’ offense. Expect him to struggle slightly on the defensive end, Ham writes, but to make a case for himself as a prolific deep threat early on.

It’s possible that Bogdanovic either slides into the Kings’ starting lineup or serves as one of the club’s key reserves off the bench.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

Green Named Defensive Player of Year

Warriors forward Draymond Green was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, as was announced during the TNT awards show Monday night.

Green led the league in steals at 2.03 per game and was 12th in blocks at 1.4 per game. He topped the other two finalists, Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi LeonardLeonard won the award the past two seasons.

Green, Gobert Headline 2016/17 NBA All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2016/17 season, and Defensive Player of the Year finalists Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert, and Kawhi Leonard all earned a place on the First Team. Green led the way with 99 First Team votes, while Gobert received 97 votes for a spot on the First Team.

Here are the full rosters for the NBA’s All-Defensive teams:

First Team:

Second Team:

Avery Bradley (Celtics), Klay Thompson (Warriors), and John Wall (Wizards) were among the other players receiving votes who just missed out on an All-Defensive spot.

As Bobby Marks of The Vertical observes (via Twitter), Gobert’s cap hit for the 2017/18 season will now increase by $500K to $21.9MM based on his spot on the All-Defensive First Team.

Pacific Notes: West, $90K Tickets, Green

While it hasn’t gained the media traction that the Lakers‘ upcoming No. 2 pick or Chris Paul‘s pending free agency have, the fact that Jerry West, a purple and gold legend, could leave his post with Golden State to join not the Lakers but the Clippers would shake the L.A. basketball landscape, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times writes.

Having beaten the Lakers in 18 of their past 20 meetings, the Clippers are officially on top of the intercity rivalry. Poaching West from Golden State would only add to the growing divide between the two franchises.

Sometimes I thought in my life that maybe that [rejoining the Lakers] might be something that I can revisit, or they would want me to revisit, but that didn’t happen,” West said recently. “It kind of sent me a message that they wanted to go elsewhere, which was fine.

While West hasn’t worked with the Lakers in an official capacity for 17 years, he’s still synonymous with the franchise. The fact that he’s intrigued by the possibility of joining Steve Ballmer and the Clippers is symbolic of the changing times.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • A pair of tickets for Game 5 of the NBA Finals has sold for $90K, Darren Rovell of ESPN writes. The Warriors and Cavaliers will tip off in the Bay Area tomorrow. The price point, however, falls just shy of last year’s finale, when two seats to Game 7 went for $99K.
  • Confusion arose in Game 4 of the NBA Finals when officials appeared to retroactively change the recipient of a technical foul. Adi Joseph of USA Today compiled an oral history of the incident. Officials say that the technical foul had always been awarded to Warriors coach Steve Kerr and that there had simply been a miscommunication.
  • Never one to shy away from controversy, Warriors forward Draymond Green riled the feathers of Cavaliers fans after Game 4. In the same Joseph article Green is quoted as saying “I really don’t pay much attention to anyone in Cleveland, honestly. They don’t seem to be the sharpest people around.

Community Shootaround: Draymond Green

The Cavaliers and Warriors are in the middle of a competitive Game 4 with the NBA title hanging in the balance (for one of them). If Cleveland can’t eke out a victory by the end of the night, they’ll be on the losing end of Golden State’s historic 16-0 playoff run and the offseason will have officially begun.

Such an impressive run, just one season removed from their historic 73-win 2015/16 campaign would put the already legendary Warriors club in even more impressive territory.

This isn’t a post about the Warriors winning the 2017 NBA title, however, as we at Hoops Rumors remain dutifully impartial and simply hopeful that the series will continue and hoops fans the world over get several more games of NBA action.

This is a post about last year.

Earlier this week, notoriously emotional Draymond Green told Zach Lowe of ESPN that he believes his suspension in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals cost his team the title. Green, of course, was sidelined after an incident in which he appeared to take a swipe at LeBron James‘ groin.

Whether or not you agree that the suspension was warranted, the question we’d like to propose is whether or not you think having Green in the lineup for Game 5 last year would have changed the outcome of the best-of-seven series.

If the Dubs had pulled off the 2016 title, they’d be within a game from a threepeat here tonight, which comes with its own place among the league’s greatest dynasties.

The question is, if Golden State were reigning two-time defending champions, would they be perceived any different than they are? Would Kevin Durant still have signed? Would James’ legacy be impacted?

It’ll be a long 15 minutes as we await the third quarter of this fourth game of the 2017 NBA Finals, so join us on a hypothetical journey back to last year.

NBA Reveals Award Finalists

The NBA is in the process of revealing its finalists for each of the major year-end awards on TNT, the winners of which will be announced at the official award show on June 26.

Below is an ongoing list that we’ll update as the NBA on TNT crew reveals more.

Most Improved Player of the Year
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Rudy Gobert
Nikola Jokic

Hoops Rumors Analysis: MIP

Sixth Man of the Year
Eric Gordon
Andre Iguodala
Lou Williams

Hoops Rumors Analysis: Sixth Man

Rookie of the Year
Malcolm Brogdon
Joel Embiid
Dario Saric

Hoops Rumors Analysis: ROY

Coach of the Year
Mike D’Antoni
Gregg Popovich
Erik Spoelstra

Hoops Rumors Analysis: COTY

Defensive Player of the Year
Rudy Gobert
Draymond Green
Kawhi Leonard

Hoops Rumors Analysis: DPOY

Most Valuable Player of the Year
James Harden
Kawhi Leonard
Russell Westbrook

Hoops Rumors Analysis: MVP

No Paul George, Gordon Hayward On All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2016/17 season, and neither Paul George nor Gordon Hayward is among the 15 players honored. That’s big news for both players and their teams, since they’ll be ineligible for the Designated Veteran Extension, reducing the amount of money the Pacers and Jazz – respectively – could offer their star forwards in contract extensions this offseason.

Here are this year’s All-NBA teams:

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Based on this year’s All-NBA voting results, Wall is now eligible to sign a Designated Veteran Extension this summer, while Leonard is eligible to sign one next summer. Harden, Westbrook, and Curry are also eligible to sign DVEs this summer, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes (via Twitter).

Those Designated Veteran Extensions – which are dependent on a player making an All-NBA team in the year before he signs an extension, or in two of the previous three years – apply to players finishing up their rookie scale extensions. They allow a player re-signing with his own team to earn up to 35% of the salary cap, rather than just 30%. So, if we assume a $101MM salary cap for 2017/18, a player like Curry could sign a new Warriors contract with a starting salary of $35.35MM, instead of $30.3MM.

The Pacers and Jazz will still be able to offer George and Hayward larger and longer contracts than any other team, but the advantage won’t be as significant as it would have been if those players had earned All-NBA spots. Teams can offer their own Bird-rights free agents up to five years (instead of four) and 8% raises (instead of 5%).

Hayward figures to opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer, while George is expected to reach free agency in 2018. George could still become eligible for the DVE in ’18 if the Pacers hang onto him through next season and he earns All-NBA honors a year from now. However, there’s no guarantee that Indiana will be willing to take that risk.

As for the rest of the All-NBA votes, there weren’t any major surprises, particularly on the first two teams. Perhaps the biggest surprise, in a year which was dominated by four clear-cut MVP candidates, is that Harden was the only player who received 100 out of 100 possible First Team votes. Westbrook and James received 99 apiece, while Leonard received 96.

Note: Hoops Rumors readers voted last month on All-NBA teams, and our squads looked awfully close to the official ones, with a couple notable exceptions. You can check out the results of our voting right here.

Details On Warriors’ Recruitment Of Kevin Durant

When Kevin Durant spurned the Thunder to come to the Warriors, many assumed it was in part, because he had formed a friendship with Stephen Curry during Team USA competition. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case, as Draymond Green was the catalyst for the 2013/14 MVP’s arrival, Ethan Sherwood Strauss writes in his last article for ESPN.

Owner Joe Lacob reportedly told friends and ex-colleagues about Green’s efforts during a speech at his old venture capital firm. “Draymond Green started off hard sell, and he was great,” Lacob said of Green’s pitch to Durant. “He gave the heavy pitch, which no one else there would have done, except for me, because I’m basically the Draymond Green of the business side.”

Strauss adds that Lacob is a huge advocate of Green and while the owner doesn’t regularly visit the locker room, if he does, chances are it’s to congratulate Green.

Sources tell Strauss that the Warriors had to approach Curry and ask him to join the recruitment efforts in free agency last summer. Curry obliged and he reportedly sent a text to Durant explaining how it didn’t matter who the face of the franchise was going to be and it certainly didn’t matter who sold more shoes. Curry has a deal with Under Armour, while Nike has Durant.

Curry’s been exceptionally adaptable during Durant’s first year with the squad. He didn’t take exception when Nike sent the entire team a pair of Durant’s kicks, which is why you’ll find more Golden State players wearing Nikes than UAs. Strauss notes that Curry doesn’t get recognition from ownership, citing Lacob’s previous “It’s not just Steph Curry” comment as well as Curry’s absence from the organization’s ground-breaking ceremony. Both the Warriors and Curry insist the point guard wasn’t there because of a scheduling conflict. However, it’s worth noting that Lacob thanked a list of people, including Kevin Durant, but left out Curry— who’s below market contract was paramount to the franchise’s ability to construct its super team.

Curry may not have quarterbacked the Durant pitch, but Strauss contends that his off the court actions were critical to team’s success over the past year. Green was the most aggressive in the recruitment efforts, but Curry’s acceptance of a marginalized role facilitated the making of a juggernaut.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Divac, Clippers

The Lakers would be making a terrible mistake by targeting Pacers forward Paul George as their much needed superstar, Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News writes.

George, the “anti-Magic,” has shown poor leadership and a tendency to alienate teammates, Lawrence says. Those aren’t characteristics typically paired with a young team like the Lakers.

In the same piece, Lawrence goes on to add that a better fit for George may be Boston because the Celtics, unlike the Lakers, boast the strong-willed vets to withstand George’s occasional negativity.

Should the Lakers continue to pursue the swingman, however, they’ll need ensure that their point guard is mentally strong enough to deal with the vocal superstar.

  • After a tumultuous first few seasons at the helm, Vlade Divac has been given an opportunity to manage a stable Kings franchise, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee writes. “I knew the staff I wanted to put together. There was always so much (drama) going on ever since I got here, it took up a lot of my time,” Divac said. “Finally I have been able to find people who believe in what we are trying to do and who I am very comfortable with.
  • The Clippers have every intention of competing for a title even with the injured Blake Griffin on the sidelines, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. “It’s not the best thing that could have ever happened to us,” teammate Chris Paul said, “but it’s not the end of the world. We still are going to go out there. We know we got a job to do. We got a big game (Sunday), Game 4, and we go out there expecting to win.”
  • Could a candid conversation on Jimmy Kimmel be considered tampering? USA Today’s Alysha Tsuji wrote about how Lakers executive Magic Johnson may have tampered while commenting specifically about not tampering.
  • Count Gary Payton (Sr.) among the crowd who thinks Warriors forward Draymond Green should be this season’s Defensive Player of the Year, an Associated Press report outlines. The Glove also speaks highly of Kawhi Leonard as a legitimate candidate.
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