Klay Thompson

Warriors’ Stars Pushing For Beal Trade

The Warriors’ star players are pushing management to acquire a top-level talent in pursuit of another championship, with Bradley Beal as the top target, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic reports.

The Warriors have the No. 7 and 14 picks in next week’s draft to dangle and would likely have to add more picks along with Andrew Wiggins‘ salary to make the salaries match. Golden State would prefer to keep last year’s No. 2 overall pick, James Wiseman, but it’s speculated that Washington would also want the young center as part of any package.

Of course, Beal has never indicated he wants to be traded and the Wizards have repeatedly said they’re not interested in dealing their high-scoring All-Star. In fact, Washington is hoping to sign Beal to another extension. His current one begins in 2021/22 — it’s a two-year deal worth $71.8MM with a player option in the second year.

Beal and the Wizards would need to have a change of heart quickly with the draft just a week away.

Golden State’s trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green has made it clear to the team’s front office it wants a player who can help the franchise make another serious run at a title.

Beal, who was chosen for Team USA but didn’t travel to Tokyo after entering health and safety protocols, is viewed as the ideal player for Golden State’s offense due to his scoring and play-making ability. That would ease the load on Curry, who edged Beal for the league scoring title this season.

Damian Lillard could also fit that mold, but multiple sources told Thompson it’s unlikely the Trail Blazers’ perennial All-Star would want to join the Warriors. Beal is preferred over Raptors star forward Pascal Siakam, another player rumored to be a potential trade target for the Warriors.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Wiseman, Atkinson, Brown, Draft

Recovering Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson isn’t participating in full contact workouts yet, but he’s “starting to really get movement on the court,” head coach Steve Kerr told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Thompson continues to rehab from an Achilles tear he suffered in November 2020.

“He’s still a ways away from actually playing basketball in a 5-on-5 setting,” Kerr said. “But there’s a big step with the Achilles when you can actually start running again. It’s a huge psychological boost. The rest of the body gets going, you start feeling the soreness and aches and pains that actually feel good when you’ve been out for a while. He’s at that point.”

Kerr addressed a few other topics of note during his conversation with Slater. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Coming off knee surgery that ended his rookie season, James Wiseman is “right on schedule for everything,” according to Kerr, who says the expectation is still that the young center will be ready for training camp.
  • Discussing the addition of Kenny Atkinson as an assistant coach, Kerr said he was worried about “groupthink” with the current staff and believes Atkinson will bring a new perspective to the group. “Very clever. Very analytically driven,” Kerr said of Atkinson. “We’ve had a lot of basketball conversations over the years and I’ve always been impressed with the way he sees and feels the game. In a way, it’s different from me.”
  • Mike Brown has been Kerr’s associate head coach for the last several years, making him the lead assistant on the staff. Atkinson has a claim to that role too, but neither coach is concerned about the title, according to Kerr. “I talked to Kenny about titles. He didn’t care. I talked to Mike, said I was interviewing Kenny and hadn’t talked title. Mike said, ‘I don’t care either,'” Kerr told Slater. “To me, they’re just both assistant coach. Both guys are comfortable in their own skin.”
  • Kerr said he isn’t as involved this year in scouting and evaluating draft prospects because of the Olympics and his commitment to Team USA, but he’s excited about what the Warriors will be able to do with the seventh and 14th overall picks. “Based on what I’ve watched on tape, I’ve seen a few guys who can play right now,” Kerr said. “You can go that route or go the younger route, get a prospect. Maybe you get one of each. Get one guy who is ready now and one guy who may pop in a few years. Who knows. But I think we’re in a really good position asset-wise to look at everything.”

Western Notes: Doncic, K. Antetokounmpo, Ibaka, Warriors

Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic was available to play in Game 4 against the Clippers on Sunday night, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported he would. Doncic suffered a strained neck in Game 3 and his status was uncertain at the time.

“It’s just weird,” Doncic said of his injury, which also caused some pain in his left arm. “Just some massage, some ice and hopefully it will be good.”

Doncic has played some of the best basketball of his career this series, averaging 38 points, 8.7 rebounds and nine assists through three games. He’s also shot 52% from the floor and 46% from behind-the-arc.

There’s more from the Western Conference tonight:

  • Lakers forward Kostas Antetokounmpo has been attending to a personal matter in Greece, explaining his recent absence from the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Antetokoumpo is currently on a two-way contract with the club. There’s optimism that he could return if the Lakers advance past the Suns in the first round, the duo notes.
  • Clippers big man Serge Ibaka missed Game 4 due to lingering back soreness, as first reported by Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Ibaka has provided valuable production when healthy, averaging 11.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 41 games this season.
  • The Warriors still have a ways to go before returning to contention, says Moke Hamilton of Basketball News. Golden State played without Klay Thompson (torn Achilles’ rehab) this season, though Thompson is expected to return for 2021-22. The team would have its championship trio of Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green to build around for the future.

Warriors Notes: Oubre, Thompson, Wiseman, Curry

Kelly Oubre‘s willingness to accept a reserve role may determine his decision in free agency this summer, writes Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area. In his end-of-season press conference this week, Warriors coach Steve Kerr indicated that Oubre would be used as a sixth man if he returns to the team next season.

“(Klay Thompson)’s going to start when he gets back. So would Kelly be interested in coming off the bench? That’s a question only he can answer,” Kerr said. “So he’ll weigh his options, we’ll weigh ours and we’ll see where it all goes.”

Golden State traded for Oubre in November to help fill the vacancy left when Thompson tore his Achilles. Oubre had an up-and-down season, but he averaged 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds and would be a dangerous weapon off the bench if the Warriors can keep him.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kerr expects Thompson’s return to be a memorable moment for both him and the fans, relays Jon Becker of The San Jose Mercury News. In a radio interview this week, Kerr said having Thompson back after missing two years with injuries will be a boost to the entire organization. “Everyone loves Klay. He’s such a breath of fresh air. He’s so much fun to be around,” Kerr said. “And then the fact that when we walk into camp for the first time, it’s all together with Klay being on the court with the rest of the guys in training camp. That means everybody’s spirits will be higher, including mine.”
  • James Wiseman‘s meniscus surgery last month forced the team to delay a plan to have him work out with Kevin Garnett over the summer, according to Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. The Warriors don’t expect to issue an official update on Wiseman’s condition until September, and they hope he will be ready for the start of training camp. “KG is pretty unique — on the court and what he brings and the mentality,” president of basketball operations Bob Myers said. “Exposing James to a guy like that (would be great). We (also) talked to David West and we were gonna get something going with him. So we have these people in mind that we think can really be helpful.”
  • Stephen Curry, who will be eligible for a four-year, $215.4MM extension starting in August, deserves to be a Warrior for life, Poole contends in a separate story.

Warriors Rumors: Curry, Klay, Wiseman, Oubre, More

Warriors star Stephen Curry will be entering a contract year in 2021/22, but he’ll be eligible to sign an extension once the new league year begins in August. And Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers told reporters today that he’s “pretty confident” the two sides will get something done, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.

Curry is earning a $45.78MM salary next season. Because that amount is technically over the maximum salary, he could only get a 5% raise for the first year of an extension, rather than the usual 20% that veterans are eligible for. Still, that would put him in line for a maximum extension worth a staggering $215MM over four years on a deal that would cover his age 34-37 seasons. It remains to be seen if the Warriors will go quite that high, but after the season Curry just had, the team isn’t likely to low-ball him.

Myers also told reporters today that Curry’s impressive run down the stretch of the 2020/21 season occurred despite a hairline fracture in his tailbone.

Small hairline, but as I’ve been told the pain was coming more from a contusion,” Myers said (Twitter link via Slater).

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • According to Slater (Twitter link), Myers sounded skeptical today that Klay Thompson will be ready to go by opening night in 2021/22. Thompson’s Achilles tear occurred last November, so he won’t be a full year removed from the injury by the time the season starts, says Slater, noting that the idea is to ease the veteran swingman back into action.
  • Myers said the hope is for James Wiseman to be recovered from his knee surgery in time for training camp, adding that he expects the big man to be on the team next season and doesn’t want to trade him. I think he can be helpful in the future and in the present,” Myers said of 2020’s No. 2 overall pick (Twitter links via Slater).
  • Myers said today that he believes the Warriors’ roster is in need of more veterans (Twitter link via Slater). When asked about specific team needs, Myers mentioned a floor-spacing big man, a play-making guard, and more shooting, noting that he’d like any free agent additions to have some playoff experience (Twitter links via Wes Goldberg of The San Jose Mercury News and Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area).
  • Addressing Kelly Oubre‘s free agency, Myers said he hopes the veteran forward is back and said Oubre has made it clear “he’d like to be here.” However, Myers cautioned that he can’t predict what the market will look like and added that Oubre would have to be comfortable with a bench role (Twitter links via Slater and ESPN’s Nick Friedell).

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Curry, Poole, Green

The Warriors‘ season ended with a pair of disappointing losses in the play-in tournament, but the team believes it can become a title contender again. Part of the optimism involves the expected return of Klay Thompson, who has missed the past two seasons with a torn right Achilles tendon and a torn ACL in his left knee.

Thompson was an important part of the Golden State teams that reached five straight NBA Finals and won three rings. He absence was noticeable this year as the Warriors couldn’t find a reliable second scorer to pair with Stephen Curry.

“He’s going to do everything in his power to get back to 100 percent, knowing what he’s been through the last two years,” Curry told Janie McCauley of The Associated Press. “There’s going to be a lot of support around to help him get there, but whatever version of him comes back is definitely a boost. We’ll patiently wait for what that looks like.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Jordan Poole spent part of the season in the G League, but he made a strong impression on coach Steve Kerr once he returned, McCauley adds in the same story. Kerr envisions the second-year guard in a sixth-man role when Thompson is available. “A season ago, he was lost. He was lost in the woods like most rookies are, and it’s just confirmation that hard work and perseverance pays off,” Kerr said. “Jordan was in the gym more than any other player during the pandemic, and he’s earned this. So thrilled for him. I think he’s got a really bright future, and obviously will play a big role for us going forward.”
  • The Warriors are likely to explore any trade possibilities that don’t involve Curry, Thompson or Draymond Green, according to Mark Medina of USA Today. Medina expects Kelly Oubre to leave in free agency, while inconsistent play from Eric Paschall and Kent Bazemore could decide their fates. “I expect to be extremely involved. It’s just the way it’s got to be,” Green said about personnel decisions.
  • Curry hasn’t made a decision on whether he will try to be part of this year’s Olympic team, writes Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area. Curry has never played in the Olympics, but he does have two gold medals at the FIBA World Cup.

Injury/Protocol Notes: Reddish, Durant, Thompson, Raptors

Hawks forward Cam Reddish reportedly received a PRP injection earlier this month and was ruled out for at least two weeks at that time, per general manager Travis Schlenk. However, it sounds like Reddish’s absence will extend well beyond that window.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Reddish has an initial recovery timeline of four-to-six weeks following the non-surgical procedure to address his right Achilles soreness. Even if we assume one of those weeks has already passed, it still sounds like we won’t see Reddish back on the court until sometime in April.

Here are a few more updates from around the NBA on players who are injured or in the league’s health and safety protocols:

  • Nets star Kevin Durant is expected to miss another week or two as the team takes a cautious approach to his left hamstring strain, sources tell Charania. Durant has now been on the shelf for over a month, but it hasn’t slowed down Brooklyn at all — the team has won 10 of its last 11 games.
  • As we relayed on Sunday, Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson is aiming to return early next season from his Achilles tear. However, he admitted that he’s not expecting to look like his old self right away. I’ll be honest, I don’t expect to come back balls-to-the-wall, 38 minutes a night, guarding the best player, running around 100 screens,” Thompson said (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). “I’m going to get to that point. I guarantee that. But… it might be 20 minutes to start the season… We’ll see where I’m at. This is usually a 12-month process with the Achilles and that’ll take me to mid-November.”
  • Raptors head coach Nick Nurse expects his five players in the health and safety protocols – Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Patrick McCaw, and Malachi Flynn – to all return at some point this week, according to Doug Smith of The Toronto Star, who says some of those players are out of quarantine and doing work in the team’s gym.

Western Notes: Rubio, Edwards, McCollum, Nowell, Thompson

Timberwolves veteran Ricky Rubio praised rookie teammate Anthony Edwards and his toughness during the highs and lows of the season so far, Chris Hine of the Star Tribune writes.

Edwards, who was drafted by the team No. 1 overall last year, has shown flashes of potential during his first campaign. The 19-year-old is currently holding per-game averages of 15.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 38 contests, though he’s shooting just 38% from the floor.

“When you’re young, every game and every situation it seems like it’s the end of the world sometimes when it’s not working,” Rubio said. “But his character is special. I said it from day one, I think we have a gem here. We have something that — he’s going to be really good in this league.”

Here are some other notes from the Western Conference tonight:

  • Blazers star CJ McCollum is hoping to return next week from a broken left foot, Jason Quick of The Athletic writes. “Friday’s workout went well; how I expected it to go,” McCollum said. “I’ll be back soon, as long as everything continues to go the way it’s been going.” McCollum, who has averaged 26.7 points per game in 13 contests this season, has been sidelined since January 16.
  • Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell received an expanded role in the team’s game against the Blazers on Saturday, Chris Hine of the Star Tribune writes. Nowell scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds in the loss, playing the final minutes despite starting the contest on the bench. “I’m just focused on being aggressive whenever I catch it, making sure I can make a play,” said Nowell, who recently spoke to our Ben Stinar about his impressive season to date. “The one difference that I might say would be when I’m initiating offense, making sure I get guys in spots, making sure I keep the ball moving, making sure the ball doesn’t get stagnant. That’s probably the only difference when I’m in with that second unit rather than the first.”
  • Warriors star Klay Thompson hopes to return early next season from a torn Achilles’ tendon, as relayed by The Athletic. “Definitely. Could be a few weeks after [opening night]. Could be a month after,” Thompson acknowledged. “But definitely geared toward early in the season.” Thompson is a five-time All-Star and hasn’t played since June of 2019 due his Achilles’ injury and a torn ACL.

USA Basketball Expands Finalist List for Olympic Roster

Fifteen players have been added to the list of finalists for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. The group will eventually be pared down to 12 players who will participate in the Olympic Games, which are set for July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will serve as coach for the U.S. team, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Villanova coach Jay Wright and former Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce as his assistants.

No tryouts will be held this year. Instead, USA Basketball will choose the final roster by early summer. Training camp is scheduled to being in early July before the conclusion of the NBA playoffs.

“With the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021, it’s important that we continue to remain flexible and consider all players who can contribute to our efforts to field the best USA team possible,” USA Basketball men’s national team managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “These additions we are announcing today will help ensure that we are doing that. Having a larger player pool than what we normally have is critical because of all of the uncertainties we face about availability. But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”

The new names under consideration are:

  1. Jarrett Allen (Cavaliers)
  2. Eric Gordon (Rockets)
  3. Jerami Grant (Pistons)
  4. Blake Griffin (Nets)
  5. Jrue Holiday (Bucks)
  6. DeAndre Jordan (Nets)
  7. Zach LaVine (Bulls)
  8. Julius Randle (Knicks)
  9. Duncan Robinson (Heat)
  10. Mitchell Robinson (Knicks)
  11. Fred VanVleet (Raptors)
  12. John Wall (Rockets)
  13. Zion Williamson (Pelicans)
  14. Christian Wood (Rockets)
  15. Trae Young (Hawks)

Forty-two players remain from the original list, which was announced in February 2020:

  1. Bam Adebayo (Heat)
  2. LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)
  3. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  4. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  5. Devin Booker (Suns)
  6. Malcolm Brogdon (Pacers)
  7. Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
  8. Jimmy Butler (Heat)
  9. Mike Conley (Jazz)
  10. Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  11. Anthony Davis (Lakers)
  12. DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)
  13. Andre Drummond (Cavaliers)
  14. Kevin Durant (Nets)
  15. Paul George (Clippers)
  16. Draymond Green (Warriors)
  17. James Harden (Nets)
  18. Montrezl Harrell (Lakers)
  19. Joe Harris (Nets)
  20. Tobias Harris (76ers)
  21. Gordon Hayward (Hornets)
  22. Dwight Howard (Sixers)
  23. Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
  24. Kyrie Irving (Nets)
  25. LeBron James (Lakers)
  26. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  27. Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
  28. Damian Lillard (Blazers)
  29. Brook Lopez (Bucks)
  30. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  31. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  32. JaVale McGee (Cavaliers)
  33. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  34. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  35. Victor Oladipo (Rockets)
  36. Chris Paul (Suns)
  37. Mason Plumlee (Pistons)
  38. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  39. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  40. Kemba Walker (Celtics)
  41. Russell Westbrook (Wizards)
  42. Derrick White (Spurs)

Two players removed from that list are Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, and Celtics guard Marcus Smart. Sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic that Smart turned down an invitation because of injury concerns due to having a short offseason and playing late into consecutive seasons (Twitter link).

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.