Warriors Rumors

Kerr: Klay Thompson “Unlikely” To Play This Season

The Warriors have ruled out sharpshooter Klay Thompson until at least the All-Star break as he recovers from a torn ACL, and head coach Steve Kerr doesn’t sound like he’s counting on Thompson to return at that point. Speaking to Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area, Kerr said it’s “unlikely” that Thompson will play this season.

“You have to look at it realistically,” Kerr said. “I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it’s a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season.

“We’ve kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. … April versus nine months post-op for an ACL.”

Thompson’s recovery timeline could hinge in part on how the Warriors perform this season. If the team is in position to qualify for the postseason and Thompson makes good progress in his rehab, it’s easy to imagine him pushing to make it back by season’s end to participate in the playoffs. However, Kerr makes it clear that the Dubs will play it safe with their newly-extended star, preparing for the possibility that he won’t be back until 2020/21.

“We have to prepare our young guys to fill that role behind him,” Kerr said. “And when he gets back, whenever that is, hopefully these young guys now are developed and in the rotation and ready to really be contributors on a playoff team and we can get better.”

Kristaps Porzingis was the last NBA star to suffer a torn ACL. While every player’s body is different and the Knicks and Mavericks likely treated Porzingis’ 7’3″ frame with an abundance of caution during his rehab process, it’s worth noting that the big man sat out the entire 2018/19 season after tearing his ACL in early February 2018.

As Murdock points out, Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker were able to return a little earlier after suffering torn ACLs, but they were still out for 11 months and a year, respectively. An 11-month recovery timetable would sideline Thompson until mid-May, and Golden State’s season may well be over by that point.

Cavs Claim Alfonzo McKinnie Off Waivers

6:01pm: The claim is official, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

4:13pm: As expected, forward Alfonzo McKinnie didn’t make it through waivers after being cut by the Warriors on Saturday. The Cavaliers, who had second priority in the NBA’s waiver order, have claimed McKinnie, a league source tells Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).

McKinnie, 27, emerged as a rotation player for Golden State last season, averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG with a .487/.356/.563 shooting line in 72 regular season games (13.9 MPG). He also appeared in 22 playoff games for the club.

However, the Warriors were facing a roster crunch this fall due to their hard cap, and had to choose between keeping either McKinnie or Marquese Chriss. The Dubs opted for Chriss, forcing them to waive McKinnie, since he wasn’t eligible to have his contract converted into a two-way deal.

McKinnie’s minimum salary for the 2019/20 season will remain non-guaranteed until January, so the Cavs have the flexibility to audition him for the next couple months before making a decision on whether to fully guarantee his salary.

Cleveland had only been carrying 13 players on standard contracts, so no corresponding move was necessary to make room for McKinnie. The team is now approximately $1.3MM below the tax line, tweets cap expert Albert Nahmad.

Western Notes: Russell, Wiggins, Gasol, Mann

New Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell is soaking up as much knowledge as possible from Stephen Curry, with the duo expected to form one of the league’s most elite backcourts this season as Klay Thompson continues to rehab from a torn ACL, Mark Medina of USA Today writes.

“I’m doing a lot of spectating,” Russell said, according to Medina. “I’m just seeing what I can learn from him from a distance. Then, I can come up with the correct questions and the correct demeanor on what I’m trying to learn versus nagging him about stuff.”

Russell, an NBA All-Star last season in his own right, has continued to expand his game and improve since being drafted second overall by the Lakers in 2015.

Russell was acquired by the Warriors in a sign-and-trade involving Kevin Durant this offseason, coming off a campaign in which he averaged 21.1 points, seven assists and 1.2 steals in 81 games. That campaign would land him a four-year deal in excess of $117MM.

“He’s always asking the right questions. He’s eager to learn and grow,” Curry said. “It’s nice to see a guy get paid in the summer and is still hungry to get better.”

Here are some other notes from the Western Conference tonight:

  • A happier version of Andrew Wiggins could lead to a different player for the Timberwolves this season, Chris Hine of the Star Tribune writes. “I would say I’m enjoying it more than I did last year,” Wiggins said. “Last year it was kind of on the rough side. But the joy has always been there. I’ve never been on the court not wanting to play.”
  • Blazers center Pau Gasol (left foot rehab) won’t be ready to play in the team’s season opener, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Portland will kick off the season by hosting Denver on Wednesday night.
  • Clippers rookie Terance Mann has continued to evolve as a point guard, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times writes. “It’s like a dream come true to learn from a guy like him [Doc Rivers], helping me with this point guard position,” Mann said. “So it’s a lot of fun.”

Warriors Waive Cunningham, Zeisloft

The Warriors have waived Jared Cunningham and Nick Zeisloft and confirmed the release of Alfonzo McKinnie (Twitter link).

Cunningham and Zeisloft both signed with the team earlier today, so expect them to be headed to the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.

Cunningham is trying to work his way back into the league after spending the past three seasons in China, Germany and Italy. The 28-year-old shooting guard appeared in a combined 84 games during brief stays with the Mavericks, Hawks, Kings, Clippers, Cavaliers and Bucks. Zeisloft is a 26-year-old guard who has spent time in the G League and in Europe.

Warriors Waive Alfonzo McKinnie

OCTOBER 19: The Warriors have now officially waived McKinnie, a source tells Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll be on waivers until Monday at 5:00pm eastern time and could be claimed by any team. However, a club would need an open roster spot to make a claim, and McKinnie’s contract can’t be converted into a two-way deal.

OCTOBER 18: The Warriors are waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who notes (via Twitter) that the move will clear the way for Marquese Chriss to earn a spot on the team’s regular season roster.

McKinnie, 27, emerged as a rotation player for Golden State last season, averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG with a .487/.356/.563 shooting line in 72 regular season games (13.9 MPG). He also appeared in 22 playoff games for the club.

Because the Warriors are right up against a hard cap, the team can only carry 14 players on its roster to start the regular season. Golden State has 13 players on guaranteed salaries.

McKinnie – who has a non-guaranteed contract – was widely considered the favorite to claim the 14th and final spot. However, an impressive training camp and preseason by Chriss, a former lottery pick, forced the Warriors’ hand.

Chriss is technically eligible to sign a two-way deal, but because his non-guaranteed contract didn’t feature an Exhibit 10 clause, it can’t be converted into a two-way contract, so the Dubs would’ve had to put him through waivers for that to be a possibility. Instead, they’ll just keep him on their standard roster, releasing McKinnie instead.

The NBA’s waiver order is currently based on 2018/19 records, with last year’s worst teams at the top of the priority list. Any team can place a claim for McKinnie using the minimum salary exception.

Warriors Sign Two Players, Release Three

The Warriors have officially waived guard Andrew Harrison, guard Juan Toscano-Anderson, and center Kavion Pippen, according to a press release issued by the club. All three players were on non-guaranteed contracts.

Of the three players, only Harrison has NBA experience. The former second-round pick has appeared in a total of 145 regular season games for the Grizzlies, Cavaliers, and Pelicans since 2016. It’s not clear what the next step will be for him, but Toscano-Anderson and Pippen are likely to join the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s G League team.

Meanwhile, the Warriors put out another press release announcing that they’ve added two new players to their roster, having signed former first-round pick Jared Cunningham and former Indiana standout Nick Zeisloft. Both players are guards.

Cunningham and Zeisloft won’t last long on Golden State’s roster — I expect them to be waived shortly and to eventually land in Santa Cruz.

Glenn Robinson III To Start At Small Forward

Warriors Notes: Curry, Looney, Chriss, Hard Cap

Stephen Curry hasn’t given up on the championship dream with the Warriors this season despite the loss of Kevin Durant and long-term injury to Klay Thompson, as he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

“A championship is still the goal,” Curry said. “It’s always been. We’ve experienced it all and we’re going to keep pushing to get back there. That’s the goal. It’s the North Star. The narrative might have changed internally, but we’re still chasing the same goal.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Frontcourt injuries have made for a difficult preseason, Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes. The Warriors have gone most of the preseason without Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney and their absences have shown in preseason losses to the Lakers. “We need to get healthy,” coach Steve Kerr said. “You have to have rim protection in this league.” Kerr is hopeful that Looney, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury, can return for the season opener, Slater tweets.
  • The team is now technically $375K under the hard cap after deciding to waive Alfonzo McKinnie and retaining Marquese Chriss, salary cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. However, since Chriss’ contract doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 10th, the Warriors are essentially $2MM below the hard cap with Chriss’ deal counting $9,485 daily until that deadline, Nahmad adds.
  • Draymond Green ripped the Suns’ organization for mishandling Chriss during his time there, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Chriss was the eighth overall pick in 2016 but lasted just two seasons in Phoenix. “No one ever blames these (lousy) franchises. They always want to blame the kid. It’s not always the kid’s fault,” Green said.

Chriss Moving Close To Securing Roster Spot

  • Charania provides updates on a pair of roster battles, writing that Javonte Green is the favorite to become the Celtics‘ 15th man over Max Strus, while Marquese Chriss is “moving closer” to claiming a regular season roster spot with the Warriors.

    [SOURCE LINK]

2019/20 Over/Unders: Pacific Division

The 2019/20 NBA regular season will get underway in just eight days, which means it’s time to get serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the Atlantic, Northwest, and Central, we’re moving onto the Pacific today…


Los Angeles Clippers

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Clippers poll.


Los Angeles Lakers

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Lakers poll.


Golden State Warriors

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Warriors poll.


Sacramento Kings

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Kings poll.


Phoenix Suns

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Suns poll.


Previous voting results:

Atlantic:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Over (54.9%)
  • Boston Celtics (49.5 wins): Under (57.0%)
  • Toronto Raptors (46.5 wins): Under (59.1%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (43.5 wins): Over (58.3%)
  • New York Knicks (27.5 wins): Under (54.9%)

Northwest:

  • Denver Nuggets (53.5 wins): Over (51.8%)
  • Utah Jazz (53.5 wins): Under (50.8%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (46.5 wins): Over (78.7%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (35.5 wins): Under (57.5%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (32.5 wins): Under (55.1%)

Central:

  • Milwaukee Bucks (57.5 wins): Over (63.5%)
  • Indiana Pacers (46.5 wins): Over (56.6%)
  • Detroit Pistons (37.5 wins): Over (69.8%)
  • Chicago Bulls (33.5 wins): Under (56.2%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (24.5 wins): Under (70.0%)