Klay Thompson

California Notes: Lakers, LeBron, Hield, Turner, Klay, DiVincenzo, Mitchell

While it’s still early in training camp, Lakers first-year coach Darvin Ham revealed a surprise starting lineup he’s been using in practices, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. The group around Anthony Davis and LeBron James includes Russell Westbrook, Damian Jones and Kendrick Nunn. Westbrook has heard his name mentioned often in trade rumors, Jones has never been a regular starter in the league, and Nunn missed all of last season due to injury.

James plans to play more often this preseason, when he only saw action in two games, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

We have more from the California teams:

  • The Pacers would almost certainly trade Buddy Hield and Myles Turner to the Lakers if Los Angeles is willing to include its 2027 and 2029 first-rounders without any protections, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the Lowe Post podcast (hat tip to HoopsHype). “My best intel right now is if the Lakers called Indiana right now and said ‘Both picks unprotected,’ the Pacers would do that deal, would probably do that deal.”
  • Klay Thompson was held out of playing in Tokyo this week because he didn’t do any scrimmaging this offseason after the Warriors won the title, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “I didn’t play much this summer,” Thompson said. “With what I went through the last summer, I was healthy, popping my Achilles, it was really hard for me to get out of it, mentally. It’s hard to explain. It’s a mental block or something.”
  • During the preseason opener in Tokyo, Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo played 17 minutes off the bench, contributing nine points, seven rebounds and two assists. He also didn’t commit any fouls or turnovers. Those types of contributions are why the Warriors added him, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. DiVincenzo signed a two-year, $9.3MM contract early in free agency.
  • Davion Mitchell‘s defensive prowess, paired with his budding talent as a creator, could lead to a breakout season for the Kings’ second-year guard, Ethan Fuller of Basketball News writes.

Pacific Notes: A. Davis, McNair, Clippers, Warriors

After being limited to just 76 in the last two seasons, Anthony Davis is determined to have a healthier year in 2022/23. Speaking to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, The Lakers star said he’s so excited for the coming season that he has “goosebumps,” adding that he’s “looking forward to a healthy year.”

“I went into this summer focusing on strengthening my body,” Davis told Haynes. “I have to be on the court and at my best to put us in position to be our best. I’m ready to do that.”

Davis has played more than 70 regular season games just twice in his 10-year career, so the Lakers would likely be thrilled to see him surpass that benchmark. However, the eight-time All-Star told reporters this week that he has loftier expectations for himself.

“I want to be able to play all 82 (games),” Davis said, per Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group. “And if I’m not, I don’t want it to be injury-based where I can’t play. That’s my goal. The more I’m on the floor, the more I can help my team and its chance of winning when I’m playing.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • With Monte McNair entering the final year of his contract, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said on Wednesday that he’s happy with the job the general manager has done, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. However, the two sides have been “too focused on the season” to discuss a possible contract extension, according to Ranadive. “Monte, (assistant GM) Wes (Wilcox), the whole front office, the coaches they hired, the coaching staff, the process they went through, the trades they made, the rookie they picked, I’m very pleased with everything that’s happened,” Ranadive said. “I think right now the focus is: Let’s win.”
  • The Clippers are taking a cautious approach this preseason with a handful of veteran players, with head coach Tyronn Lue announcing on Thursday that Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, John Wall, and Reggie Jackson won’t play in the team’s preseason opener in Seattle on Friday (Twitter link via Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times). The Warriors are going the same route with Klay Thompson, holding him out of the club’s two preseason contests in Japan, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
  • The Warriors‘ preseason opener on Friday showed the new simplified offensive role the team envisions for center James Wiseman, who was primarily used as a slasher and roller en route to a 20-point, eight-rebound game, Slater writes for The Athletic.
  • Logan Murdock of The Ringer takes a look at the Warriors‘ efforts to balance their title defense in the short term with their vision of the franchise in the long term.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Iguodala, Green

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is hoping to get back to his previous All-Star-caliber output during the 2022/23 season, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Poole cautions that Thompson may no longer be quite as versatile on defense as he was through 2019, and may see fewer minutes guarding smaller perimeter players. However, Poole notes that the wing’s two-and-a-half seasons spent rehabilitating from major injuries have helped him flesh out his well-rounded offensive game even further than before. Poole also anticipates that Thompson could see his minutes reduced during the regular season, with the ultimate goal being the preservation of his body for a run at a fifth NBA title.

In his 32 healthy regular season games last year, all starts, Thompson still put up solid numbers for the eventual 2022 champs. He averaged 20.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, posting .429/.385/.902 shooting splits.

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • The Warriors continue to keep a rotation spot open for reserve wing Andre Iguodala heading into the 2022/23 season, which would be the swingman’s 19th in the league. Anthony Slater of The Athletic explains that the 2015 Finals MVP has developed into one of the most trusted voices in the locker room for Golden State, even as his on-court contributions have become significantly more limited. The 38-year-old has said that he will announce his eventual decision regarding his future on his podcast.
  • During a potential contract year, All-Star Warriors power forward Draymond Green is looking to stay healthier than he did in the team’s title-winning 2021/22 season, when he looked like a Defensive Player of the Year candidate ahead of a midseason back injury that shelved him for two months, writes Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • In case you missed it, team president Bob Myers appeared on the TK Show with Tim Kawakami this week to discuss the team’s historic payroll, his expectations for Iguodala’s future, Golden State’s impending decision on its team option for oft-injured center James Wiseman‘s fourth season, and more. We have the highlights here.

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Kerr, Thompson, Poole

Andrew Wiggins‘ performance in helping the Warriors capture the NBA championship was exactly what the team envisioned when it traded for him at the 2020 deadline, writes Jarrod Castillo of NBC Sports Bay Area. With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the roster, Golden State didn’t need Wiggins to be a primary scorer, which allowed him to focus on defense, rebounding and helping the offense in other ways.

“He couldn’t have played that role any better in the Finals especially, but really throughout the playoffs,” coach Steve Kerr said this week on the “Damon and Ratto” radio show. “The way he rebounded, the way he guarded the opponent’s best players, he was just awesome.”

There were plenty of doubters when the Warriors made the deal for Wiggins, who was often viewed as an underachiever during his five and a half seasons with Minnesota. Kerr said it took time for Wiggins to get comfortable with Golden State, but he was ready to contribute when the playoff opportunity arrived.

“It’s just been a perfect marriage and we’re thrilled with him and I know he’s happy to be here. So excited to coach Wiggs again,” Kerr said.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Thompson is eager for the start of training camp after enjoying a healthy summer for the first time in four years, per Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area. Thompson wasn’t able to play until January last season, but he plans to be ready when training camp gets underway in a little more than two weeks. “Klay is just on cloud nine right now,” Kerr said on the same broadcast. “He can’t wait for camp to start, and I would expect him to be more consistent this year, just having that conditioning base underneath him, and that consistency of good health and being able to train all summer.”
  • Kerr also commented on Jordan Poole, saying he might be at his peak as a scorer but he can still improve as a defender, according to Eduardo Razo of NBC Sports Bay Area“I thought last year in the playoffs when he was fully engaged and really playing with physicality, he showed he can be a legit two-way player, but he knows he hasn’t become that consistently,” Kerr said. “And so that’s the next step for Jordan.”
  • It would be surprising if the Warriors work out a rookie scale extension with Poole rather than waiting to deal with him as a restricted free agent next summer, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area says on the latest edition of Dubs Talk.

Western Notes: Marjanovic, Cauley-Stein, Lakers Arena, Warriors

What is the status of the ever popular Boban Marjanovic? According to Marc Stein in a Substack post, Marjanovic has a place on the Rockets’ opening night roster despite an excess of big men.

Marjanovic was dealt by Dallas as part of its package for Christian Wood. He has one season left on the two-year, $7MM contract he signed last offseason.

Alperen Şengün is projected as Houston’s starting center, with Bruno Fernando and Willie Cauley-Stein also vying for spots on the regular season roster.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The addition of Cauley-Stein isn’t official yet, as Houston must clear a roster space to sign him. He’s a low-risk, potentially solid-reward addition, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes in his latest mailbag. Over the past five seasons, Cauley-Stein’s teams defended nearly five points better with him on the floor, Iko notes. He’s still athletic enough to play in Houston’s up-tempo system and should help the team defensively.
  • The home arena for the Lakers and Clippers in undergoing major renovations over the next three summers, according to David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times. Upgrades are being made at every level of Crypto.com Arena, formerly known as the Staples Center. The upgrades include new jumbo screens, updated concession stands, a better sound system and an enhanced “fan experience.” The Clippers are scheduled to leave for their new arena in 2024.
  • Which member of the Warriors’ big three will leave? In a mailbag post, Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett speculates that Draymond Green is the only one who might depart in the near future. Stephen Curry has four years left on his deal and is the face of the franchise, while Klay Thompson has two years left on his contract and will likely sign another with Golden State. Green can opt out of his contract after next season and the heavily taxed Warriors may pin their hopes on one of their young frontcourt players emerging at a lower cost, Bulpett writes.

Warriors Rumors: Green, Wiggins, Poole, Thompson

Signing all of Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Klay Thompson to lucrative contract extensions that lock them up long-term probably isn’t financially viable for the Warriors, according to Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic.

As Slater and Thompson outline, extending Green, Wiggins, and Poole to deals that are worth a combined $90MM or so in 2023/24 would result in that season’s roster costing a projected $550MM+ when accounting for team salary and luxury tax penalties. Joe Lacob and Warriors ownership spent a record $362MM on the roster this past season, but Lacob has suggested that even $400MM+ may be too step a price for the organization to stomach, per The Athletic’s duo.

Removing even one of those three hypothetical extensions (worth approximately $27-30MM) from the Warriors’ books for 2023/24 would result in the projected cost of the roster decreasing by more than $200MM, due primarily to the tax savings, according to Slater and Thompson.

In other words, unless they can negotiate some very team-friendly deals, the Warriors may soon face a major decision on which one of their core players they’re most comfortable moving on from.

Here’s more from Slater and Thompson:

  • Draymond Green believes he has earned a four-year, maximum extension from the Warriors, sources tell The Athletic. Such a deal would begin in 2023/24 and would be worth about $138.7MM. However, there are no indications that Golden State plans to put that offer on the table for Green this offseason, even though he can reach unrestricted free agency next year if he turns down his ’23/24 player option.
  • Green wants to remain with the Warriors, but his contract situation will be worth keeping an eye on, according to Slater and Thompson, who suggest the former Defensive Player of the Year could be willing to explore other options to get the kind of contract he wants. Sources also tell The Athletic that Stephen Curry wouldn’t be happy if the club lost Green for financial reasons.
  • Andrew Wiggins may be the best candidate on the Warriors’ roster to sign an extension this offseason, but the club would want any deal to start well below Wiggins’ maximum, per Slater and Thompson. The duo believes Golden State would be interested in a contract starting in the $27MM range. Wiggins will earn $33.6MM in 2022/23 and is coming off his best season as a pro, so he’ll likely be seeking more than that.
  • New deals for Anfernee Simons (four years, $100MM) and Jalen Brunson (four years, $104MM) figure to be reference points for Jordan Poole and the Warriors as they explore an extension, Slater and Thompson observe.
  • Klay Thompson still has two guaranteed years left on his contract, so he’s probably the least likely of these four Warriors to sign an extension this year, according to Slater and Thompson, who say there’s no sense that Thompson is “clamoring” for a new deal.

Warriors Notes: Green, Roster Openings, Wiggins, Poole, Durant, Lacob

JaMychal Green officially became a free agent on Friday when he cleared waivers. That opens up a path for Green to sign with the Warriors. He’ll provide necessary depth at forward, since Golden State lost Otto Porter Jr. to Toronto and Nemanja Bjelica decided to play in Europe. Green is a proven 3-point threat and can guard multiple positions, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes.

We have more on the Warriors:

  • In the same story, Slater indicates Golden State will likely guarantee only 14 roster spots heading into training camp. Green would fill the 12th spot and rookie Ryan Rollins is expected to sign a multi-year contract. Andre Iguodala could fill the 14th spot if he doesn’t retire.
  • The Nets are not “super high” on Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole as centerpieces of a deal for Kevin Durant, Zach Lowe of ESPN said on his podcast (hat tip to Ali Thanawalla of Yahoo Sports). That’s one reason why a deal with Golden State didn’t gain traction, even though it had some picks to dangle. “I don’t know if there ever really was a deal there that the Nets would have done. Obviously, you have to explore it if you’re the Warriors,” Lowe said. It’s also worth noting that Brooklyn wouldn’t be able to acquire Wiggins this season as long as Ben Simmons is still on the team.
  • Owner Joe Lacob made his case with fellow team owners at the recent Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas that tax penalties should be reduced when teams re-sign players they drafted, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack article. Three of Golden State’s four highest-paid players — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — were draft picks that have only played for one team.

Warriors Notes: Championship, Lacob, Veteran Core, Offseason

The Warriors‘ championship this year vindicated the belief of team management and ownership that the team could build a “two-timeline” roster, using its lottery picks in 2020 and 2021 on young prospects rather than in trades for win-now help, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

[RELATED: Warriors Win 2022 Title, Stephen Curry Named MVP]

As Slater details, president of basketball operations Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob believed the roster was talented enough to contend for a title without having to trade those picks. Golden State ultimately opted to draft and develop James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody while continuing to lean on veterans like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins.

“They were doubted,” Lacob said on Thursday night, referring to the Warriors’ veteran stars. “But these guys are not 40 years old. We believed in that core. Not many teams have a core four. A lot of people say core three. I say core four. We’re spending the money to do that. Then, we supplement and surround that team.

“I know some people thought we could’ve done more, got another star. But who were we going to get? Who was available that would make a difference? We didn’t think there was, and we really wanted these young guys to be developed and learn from these guys. They have learned. We are going to be even better as a result of that in the years going forward.”

Here’s more on the NBA champions:

  • Lacob is confident that his club can continue to be a contender for years to come, as David Aldridge of The Athletic relays. “I intend to own this team for a long time and I intend to win as many championships as possible,” Lacob said. “It’s all about winning. That’s it. That’s all I care about. We’re going to do whatever it takes. The truth is, we’ve got really smart people who work in this organization, and we are, usually, going to figure it out and be real good.”
  • The Warriors’ fourth title in the last eight years left no doubt of their star trio’s place in NBA history, says Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “Individually, we all do different, unique things to impact winning,” Curry said of himself, Green, and Thompson. “We all have a sense of humility about what it takes to win and knowing that we respect what every single one of us brings to the table. But there’s also an ego with that, too. So there’s a healthy balance. And the rest of it is trust.”
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype looks ahead to the offseason decisions facing the Warriors following their championship run, while Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN revisits seven important moments from that run.
  • Oddsmakers and sportsbooks have made the Warriors the early favorites for the 2023 title, according to David Purdum of ESPN. Golden State is a little ahead of Brooklyn, Boston, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and the Clippers.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Wiggins, Curry, GPII

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is trying to focus on the task at hand: winning his fourth NBA title. Three years removed from his torn ACL, and nearly two years removed from his torn Achilles, the five-time Golden State All-Star is prioritizing the present, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. The Warriors currently hold a 3-2 advantage against the Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals, which will resume Thursday.

“I never had such a severe injury, so I didn’t think it was that serious,” Thompson said of the ACL tear. “I thought I might have sprained something in my knee.” Thompson also noted that he generally does not dwell on the injury now: “I just want to frigging win.”

Across 21 games during this postseason run, Thompson is averaging 19.4 PPG on .440/.391/.867 shooting splits, along with 3.9 RPG, 2.3 APG and 1.0 SPG. Though he has not consistently looked like the perimeter defender he was in his prime, he has had standout moments of efficacy on that end while defending Boston guard Jaylen Brown.

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • Following a career night in Game 5, the Warriors are commending the fit of small forward Andrew Wiggins, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Wiggins scored 26 points while shooting 12-of-23 from the floor, pulled down 13 boards, and chipped in two assists, two steals and a block in a pivotal 104-94 Game 5 win. “We knew we needed his athleticism and defense and his versatility,” Golden State head coach Steve Kerr raved. “We had no idea that he would make this kind of contribution.” All-Star teammate Draymond Green also focused on how Wiggins, as a big forward with two-way ability and excellent athleticism as a finisher, found a way to slot in with the rest of the roster. “We looked at the trade [to acquire Wiggins in 2020 from the Timberwolves] like that is a guy who can fit next to a healthy group absolutely well,” Green said. “He’s continued to show that. He’s continued to get better. He’s taken on every challenge that we have thrown in front of him.”
  • Tim Kawakami of The Athletic reflects that Wiggins seems to be finally realizing his promise in the biggest possible moment for his club.
  • Warriors All-NBA point guard Stephen Curry had a low-scoring game by his lofty standards during the team’s Game 5 win over the Celtics, though he still was a key element of the offense in drawing plenty of defensive attention away from his teammates. Curry scored 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting form the floor, including a stunning 0-for-9 from deep. This marked the first time in 233 straight contests that he failed to connect from deep. Accordingly, Golden State anticipates that Curry will respond in a big way when the battle is joined again on Thursday for Game 6, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic“He’s going to be livid going into Game 6, and that’s exactly what we need,” Draymond Green said.
  • Coming off his best performance in the Finals thus far, Warriors reserve guard Gary Payton II is looking to build on that with some championship hardware, writes Marc J. Spears of Andscape. In 26 minutes of action during Game 5, Payton tied a personal career-best in postseason points scored, notching 15 points while converting 6-of-8 from the floor. He also pulled down five rebounds and picked off three steals. After going undrafted out of Oregon State in 2016, Payton played for five NBAGL clubs and bounced around limited stints with the Bucks, Lakers, Wizards, and Warriors. This season, after some uncertainty about his roster status, the 2022 free agent eventually blossomed into a permanent part of the Golden State rotation.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Looney, Wiggins, Thompson

Friday night may have been the best performance of Stephen Curry‘s Hall of Fame career, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic. With the Warriors in danger of falling behind 3-1, Curry delivered 43 points with seven three-pointers, 10 rebounds and four assists to pull out a victory in a hostile atmosphere.

It was a defining game for Curry, who has yet to win Finals MVP honors despite having three rings. More remarkably, it came two days after a foot injury that led to questions about how effective he could be for the rest of the series.

“Incredible,” Draymond Green said. “Put us on his back. Willed us to win. Much-needed win. Game we had to have. Came out and showed why he’s one of the best players to ever play this game, you know? And why … this organization has been able to ride him to so much success. It’s absolutely incredible.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kevon Looney was replaced by Otto Porter Jr. in the starting lineup for Game 4 as coach Steve Kerr focused on spacing, but Looney was able to exploit his size advantage when he checked in, observes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. After playing just 17 minutes in Game 3, the big man logged 28 minutes Friday night with six points and 11 rebounds. “Loon is just crucial to everything we do,” Kerr said. “He’s our best screener, our best rebounder. One of our smartest players. He’s always in the right spot. He made I thought the biggest bucket in the game after Horford made the 3 from the corner (late in the fourth quarter), Draymond made the pass out of the pocket to Loon, and he finished with that left hand (to put the Warriors back up five).”
  • Andrew Wiggins has transformed himself into an effective rebounder throughout this year’s playoffs and collected a career-high 16 in Game 4, Slater adds in the same piece. Wiggins has been criticized for his lack of rebounding during his eight NBA seasons, but he’s averaging 7.3 per game in this postseason as a small-ball power forward. “I want to win,” he explained. “I know rebounding is a big part of that. I just want to win.”
  • In an attempt to revive himself for the rest of the series, Klay Thompson went swimming Saturday in San Francisco Bay, per Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports Bay Area. Thompson spent a lot of time on the water, especially in his boat, during his 31-month rehab after two serious leg injuries.