Klay Thompson

Warriors Notes: Durant, Draft, Thompson, Summer League

Kevin Durant is doing “a lot of soul searching” as he decides whether to stay with the Warriors or leave for the Knicks or Nets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on tonight’s draft preview show (hat tip to Real GM). Woj adds that all three teams are willing to give Durant a max offer even though he is expected to miss all of next season with a ruptured Achilles.

New York has been considered the strongest threat to take Durant away from Golden State, but tonight’s report indicates that he is also giving serious consideration to Brooklyn, where he likely can join forces with his close friend Kyrie Irving. With at least three max offers awaiting, it’s virtually certain that Durant will opt out of his $31.5MM salary for next season.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • GM Bob Myers tells Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News that he will focus on talent over need in tomorrow’s draft, even though the team suddenly has a lot of holes to fill. In addition to Durant, who may not be back at all, Golden State has to replace Klay Thompson, who will miss most of the year with a torn ACL, and possibly free agent big men DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell“Good young players, whatever position they are,” will be the focus, Myers said. “Those players have the most value in the NBA – rookie contract players that show themselves to have a skill and can play. Especially next year, we afford more opportunity for who we pick. Maybe we get a guy who can step in. We will have more opportunity next year. No matter what happens in free agency, we’ll have more of an opportunity for a young guy.” The Warriors have also become more likely to buy extra picks, Myers said.
  • Thompson is waiting for the swelling in his knee to subside before having surgery, Medina adds. Myers didn’t offer any medical update on Durant, whose surgery was last week.
  • Alen Smailagic is a strong candidate to go to Golden State with the No. 58 pick, according to Medina. The Serbian big man spent this season with the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
  • Jacob Evans will be part of Golden State’s Summer League team, Myers tells Medina, while Alfonzo McKinnie, who has a $1.6MM team option for next season, won’t play but will be training in Las Vegas.

GM: We’ll Do Everything We Can To Keep Durant, Thompson

The Warriors will do everything in their power to re-sign Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in free agency despite their injuries during the Finals, GM Bob Myers told ESPN’s Nick Friedell and other media members on Friday.

The Warriors’ brass made it known throughout the season they’d try to retain Durant and Thompson despite the record luxury tax penalties they’d confront. Golden State can offer Durant a max of $221MM over five years while Thompson can receive approximately $190MM over the same period. Durant is expected to miss all of next season as he rehabs from a ruptured Achilles tendon, while Thompson will miss most, if not all, of next season due to a torn left ACL.

“We value those guys at the highest level,” Myers said. “I wouldn’t be a very good GM if I didn’t understand how valuable they are to our own team. It sometimes gets lost. But I think when Kevin plays in the NBA Finals, we’ve gone 9-1. So I don’t know what else matters. And Klay — they’re both fantastic. Those are guys that you do everything you can to keep within your organization.”

Teams with significant cap space are expected to pursue Durant despite the injury, with both New York and Los Angeles teams providing the competition for his services. Durant holds a $31.5MM player option.

Thompson is likely to remain with the organization that drafted him in 2011, which his father Mychal Thompson reiterated on Friday.

“All I’ll say is that those guys are highly important to us,” Myers said. “And deserving of being rewarded in the right manner. … It’s hard to find high-quality people, and both of them are that. And so you just — try to keep those guys within these walls the best you can.”

Pacific Notes: Thompson, Caroline, Fall, Kings’ Staff

Mychal Thompson, father of Warriors star Klay Thompson, said there’s “no question” Klay will re-sign with Golden State, Connor Letourneau‏ of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The Warriors are expected to offer him a full five-year maximum deal worth nearly $190MM despite Thompson’s knee injury during Game 6 on Thursday. Thompson suffered a torn left ACL and is expected to miss most of next season.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

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.”

Klay Thompson Suffers Torn ACL

A Warriors star suffered a major injury for a second straight game on Thursday night, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who hears from agent Greg Lawrence that Klay Thompson has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee.

It’s a brutal turn of events for Thompson and the Warriors, who saw Kevin Durant go down in Game 5 on Monday with a ruptured right Achilles. Like Durant, Thompson had been dealing with another injury in the same leg, having missed Game 3 due to a hamstring issue. However, there’s no indication that the ACL injury was related.

Thompson suffered the injury during the third quarter of Thursday’s game when he was fouled by Danny Green as he attempted to score on a fast break. Klay landed awkwardly on his left leg and had to be helped off the court, only to jog back onto the floor a moment later to knock down his two free throws. After making those free throws, he was removed from the game and was unable to return, eventually leaving the arena on crutches.

Despite being sidelined for Game 3, Thompson may have been the Warriors’ most valuable overall player in the NBA Finals. He played a significant role on the defensive end guarding Kawhi Leonard and was also Golden State’s most efficient scorer, knocking down an impressive 54.1% of his shots in the series, including a scorching 58.5% mark (24-for-41) from beyond the arc.

Thompson and Durant had been on track to be two of the biggest prizes in free agency this summer before these injuries took their offseasons in entirely new directions. Unlike Durant, Thompson doesn’t have a player option for 2019/20, so he’ll definitely reach the open market on June 30, while KD’s decision remains up in the air.

[RELATED: Opting In Considered A “Last Resort” For Durant]

Thompson has long been viewed as a virtual lock to re-sign with the Warriors, and there’s no reason to think that won’t still be the case. However, his injury will create a fascinating dilemma for the Western Conference champions. If the club brings back both Thompson and Durant, it would result in a massive luxury-tax bill for a roster featuring two stars who will miss most or all of the 2019/20 season.

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic observes (via Twitter), ACL recoveries typically take at least eight months, so Thompson appears likely to be on the shelf until at least the All-Star break next season, though it’s too soon to count on a specific timeline.

[RELATED: The Impact Of A Torn ACL On An NBA Player]

If the Warriors plan on heading into the 2019/20 season with one or two injured stars, it could impact how other Western teams approach the coming offseason. Rival contenders may be a little more aggressive if they sense that Golden State won’t be quite the same threat that the club has been over the last five years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

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.

Klay Thompson Won’t Play In Game 3

7:52pm: Thompson will be held out of Game 3, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. This will be the first playoff game he has missed in his career. Livingston will start in his place.

4:46pm: Warriors management wants Klay Thompson to miss tonight’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals and rest his injured hamstring, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. However, Thompson insists he’s healthy enough to play, and the decision probably won’t be made until game time.

Thompson suffered a hamstring strain in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game 2 while landing on a 3-point shot. An MRI conducted Monday revealed the injury to be a mild strain, and he is officially listed as questionable for tonight. If the Warriors hold him out, Quinn Cook and Shaun Livingston will likely see increased minutes.

Injuries continue to haunt the Warriors as they seek a third straight NBA title. Kevon Looney is out for the rest of the series with a non-displaced cartilage fracture on the right side of his collarbone, Kevin Durant remains sidelined with a strained calf and Andre Iguodala is still battling the effects of a calf injury.

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.