Klay Thompson

Pacific Notes: Harrell, Bazemore, Thompson, Booker

Clippers coach Doc Rivers is hopeful big man Montrezl Harrell can play in the team’s final seeding game on Friday, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. Rivers would like to play one game with his usual rotation prior to the playoffs, Buha adds. One of the league’s top reserves, Harrell left the Orlando campus due to the passing of his grandmother. He’ll have to rebuild rhythm with teammates and regain his conditioning, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times notes.

We have more on the Pacific Division:

  • Kings swingman Kent Bazemore isn’t expected to play against the Lakers on Thursday, Sean Cunningham of KXTV tweets. Bazemore, who hasn’t played since Thursday, is dealing with a calf injury. He will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
  • Warriors guard Klay Thompson has been working out mainly in Orange County, Calif., including a workout with backcourt partner Stephen Curry, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Thompson was cleared to train without restrictions in June after suffering a torn ACL during last season’s Finals.
  • The Suns have been the breakout team in Orlando and Devin Booker is confident that will carry over to next season, Nick Friedell of ESPN writes. “I don’t think there’s going to be any sad faces around here, whether we leave here in the playoffs or not,” Booker said. “We’ve put the work in and we’ve grown as a team. We’ve took tremendous strides that I think will build for us for continuing years to come.”


Latest On Klay Thompson’s ACL Recovery

The Warriors won’t play their next regular season game until December, but injured sharpshooter Klay Thompson continues to make major strides in his rehab from his ACL tear. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Thompson recently received clearance to train without restrictions on his knee, and has been ramping up his workouts since then.

As Slater explains, Thompson has been running, jumping, dunking, and “doing just about everything you can do in an individual workout.” He has also been going through some 3-on-0 and 5-on-0 simulation drills at full speed.

However, given the current restrictions in place due to COVID-19, he won’t get a chance to participate in group workouts and scrimmages with teammates anytime soon, which will be a necessary step to make sure he’s game-ready.

According to Slater, the Warriors expect the NBA to allow the eight teams not involved in the Orlando restart to hold some form of offseason mini-camps in the coming months. If and when that happens, Thompson figures to fully participate — as will his veteran teammates who dealt with injuries of their own during the 2019/20 season.

“Oh yeah,” head coach Steve Kerr recently said when asked if Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green would be required to take part in an offseason mini-camp. “100 percent. I would not consider this voluntary workouts. Obviously, these are really unique circumstances. But given that we would be staring at a nine-month break, to be perfectly honest, I’d be shocked if any one of those three guys said to me, ‘No, I don’t want the work.’ They all know they need the work. We need the work. So they’ll be there.”

Thompson has been sidelined since tearing his ACL in the final game of the 2019 NBA Finals, last June 13. He had long been ruled out for the 2019/20 season, with the expectation that he’d target training camp – or perhaps the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – for his return. With the Olympics and the start of next season both postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Thompson has a longer runway to get back to 100% before his next game.

And-Ones: Thompson, Mozgov, Stone, FIBA

Klay Thompson‘s max deal was, at best, a risky proposition for the Warriors even before he suffered an ACL tear, according to The Athletic’s John Hollinger. Thompson’s five-year deal has the potential to be the league’s most regrettable contract, according to Hollinger, who takes a look at the 10 worst current free agent deals. The multi-year contracts handed to Tobias Harris, D’Angelo Russell and Harrison Barnes also rank as poor values compared to the purchase price, in Hollinger’s estimation.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA center Timofey Mozgov has suffered another injury setback, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Mozgov, currently signed by Russian team Khimki, will require another knee surgery and miss another 4-6 months of action. He did not play during the 2019/20 season due to knee issues. In November, the NBA permitted the Magic to remove Mozgov’s remaining cap hits from their books after determining that his health issues were likely career-ending.
  • Former NBA guard Julyan Stone has re-signed with Italy’s Reyer Venezia, Dario Skerletic of Sportando relays. Stone averaged 4.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 3.1 APG in EuroCup action. Stone played 70 NBA games, most recently for Charlotte (23 games) during the 2017/18 season.
  • The Board of FIBA Europe has officially cancelled the seasons of the FIBA Europe Cup, EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women, according to Carchia. Play was halted in those leagues during March. The board also decided that FIBA EuroBasket qualifiers, scheduled for November, could be postponed until February, if necessary.

Western Notes: Thompson, Miller, Brunson, Williamson

It’s been nearly a year since Warriors guard Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during last year’s Finals. However, GM Bob Myers isn’t sure if Thompson can be listed as fully recovered until he tests the knee in 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 situations, Mark Medina of USA Today tweets. Myers added, “He’s recovering fine; he hasn’t had any setback.”

Myers is also unsure whether the Warriors will be big players in the free agent and trade markets this summer, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets“Depending on the economics, we have to be pragmatic and smart…I have no idea what the future holds, but we have an ownership group that’s aggressive and pushes the limits,” Myers said.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • It’s possible Pelicans forward Darius Miller could return to action this summer after suffering a torn right Achilles tendon last August, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez tweets. Miller has continued his rehab throughout quarantine and his status will be determined during the team’s training camp prior to heading to Orlando. If he can’t go, a two-way player will likely fill his roster spot, Lopez adds.
  • The Mavericks still don’t plan on guard Jalen Brunson returning this season, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Brunson underwent right shoulder surgery this same week that play was halted. He hasn’t played since February 22.
  • A Florida judge ruled last week that Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson must answer questions regarding alleged benefits he received before and during his one season at Duke, Mark Schlabach of ESPN reports. Williamson is being sued for $100MM for alleged breach of a marketing agreement. A Florida appeals court subsequently granted a temporary stay and paused proceedings in the lawsuit from Prime Sports Marketing and company president Gina Ford, whose attorneys must respond within 10 days, according to an Associated Press report.

Pacific Notes: Klay, Warriors, Fox, Clippers

After appearing in five consecutive NBA Finals and winning three of them, the Warriors fell off hard this season, entering the hiatus with the league’s worst record. Klay Thompson, one of the injured stars whose absence contributed to Golden State’s drop-off, has spent the year recovering from an ACL tear and was frustrated by his inability to help the team.

In a short documentary called ‘Above The Waves,’ which details Thompson’s rehab process, the veteran sharpshooter said he’s looking forward to proving the Warriors’ dynasty isn’t over yet, as Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area relays.

“It just kills me inside when I see these other teams, so many talking heads, and some of my peers saying, ‘The dynasty is over, they had a great run,'” the Warriors star said in the doc. “I have so much more to give this game, but patience definitely builds character. You don’t have to prove anything anymore, you know? You have three championships. Multiple All-Star appearances. … I’ll just be that eager to prove everyone wrong again.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Former fifth overall pick De’Aaron Fox will be eligible for a rookie scale extension when the 2020/21 league year begins. James Ham of NBC Sports California explores how much more room Fox has to improve and whether he’s worth a maximum-salary extension offer, ultimately predicting that a five-year max deal seems likely for the rising Kings star.
  • Following the completion of the sale of The Forum to a group led by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, a lengthy legal battle over the team’s plan to build an arena in Inglewood has come to an end, writes Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times. The Madison Square Garden Co., the former owner of The Forum, had filed or backed several lawsuits opposing the arena proposal, but paperwork was filed this week to dismiss those suits as part of the sale agreement, clearing the way for the Clippers to move forward with their Inglewood plans.
  • In case you missed it, the Kings are aiming to reopen their practice facility on Monday, May 11, while the Lakers are said to be targeting Saturday, May 16 to reopen their building.

Pacific Notes: Suns, Michineau, Kobe, Klay

Suns team officials have said that they’re preparing to host voluntary individual workouts at their facilities no earlier than May 16, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The NBA announced last week that teams may be permitted to reopen practice facilities beginning on May 8, but Arizona’s stay-at-home order will run through at least May 15.

Resuming workouts and potentially playing again this season is a little more complicated for the Suns than for most teams, since the team’s Talking Stick Resort Arena is undergoing renovations and its new practice facility is under construction. As Rankin details, the team is prepared to use its old arena, the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, for workouts — and for games, if the season can be resumed this summer.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Clippers draft-and-stash prospect David Michineau, the 39th overall pick in the 2016 draft, has signed an extension through 2023 with French team Metropolitans 92, the club announced in a press release (hat tip to Sportando).
  • In the wake of Kobe Bryant‘s appearance in Sunday’s episodes of The Last Dance, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne of ESPN takes a closer look at the friendship between Michael Jordan and the late Lakers star.
  • Speaking of sports documentaries, Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson will be the subject of a short film that goes behind-the-scenes on his recovery from last spring’s ACL tear, as Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area notes.
  • In case you missed it last week, we previewed the Lakers‘ and Clippers‘ salary cap outlook for 2020/21 and passed along word that the NBA’s four California teams are lobbying the state in the hopes of reopening their practice facilities later this month.

Klay Thompson Still Waiting For Medical Clearance

Lakers broadcaster Mychal Thompson offers some insight into the status of his son, Warriors guard Klay Thompson, in an interview with Mark Medina of USA Today.

Klay hasn’t played since suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during last year’s NBA Finals. Golden State cleared him for light shooting drills before the hiatus, but he’s not expected to return to action this season no matter when the shutdown ends.

“He’s walking around fine,” Mychal said. “… He has to get that clearance from his doctors and the Warriors. They haven’t talked about that yet.” 

Klay’s recovery is complicated by the league-wide shutdown of team facilities, even though some teams will be permitted to reopen as soon as Friday. Injured players throughout the NBA have been forced to do rehab work by themselves while they wait for the situation to be resolved.

“He’s frustrated he can’t work out with his teammates,” Mychal said. “He just works out on his own like everybody else. He can’t work out with other guys in groups. You have to find a place to shoot on your own and do your own exercises. These guys know what to do. You run your sprints alone and can find an empty gym. Get a key to an empty gym and go shoot. All of these guys have connections to a gym.”

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Paul, Draft, Oubre, Kaminsky

The Warriors‘ dynasty almost didn’t happen. Golden State was looking for an All-Star back in 2011 and the franchise offered Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to New Orleans in exchange for Chris Paul, Ethan Strauss writes in The Victory Machine (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports).

Paul, whose contract expired at the end of that season, reportedly told the Warriors that he would not re-sign with them, which nixed the negotiations. Paul was later dealt to the Lakers in a trade that was vetoed. He ultimately ended up on the Clippers via another trade.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • If the NBA doesn’t resume, the Warriors are guaranteed a top-five pick and Anthony Slater of The Athletic examines the team’s options with that selection. As Slater details, trading it away for a proven vet is worth exploring, especially if there are no surefire prospects in the draft, as some believe.
  • Trading down is an option for the Warriors in the draft and Slater (in the same piece) proposes a fun hypothetical deal that sends Kelly Oubre and the Suns‘ pick (projected to be No. 10) to the Warriors for their top-five pick. Oubre would fit in nicely with the team’s core and his salary would fit into the team’s $17.2MM trade exception.
  • Suns GM James Jones said that Oubre, who underwent meniscus surgery back in February, and Frank Kaminsky, who was dealing with a patella stress fracture, have both medically healed, Gina Mizell of The Athletic tweets. Both have “kind of pressed the pause button” though, as they can’t participate in traditional sports rehab.

Western Notes: Ball, Brunson, Mitchell, Klay

Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball has parted ways with Creative Artists Agency, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Melissa Rohlin of SI.com had reported earlier in the month that Ball was leaving CAA.

Ball originally cut ties with agent Harrison Gaines and joined CAA in April 2019, so he ended up spending less than a year with the agency. It’s not clear why he has opted for another change — it’s possible that the departure of veteran CAA agent Leon Rose for a role with the Knicks played a part in Ball’s decision, though the Pelicans guard was reportedly represented by Steven Heumann and Aaron Mintz.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson underwent shoulder surgery shortly after the league suspended its season earlier this month. Although Brunson may have a few months to recover, head coach Rick Carlisle said the 23-year-old won’t play again this season, even if the 2019/20 campaign runs well into the summer, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link).
  • Within a Jazz mailbag, Tony Jones of The Athletic expresses confidence that Donovan Mitchell will sign a maximum-salary rookie scale extension before the 2020/21 season begins. Mitchell, who will be extension-eligible for the first time this offseason, would become a restricted free agent in 2021 if he doesn’t re-up with Utah before then.
  • During an appearance on Dell and Sonya Curry’s podcast Raising Fame, Klay Thompson‘s father Mychal Thompson talked about the respect that his son has for Warriors teammate Stephen Curry, as Josh Shrock of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. “He has said it to me in private that he loves playing with Steph and he wants to retire as a Warrior after another 10 years,” the elder Thompson said.

Warriors Notes: Coronavirus, Thompson, TPE

Unlike a handful of other NBA teams, the Warriors haven’t had any of their players tested for the coronavirus, as Mark Medina of USA Today writes. The franchise hasn’t had any players show symptoms of COVID-19 and is wary of the fact that tests aren’t widely available to the general public at this time.

“We’ve been told that testing’s in short supply,” Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said on Tuesday. “We’re treating ourselves like people, which is what we are. We’re not better than anybody. We’re not worse. We’re just a basketball team, like any company. Right now, we’re not interacting with anybody. I’ve been told by our doctors that we shouldn’t be testing asymptomatic people in California.”

With the city of San Francisco advising people to stay at home except for essential needs, the Warriors’ facility is closed for workout purposes, but the team has remained in daily communication with its players, and is prepared to take action if players start showing symptoms. For now though, that hasn’t been the case.

“Every team’s responsibility is to check in with their players each day and staff members or anybody for that matter, even me, to report symptoms,” Myers said, per Medina. “So we’re doing that. But outside of that, we’re not mandating, nor do I think we should be at this time until testing becomes more available that everybody gets tested.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • The club has allowed three unnamed players to travel out of the Bay Area this week, Myers said on Tuesday (per Medina). The NBA is allowing players to leave their team’s market as long as they get approval to do so and remain in contact with the franchise.
  • With the Warriors completely “shut down,” Myers acknowledged that an injured player like Klay Thompson doesn’t have access to the team’s facilities for rehab purposes. Yes, that’s the thing,” Myers said, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). “It’s hard. Privately by himself. Maybe with one of the trainers at his house.”
  • Myers said the Warriors aren’t concerned about losing their $17MM+ traded player exception from last summer’s Andre Iguodala deal, which is currently scheduled to expire after July 7. I imagine that they’ll figure that out,” Myers said, suggesting the expiry date would likely be adjusted (Twitter link Nick Friedell of ESPN). ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote earlier today that those TPE expiry dates seem likely to be pushed back along with the start of the 2020/21 league year.