Klay Thompson

Warriors Notes: Wiseman, Curry, Thompson, Roster

James Wiseman will be reevaluated once the Warriors return home from their road trip, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. The No. 2 overall pick in the draft is recovering from a wrist injury suffered January 30 against Detroit. Coach Steve Kerr said the rookie center is progressing well from the left wrist sprain. The Warriors’ next home game is Thursday against Orlando.

We have more on the Warriors:

  • While the odds are starting to drop, Stephen Curry is a value play for bettors wagering on the Most Valuable Player award, according to Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. Curry currently has the sixth-best odds, but is posting offensive numbers on par with – or better than – any season in his career except for his brilliant 2015/16 campaign, Strauss adds. Curry is averaging 29.4 PPG and 6.1 APG after his 57-point explosion against Dallas over the weekend.
  • Klay Thompson has shed the walking boot as he continues to recover from a right Achilles tendon tear, Slater notes in another tweet“Getting the boot off is a milestone,” Kerr said. “I’m not sure what’s next.” Thompson suffered the injury in November.
  • If the Warriors want to bring in a free agent big man due to their frontcourt injuries, a wrinkle in the COVID-19 protocols could make that happen quickly, Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. According to TrueHoop’s Tom Haberstroh, free agents who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days (and are now negative) only require a two-day quarantine.

Warriors Notes: Oubre, Green, Wiseman, Thompson

The Warriors‘ faith in Kelly Oubre throughout his early-season struggles paid off in a big way Thursday night, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Oubre posted a career-high 40 points in a win at Dallas after shooting just 37.6% from the field coming into the game.

“Obviously for Kelly, it’s been a rough first quarter of the season,” coach Steve Kerr said. “And yet within that span, he’s had some excellent games for us. He’s played very well at times; he’s just had some really poor shooting nights during that span that people have locked in on, but Kelly’s getting more comfortable. Guys in the locker room love him and want to help him continue to get comfortable, and this was obviously a great night for him and for the whole group.”

Golden State traded for Oubre to provide another reliable wing scoring option with Klay Thompson lost for the season due to a torn Achilles. Oubre averaged a career-best 18.7 PPG last season with the Suns, but his shot hasn’t been falling consistently since the deal. He had made just 24 3-pointers all season before sinking seven last night.

“It’s honestly been a great learning experience for me,” Oubre said. “I take it back to me being a freshman in college again because it was more of a psychological change. I had the tools to take it to the next step, but mentally I had to slow myself and wrap everything (together) and find my flow.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Thursday’s game also showed what Draymond Green is capable of doing in a small-ball lineup, Friedell adds in the same story. With centers James Wiseman, Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss all sidelined by injuries, Green dished out 15 assists while playing a point-center role. “Draymond’s one of the best defenders in the game, and also one of the best playmakers,” said teammate Damion Lee. “He’s always looking to find guys, to get guys shots.”
  • Stephen Curry believes watching the offense last night should be an educational experience for Wiseman, who is expected to return in a week or so, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic“It’ll be good, I’m sure, for Wise to see how that ball was moving (tonight and this week) and that he can play that way as well and still dominate the game the way he’s capable of with his size and presence at the rim,” Curry said.
  • Even though Thompson hasn’t played since the 2019 NBA Finals, he ranks 10th in the Western Conference backcourt in the first round of All-Star voting, notes Alex Shultz of SFGate.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Green, Poole, Schedule

Warriors guard Klay Thompson provided an update on his recovery from a torn Achilles as he joined the broadcast team for Golden State’s game Saturday night, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Thompson admitted that it “kills” him to have to miss a second straight season because of an injury.

“I’m living good,” he said. “To be back in the building that I’m so eagerly awaiting to play in. Just a little bored at times. Stuff’s slow with trying to let my Achilles heal and get to the next stage, which is mobility work, but I’m feeling good. I’m happy to be with my teammates, obviously. Unfortunately, I’m not playing. It kills me every day, but I plan on playing for a long time, and I don’t want to have any mishaps come this rehab.”

The interview marked Thompson’s first public comments since he suffered the injury during a workout in November. He has stayed around the team since his surgery, appearing frequently at home games to cheer on his teammates.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Draymond Green believes he needs more time to get his game back to where it should be, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Green, who missed the start of the season with a muscle strain in his foot, admits he’s not playing the way he is accustomed to. “I think I’m like two, three weeks away,” he said. “Continue to get in better shape. My speed is kind of getting there. I dunked the ball today. That was big time. I was really excited about that. That might’ve been my first dunk of the year. I’m not sure though. No. I got a dunk a couple games ago on two feet. That was my first one-foot dunk of the year.”
  • Jordan Poole turned in possibly the best game of his career the night before leaving for the G League bubble, Slater adds in the same story. Poole, who has been alternating playing time with Mychal Mulder as a reserve guard, scored 16 points in 21 minutes. He has appeared in 15 of the Warriors’ 20 games this season, but averages just 9.5 minutes, and the team decided to send him to the G League to get more playing time. “The G League isn’t looked at as having a negative impact,” Poole said. “I wasn’t getting minutes, I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t able to get on the floor and in the G League, I will be able to play 30-plus minutes.”
  • Golden State’s January 15 game at Phoenix, which was postponed because the Suns didn’t have enough available players, has been rescheduled for March 4, according to the Warriors’ website.

Pacific Notes: Caruso, J. Parker, Kawhi, Warriors, Fox

Lakers guard Alex Caruso hasn’t played since December 27, having been held out of action due to the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, but it sounds like he’ll make his return on Thursday night vs. San Antonio. Caruso – who resumed workouts earlier this week, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link) – is no longer listed on the Lakers’ injury report.

Meanwhile, Kings forward Jabari Parker has yet to make his season debut, having been sidelined with back soreness and then having missed time for personal reasons. Parker is back with Sacramento now, but will have to go through the health and safety protocols before he receives clearance to play, head coach Luke Walton said on Wednesday (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports California).

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Kawhi Leonard was active on both Tuesday and Wednesday this week, marking the first time the Clippers star has played in both games of a back-to-back set since April 2017. As Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN writes, Leonard says he’s ready for that to become a trend. “I mean, I think I’ll be playing, pretty much,” he said after Wednesday’s game. “The last few years, I was injured, and I worked on getting my leg stronger, and it’s been a long time. But I was patient, and I’m able to play.”
  • In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Arnovitz explores how the Warriors are dealing with a transition period, looking to remain competitive while they wait for Klay Thompson to get healthy and James Wiseman to continue to blossom. “Without Klay, we’re at intermission,” president of basketball operations Bob Myers said of the team’s current state.
  • Appearing on Matt Barnes’ and Stephen Jackson’s All That Smoke podcast, Kings guard De’Aaron Fox said he spoke to his father and the rest of his family after Aaron Fox tweeted, “Trade him,” in apparent reference to Marvin Bagley III. “I’m like, ‘Yo, y’all can’t do this s–t,'” Fox said, per James Ham of NBC Sports California. “‘Because regardless of anything y’all say, motherf—–s aren’t going to ask y’all, they’re gonna ask me about it.'”

Warriors Notes: Mannion, Curry, Thompson, Wiseman

Second-round pick Nico Mannion isn’t discouraged by the slow start to his NBA career, writes Alex Espinoza of NBC Sports Bay Area. After the Warriors took him with the 48th selection, Mannion signed a two-way contract that allows him to appear in 50 NBA games this season. He hasn’t played yet or even suited up to be on the active roster, but Mannion believes his time is coming.

“I can see myself out there on the floor,” he said. “I think I fit that style, just the quick decision-making.”

Mannion will have to earn playing time on a team that currently has five guards getting regular rotation minutes. He said he’s been making improvements in practice and is determined to be prepared when his opportunity arrives.

“They just told me to be ready,” Mannion said of the coaching staff. “If someone goes down, I’ll be there. Just trying to adjust and learn as much as I can right now. Trying to see it as a glass half full right now that I get some more time to prepare. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Stephen Curry is adjusting to defenses focused primarily on stopping him now that he’s not surrounded by All-Star teammates, observes Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. Teams are using variations of the box-and-one strategy that Toronto’s Nick Nurse employed during the 2019 NBA Finals. Part of the reason those defenses have been effective is that Kelly Oubre is shooting just 4.0% (1-for-25) from three-point range.
  • The Warriors are encouraging injured guard Klay Thompson to spend as much time as possible with the team, according to Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Thompson is in the early part of rehab after having surgery last month for his torn right Achilles tendon. “It’s important for all of us, as well as Klay himself, that he’s around this season,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Because of last year’s absence and the pandemic, and just the whole bizarre year and a half it’s been for him and our franchise, I would love to have him up here as much as possible … I want our young players to feel his presence, and I want Klay here working with our training staff and getting on the court with our team as soon as he can. I think that will be important.”
  • James Wiseman is an easy choice as the league’s best rookie so far, writes Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area. The No. 2 pick is averaging 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his first five NBA games.

Warriors Granted Disabled Player Exception

The Warriors have been granted a disabled player exception due to Klay Thompson‘s season-ending Achilles injury, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). The news comes in on the same day that Thompson underwent surgery to repair that torn Achilles.

The disabled player exception is a salary cap exception designed to allow teams to add a replacement for a player who suffers a major injury. It’s worth either half the injured player’s salary or the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, whichever is lesser. Since Thompson is earning a $35MM+ salary, Golden State’s DPE will be worth $9,258,000, the amount of the MLE.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Disabled Player Exception]

The disabled player exception doesn’t give a team an extra roster spot, but it allows the club to add a player without using cap space to do so. It can be used to sign a free agent, to claim a player off waivers, or to acquire a player in a trade. However, it can only be used on one player and can only accommodate a player on a one-year deal. A free agent signee can’t get a multiyear contract, and any trade or waiver target must be in the final year of his contract.

The Warriors already face a mammoth projected luxury tax bill and any additional salary they take on will only increase their end-of-season tax penalties, so the front office won’t use it just for the sake of it.

With no top free agents left on the open market, the Warriors will likely hang onto their DPE for now and see if it can be used closer to the trade deadline — or even after the deadline, on the buyout market. It will expire on April 19 if it’s still unused by then, according to Charania.

Klay Thompson Undergoes Surgery To Repair Achilles

Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson underwent surgery in Los Angeles today to repair his torn right Achilles, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who says the five-time All-Star is expected to make a full recovery (Twitter links).

After missing the entire 2019/20 season while recovering from a torn left ACL, Thompson had been on track to return for opening night next month, but tore his Achilles last week during a workout in Southern California. As a result, he’ll be sidelined for his second consecutive full season and will go more than two years between NBA appearances.

The Warriors acquired Kelly Oubre in a trade with the Thunder and added Kent Bazemore in free agency in an effort to replenish their depth on the wing in the wake of Thompson’s devastating season-ending injury.

The team also applied for a disabled player exception in response to Thompson’s injury. Assuming it’s approved, which it should be, the exception would be worth approximately $9.3MM and would allow the team to acquire a player without using cap room.

A disabled player exception can be used to sign a free agent, to acquire a player in a trade, or to claim a player off waivers, but it can only be used on one player. Additionally, it can only be used to sign a player to a one-year deal — or to trade for or claim a player in the final year of his contract.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Thompson, M. Gasol, Smailagić

Warriors guard Stephen Curry was devastated after learning that his backcourt partner, Klay Thompson, will miss another full season after suffering a torn Achilles last week, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Golden State had hoped to return to title contention after an injury-plagued year, but the loss of Thompson is a major setback.

“To get that call was a gut punch for sure. A lot of tears,” Curry said. “You don’t really know what to say because a guy like that is having to go through two pretty serious rehabs now. But at the end of the day, we have to have his back. We hope that he is around and a part of what we do through his rehab and staying connected with us. He can come back strong. He’s a guy that loves the game so much. He is going to do whatever it takes to get back out there on the floor and be himself. That’s what we hope and the confidence that we have. Two-and-a-half years of rehab is tough for anybody. We’re hoping for the best.”

Curry was limited to just five games last season after breaking his left hand in October. He will return to a roster that’s much different than the one that dominated the league for five years, with additions such as Kelly Oubre, who was acquired in a trade, and James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in last week’s draft.

“Not seeing (Thompson) on the court, at first, is going to be weird,” Curry said. “But I think we’ve done a really good job in the offseason with James and our draft picks and in the free agency pool to put together a really solid roster. We’re going to have to learn a lot really quickly, and we will need a full commitment from everybody.”

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • Thompson’s injury may have cost Golden State a chance to sign free agent center Marc Gasol, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. At age 35, Gasol was looking to join a contender and ended up with the defending champion Lakers. The Warriors are still in the market for veteran help and expect to receive a $9.3MM disabled player exception in the wake of Thompson’s injury.
  • Management doesn’t believe Alen Smailagić is ready for regular playing time, but he’s likely to be kept on the roster with a $1.5MM guaranteed contract, Slater adds in the same piece. However, Smailagić could be waived later in the season if there’s an opportunity to sign someone. Second-round pick Nico Mannion is expected to be a two-way player and will see a lot of time in the G League, if there is a G League season.
  • Oubre, who will be a free agent next summer, is hoping for a long-term stay with Golden State, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN.
  • In case you missed it, the team’s deal with free agent guard Brad Wanamaker is now official. It was completed using a portion of Golden State’s taxpayer mid-level exception.

Warriors Seek DPE After Klay Thompson’s Injury

The Warriors have applied for a disabled player exception after losing Klay Thompson for the season, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. If granted, the DPE would be worth $9.3MM, the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception.

The DPE allows a team to add a player without using cap space. It can be used to sign a free agent, to claim a player off waivers, or to acquire a player in a trade, but it can only be used on one player. Additionally, it can only be used to sign a player to a one-year contract, or to claim or trade for a player in the final year of his deal.

Thompson suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in his right leg during a workout on Wednesday. He hasn’t played since tearing his left ACL during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, but was reportedly fully recovered and ready for the start of training camp.


Warriors’ Klay Thompson Suffers Torn Achilles

NOVEMBER 19: Thompson has suffered a season-ending Achilles tear, a source tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

It’s devastating news for the Warriors and for Thompson, who will miss a second consecutive season with a major leg injury and will be looking to return in 2021/22 at age 31 after not having played a game in about 28 months.

The Warriors will likely apply for a disabled player exception, which would be worth the amount of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception ($9.3MM).

NOVEMBER 18: The Warriors fear that Klay Thompson has suffered a “significant” Achilles injury, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Haynes, Thompson is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his injured right leg on Thursday.

As we relayed earlier this evening before the draft got underway, Thompson suffered the lower leg injury during a workout in Southern California today. He has been sidelined since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, having suffered a torn left ACL in that game, but had been on track to return to the court for the Warriors to start the 2020/21 season.

If Thompson suffered an Achilles tear or another major injury, it’s possible he’ll miss his second consecutive full season, which would be brutal news for both him and the Warriors.

Several members of the Warriors organization are headed to Los Angeles to be with Thompson for his MRI tomorrow morning, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN (Twitter link). The club is still hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.

The Warriors should have clarity on the severity of Thompson’s injury before free agency begins on Friday, so that news may impact how the team approaches its offseason. Golden State has a $17MM+ trade exception and the $5.7MM taxpayer mid-level exception and may need to prioritize a wing if Thompson won’t be available anytime soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.