Klay Thompson

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.

Klay Thompson Suffers Apparent Lower Leg Injury

7:43pm: The fear is that Thompson has a heel injury, according to Charania (video link).

5:41pm: Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson suffered an apparent lower leg injury today and is undergoing tests to determine the severity of the injury, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Thompson was unable to place weight on the injrued leg when leaving the gym today, sources tell Charania (Twitter link).

Thompson sustained the injury during a workout in Southern California, notes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Woj hears from a source that the injury affects Thompson’s right leg (Twitter link).

Thompson has been sidelined since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, having suffered a torn left ACL in that game. He had been on track to return to the court for the Warriors to start the 2020/21 season — it’s not clear yet whether this setback will jeopardize his availability for next month’s opener

Thompson, 30, is one of the league’s best two-way wings, having averaged at least 20.0 PPG in each of his last five healthy seasons, earning All-Star nods in each of those five years. He’s a career 41.9% three-point shooter and is a strong perimeter defender. He’s entering the second season of a five-year, maximum-salary contract.

It’s unclear whether or not the Warriors fear Thompson’s injury is a major one. It also remains to be seen whether Golden State will get any answers before tonight’s draft, or how the news may affect the team’s approach to the offseason.

California Notes: Clippers, Kings, Klay, Lakers

The Clippers face several intriguing offseason roster-building questions, writes Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. Though the issue of who would become Los Angeles’s next head coach was answered today, the team still has multiple decisions to make in terms of its on-court personnel. Big men Marcus Morris and Montrezl Harrell are unrestricted free agents this season. Greif notes that the team would like to at least bring back Harrell if the price is right.

There’s more out of California:

  • Ahead of the 2020 NBA draft, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area analyzes seven point guards who might be intriguing fits for the Kings as backups to starting point guard De’Aaron Fox. Sacramento holds the Nos. 12, 35, 43 and 52 picks this season. Players considered include Alabama’s Kira Lewis Jr., North Carolina’s Cole Anthony, and Duke’s Tre Jones.
  • Appearing on Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game, Warriors GM Bob Myers said that All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson, who missed all of the 2019/20 season due to an ACL tear suffered during the 2019 NBA Finals, has been impressive in team practices, but will need live game play to return to his pre-injury form, per Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • Danny Leroux of The Athletic unpacks some core offseason priorities for the 2020 NBA champion Lakers, including locking up Anthony Davis to a longer-term contract (he has a player option on the final year of his current deal), re-signing unrestricted free agent starter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and considering cost-effective free agent ball-handler, wing shooter and center additions.

Pacific Notes: Baynes, Lecque, Clippers, Warriors

Suns free agent Aron Baynes is non-committal on a potential return with the team, but the 33-year-old admits he enjoyed his time in Phoenix, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes.

Baynes, who averaged a career-high 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 22.2 minutes in 42 games this season, is set to reach the open market once the NBA finalizes a date for free agency to begin.

“I loved my time in Phoenix,” Baynes said. “I knew what it was coming in here and I was able to go out there and take advantage of the role that was given to me throughout a number of different situations. I enjoyed it. I loved playing with the guys here.”

Baynes is an eight-year NBA veteran and was part of the 2014 championship Spurs team. Before discussing his future any further, he understands the importance of the league coming to terms on a new salary cap for next season, one that could drastically impact what he receives in free agency.

“Trying to find out those numbers before anything can be thought of for the next season. It’s a waiting game,” Baynes said. “Our two biggest players in the sport right now, what are they going to come to an agreement with. Until that salary cap number is put out there for everyone to understand and work with, there’s really nothing that can be done. There’s no conversations that will be had.”

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns guard Jalen Lecque has signed with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports for representation, the agency announced on social media. Klutch also recently welcomed Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball and Raptors forward OG Anunoby to a mix that already includes players such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Ben Simmons.
  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic examines three critical questions the Clippers must address this offseason. Los Angeles was eliminated from the playoffs after a seven-game duel with the Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals last month, a disappointing ending for a team with championship aspirations. The club is likely to shuffle its 10-man rotation ahead of next season as a result, Buha reports.
  • Monte Poole of NBC Sports examines a series of notes related to the Warriors, including Klay Thompson‘s rehab, Eric Paschall‘s conditioning, and more. Golden State coped with an injury-riddled 2019/20 season, accruing the worst record in the league at 15-50. “It helps to get a really good look at everybody,” coach Steve Kerr said of the team’s mini-camp, which did not include Stephen Curry or Draymond Green. “Seeing them play, seeing them on the court, you start to get a sense of who might fit where and who could play what role and what your strengths and weaknesses are. We know Steph and Draymond so well that it’s easy to envision the group with them. This week has given us a better idea of what we need to look for.”

Steve Kerr Offers Insight Into Warriors’ Mini-Camp

The Warriors reunited for their team mini-camp on September 23, and while veterans Stephen Curry and Draymond Green did not join the team for workouts, starters Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins did.

In speaking with media about the team’s progress in practices, head coach Steve Kerr noted that the team will not hold any more formal intra-squad scrimmages during its mini-camp, Nick Friedell of ESPN tweets. Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports that Wiggins is slated to depart the mini-camp this weekend, ahead of its official end on Tuesday (Twitter link).

Although Thompson, who missed all of the 2019/20 season due to an ACL tear suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals, did partake in some elements of the mini-camp, Kerr asserted that the veteran sharpshooter would most likely not participate in 5-on-5 team workouts, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link).

Friedell notes in a separate tweet that center Kevon Looney, who played in just 20 games during the 2019/20 season due to various ailments, has impressed Kerr during the mini-camp. Kerr said that if Looney looks the way he did in the 2018/19 season, he anticipates that the big man will be slotted back into the rotation at a regular 20-25 minutes per game.

This spring, Looney underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury which contributed to some of his absences during 2019/20. Looney will earn $4.8MM in 2020/21, with a $5.1MM player option for the ’21/22 season.

Meanwhile, free agent veteran swingman Jonathon Simmons was among the non-roster players who earned an invitation to the Warriors’ team mini-camp. Slater tweets that Kerr had high praise for Simmons’s performance in the mini-camp thus far, and alluded to the possibility that the free agent may have a future with Golden State.

“Possibly,” Kerr said. “We could use the length on the wing.”

Simmons most recently played for the club’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, in February and March.

Pacific Notes: Caldwell-Pope, Rondo, Thompson, Looney

Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has a decision to make regarding free agency after the season, has displayed his value during the Western Conference Finals, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times notes.

Caldwell-Pope has been one of several defenders assigned to slow down Jamal Murray. He’s also contributed on offense, including 13 points in the Lakers’ pivotal Game 4 victory on Thursday. Caldwell-Pope holds an $8.54MM option on his contract for next season.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Anthony Davis‘ first order of business after being acquired by the Lakers was to encourage guard Rajon Rondo to re-sign, he told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (hat tip to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register). “He was the first person I called,” Davis said. “I told him that I wanted him to come back because I knew how much I excel with him and how much of a leader he is and his mindset on the floor and will to win.” Rondo holds a $2.62MM player option on his contract for next season after signing a two-year deal last summer.
  • Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson participated in his first full practice on Friday since he tore his left ACL in Game 6 of last year’s Finals, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. Thompson has four years left on the five-year, $189.9MM contract that took effect this season. “It was great to have him out on the floor, in the locker room,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Just his presence alone gave us a jolt of energy and excitement. Practice went well. This is the first practice coming off an ACL injury and a year and a half absence so I didn’t expect him to be in top shape, in top form, and he was not, but he moved well and it’s a good first step.”
  • Warriors big man Kevon Looney is also practicing and says he can run freely again on the court after a variety of injuries, He was cleared for full contact last month after undergoing core surgery in May, Friedell tweets (Twitter links). “I couldn’t really jump, I couldn’t really slide,” Looney said. “Biggest part for me is to stop being scared. I played last season scared to move.”