Kevon Looney

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Looney, Cousins, Livingston

The Warriors expect Klay Thompson to be sidelined nine to 10 months with the torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered last night, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That would put his projected return sometime from mid-March to mid-April, possibly late in the season but definitely in time for next year’s playoffs if there are no unexpected setbacks.

Golden State will remain Thompson’s first option in free agency this summer, but he could listen to other teams if the Warriors don’t offer a max contract, sources tell Haynes. It’s not clear if Thompson’s injury will have any effect on what the organization plans to do.

Thompson’s was hurt in the third quarter of Game 6 when he landed awkwardly on his left leg after being fouled on a fast break. After being helped off the court, he returned to make two free throws, but wasn’t able to play any more. Thompson didn’t realize the severity at the time, telling coach Steve Kerr“Just a two-minute rest and I’ll be ready,” relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Re-signing Kevon Looney and possibly DeMarcus Cousins will be priorities this summer, Vardon adds. Looney will be looking for a significant raise on the one-year, $1.6MM contract he had this season, while Cousins could receive as much as $6.4MM from the Warriors via his Non-Bird rights if there’s not a strong demand for him in free agency. Cousins told Anthony Slater of The Athletic that he’s “open” to coming back (Twitter link).
  • The Warriors’ fighting spirit may have sunk their future, Slater notes in a full story. If Golden State had lost in the conference semifinals after Kevin Durant‘s injury in Game 6 or hadn’t pulled out a close victory in Game 2 in Toronto, the catastrophic events of the past two games never would have happened.
  • Veteran guard Shaun Livingston will seriously consider retirement, but said he could “possibly” return for another year, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Livingston, who will turn 34 this summer, has just a $2MM guarantee on his $7,692,308 contract for next season. It won’t become fully guaranteed until June 30.
  • Owner Joe Lacob wasn’t ready to address free agency questions last night, but admitted that he talked with GM Bob Myers about what the Warriors do next, relays Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “We’ll have to assess and then talk,” Lacob said. “Obviously, we still have a very good team. And a great organization. So we’ll take it one step at a time.”

Kevon Looney To Play In Game 6

Kevon Looney will play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

“He’s doing decently. So I think he’ll give it a go,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see how he holds up.”

Looney suffered a costal cartilage fracture in Game 2 and wasn’t expected to return for the remainder of the season. However, after receiving a second opinion on the injury, he came back in Game 4 before re-injuring himself in Game 5, leaving the contest.

Game 6 will be the Warriors’ final game in Oracle Arena.

“Win or lose, we’ll be able to share some emotion and say our goodbyes, and hopefully with one more game to play in Toronto,” Kerr said via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). “But it is a strange, unique night.”

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.

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Thompson, Looney, Toppert

The Clippers are hoping to meet with impending star free agent Kawhi Leonard once he hits the open market, but the team has started to consider other options in case he chooses to sign a new contract elsewhere, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

Leonard is currently in the midst of a historic playoff run with Toronto, one that may persuade him to re-sign with the franchise if the Raptors can seal the deal and win their first ever NBA championship.

Los Angeles has long been linked to Leonard and would have the cap space to ink him on a multi-year, maximum-salary deal if he chooses to leave Toronto. However, sources told Vardon that the Clippers have recently spent most of their time during offseason meetings discussing scenarios in which Leonard doesn’t choose to sign with the team.

Leonard, an L.A. native, listed the Clippers as one of his preferred trade destinations before being moved from San Antonio to Toronto last offseason. The Clippers could also choose to pursue Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving or other stars on the open market, including forward Anthony Davis in a potential trade with the Pelicans.

There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Warriors guard Klay Thompson said he was roughly 80% healthy when he played in Game 4 on Friday, Matt Schneidman of The Mercury News tweets. As of Sunday, Thompson said he felt around 90% and hopes to be closer to 100% for Monday’s important Game 5.
  • Kevon Looney felt “fine” after making his surprise return to Game 4, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, according to Mark Medina of The Mercury News (Twitter link). Looney returned for his team five days after suffering a costal cartilage fracture, displaying his toughness and willingness to sacrifice. He finished with 10 points, six rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes of work.
  • Former Suns assistant coach Cody Toppert has reached an agreement to join the Memphis Tigers as an assistant, according to The Athletic’s Michael Scotto (Twitter link). Topper will coach under NBA legend Penny Hardaway, who was hired by the University of Memphis last year. Toppert registered interest from multiple NBA teams but was sold most on Hardaway’s vision for his program, Scotto notes.

Warriors Notes: Durant, Thompson, Gay, Lopez

Kevin Durant‘s return appears to be the only thing that can save the Warriors in the NBA Finals, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Golden State’s hopes for a three-peat are fragile as they head to Toronto with a 3-1 deficit. Injuries have hampered the Warriors throughout the playoffs, but the Raptors are the first team to fully take advantage.

There’s no guarantee Durant will return in time to make a difference and there’s not much evidence his condition has improved significantly since he suffered what was called a “mild” calf strain in the conference semifinals. Coach Steve Kerr told reporters last night that he will no longer provide daily updates on Durant’s condition.

“We’re hoping he can play Game 5 or 6,” Kerr said. “And everything in between I’ve decided I’m not sharing because it’s just gone haywire. There’s so much going on, and so it doesn’t make sense to continue to talk about it. He’s either going to play or he’s not.”

There’s more news on the two-time defending champs:

  • Since the injury occurred, the Warriors haven’t put a timeline on Durant’s return other than to say they’re optimistic he will be back, notes Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Kerr is leaving all decisions to the medical staff, which has determined that Durant isn’t in condition to play. Medina observes that a mild calf strain would be considered Grade 1, which have a seven- to 10-day recovery time. It’s more likely Durant has a Grade 2 condition, which would sideline him for four to six weeks. He suffered the injury exactly a month ago.
  • Medina identifies Rudy Gay and Brook Lopez as upcoming free agents who might be willing to take the Warriors’ $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception for next season. He adds that Golden State will re-sign Klay Thompson “for sure” and will take advantage of Kevon Looney‘s Bird Rights to keep him.
  • Problems at center are among the reasons for the 3-1 deficit, contends Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports. He calls DeMarcus Cousins “a disaster” in Game 4, unable to keep up with the Raptors after returning from a first-round quad injury. Looney, playing with a costal cartilage fracture, didn’t contribute much after halftime, leaving 34-year-old Andrew Bogut as the best choice in the middle.

Kevon Looney To Play in Game 4

Warriors big man Kevon Looney will play in Game 4 of The Finals on Friday despite a fracture adjacent to his collarbone, Ben Golliver of the Washington Post tweets.

Coach Steve Kerr said that after receiving a second medical opinion, Looney is physically able to return to action. “The guy is tough and wants to play,” Kerr said. “The injury is in an area where it will give him a shot to play.”

The official term of Looney’s injury is a costal cartilage fracture. The surprising development of Looney’s possible return surfaced on Thursday. He was injured during Game 2 of the series.

Looney’s impact goes well beyond the stat sheet. He’s the most mobile of the Warriors’ frontcourt rotation players and serves a major role in their pick-and-roll defense.

Golden State will also have Klay Thompson back in the lineup after he missed Game 3 with a mild hamstring strain, though Kevin Durant remains sidelined with his calf injury. Kerr said he hopes Durant can return for Game 5 or 6, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post tweets.

Klay Expected To Play In Game 4; Durant Out

2:37pm: Durant will be sidelined for Game 4, Kerr told reporters today (Twitter link via Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group). There was optimism that KD would be able to scrimmage today, but that won’t happen, according to Kerr, who added that the Warriors’ medical staff said the star forward is not yet game-ready (Twitter link via Blake Murphy of The Athletic).

Kerr confirmed that Thompson is expected to return for Game 4, and acknowledged that the possibility of Kevon Looney‘s return is now an “open question” (Twitter link via Murphy), as we relayed earlier today.

9:22am: Thompson will play in Game 4, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

8:47am: After falling to the Raptors on Wednesday night, the Warriors are hoping to add reinforcements to their short-handed roster in time for Game 4 on Friday night, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN.com.

As Friedell details – and as Tim Kawakami of The Athletic tweets – the Warriors are expecting Klay Thompson to be able to suit up on Friday after he was ruled out just before game time on Wednesday. Thompson wanted to play in Game 3, but Golden State decided to err on the side of caution with the sharpshooter’s hamstring injury.

“The whole point was to not risk a bigger injury that would keep him out of the rest of the series,” head coach Steve Kerr said, per Friedell. “So that was the decision we made, and I feel very comfortable with it. Never would have forgiven myself if I played him tonight and he had gotten hurt. … Klay has done well the last two days; now he has a couple more days to heal, and hopefully he’ll be out there on Friday.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, who has been sidelined with a calf injury since Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals vs. Houston, is getting closer to a return as well. The Warriors are “cautiously optimistic” that KD will be able to play on Friday, according to Friedell. While Golden State isn’t expected to practice on Thursday, Kerr is hopeful that Durant will participate in some three-on-three scrimmages, Friedell notes.

“If possible, we’ll get him together with some of our young guys, maybe a few of our coaches, and try to get him out on the floor,” Kerr said of Durant. “That would be the next step.”

The Warriors have said throughout Durant’s recovery process that he’ll need to participate in at least one practice before he gets back on the court for a game. While Thursday’s session won’t technically be a full practice, it should give him an opportunity to take some contact, so the team figures to have an update at some point after those scrimmages.

Finals Return Still Possible For Kevon Looney?

The Warriors plan to have Klay Thompson (hamstring) back for Game 4 of the NBA Finals, and are “cautiously optimistic” that Kevin Durant (calf) might be able to play too. That would leave Kevon Looney as the only Golden State rotation player unavailable.

However, even though head coach Steve Kerr said on Tuesday that Looney would miss the rest of the NBA Finals after suffering a costal cartilage fracture, Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com hears from sources that Looney isn’t ready to shut it down for the season.

According to Bontemps, now that Looney has undergone further evaluation on his chest/collarbone injury, there’s a belief that a Finals return may still be possible. More testing will determine what the next steps will be for the veteran center, per Bontemps.

Looney’s injury, specifically known as a “non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture,” isn’t a particularly common one among NBA players, so it’s not clear what his exact recovery timeline should look like. It seems safe to say that he’d be attempting to return well ahead of schedule though.

Given the cautious approach the Warriors have taken with Durant’s and Thompson’s injuries, I don’t imagine they’ll allow Looney to rush back before he’s ready if there’s any risk of making things worse. We’ll see if he can make enough progress in his recovery to make it back before the end of the series — even a potential Game 7 is just 10 days away.

While Looney may not swing the series, he’d be a very useful rotation piece for a Golden State team that has struggled to get consistent production out of its centers so far against the Raptors.

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.

Kevon Looney Suffers Costal Cartilage Fracture

Warriors forward Kevon Looney suffered a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture and will be out indefinitely, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

The injury, which was discovered during an MRI on Monday, will sideline Looney for Game 3 and seems likely to prevent him from returning before the end of the Finals.

Looney averaged 6.3 PPG and 5.2 RPG during the regular season and has continued to be a steady contributor in the postseason, averaging 7.2 PPG and 4.6 RPG. He’s also one of coach Steve Kerr‘s best options in terms of defending pick-and-rolls. Looney suffered the injury during Game 2 of the Finals on Sunday.

Looney had 12 points and 14 rebounds during the Game 4 clincher in the Western Conference finals against Portland. He also scored 14 points in Game 6 of the conference semifinals against Houston.

Without Looney, DeMarcus Cousins and Andrew Bogut will have to play even bigger roles the rest of the way against Toronto. Cousins had 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in Game 2 against the Raptors, just his second game back from a quad injury suffered against the Clippers in the opening round.

Looney will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.