Klay Thompson

Injury Notes: Haliburton, Davis, Warriors, K. Porter

Appearing on JJ Redick’s Old Man and The Three podcast, Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton provided an update on his recovery from the elbow and knee injuries he sustained earlier this month. The team announced on January 12 that Haliburton would be reevaluated in two weeks, and he’s hoping that he won’t be out much longer than that.

“Starting to get stronger every day, feeling better every day,” he said (hat tip to Tony East of SI.com). “Got my second opinion, so things are going well. Hopefully in the next 11, 12 days, I feel better and can get back to start February. That’s the goal.”

A strong candidate to earn his first All-Star nod, Haliburton had been averaging 20.2 points and 10.2 assists per game for the surprisingly competitive Pacers, with shooting averages of 48.0% from the floor and 39.9% on threes, before he went down.

Indiana had a 23-18 record entering the game in which Haliburton got injured, but lost that night and have dropped four more contests since then to fall to .500 (23-23). While they won’t rush back their star player, the slumping Pacers would certainly be happy if he’s able to make it back sooner rather than later.

Here are a few more injury-related notes from around the NBA:

  • Although Shams Charania has repeatedly stated that Anthony Davis is on track to return in early February, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter video link) suggested in a TV appearance that the Lakers star could be back before then. “If everything continues to go the right way, he will be back playing for the Lakers next week at Crypto.com Arena and be with them for that entire road trip,” McMenamin said. Los Angeles plays home games next Tuesday and Wednesday before embarking on a five-game road trip that begins on January 28.
  • Stephen Curry (hip tightness), Draymond Green (toe soreness), Andrew Wiggins (foot soreness), Klay Thompson (Achilles injury management), and Andre Iguodala (hip soreness) will all miss Friday’s game in Cleveland, but the Warriors could have reserves Jonathan Kuminga (foot sprain) and JaMychal Green (leg infection) back, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Kuminga, out since December 30, and Green, out since Dec. 18, are both listed as probable.
  • Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. visited a specialist on Friday to further evaluate the left foot contusion that has caused him to miss the last four games, tweets Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Porter and rookie forward Jabari Smith Jr., who sprained his right ankle on Wednesday, have both already been ruled out for Saturday’s game in Minnesota, notes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Warriors Rumors: Wiseman, Moody, Kuminga, J. Green, Lamb, More

The Warriors‘ approach to this season’s trade deadline might resemble the path they took two years ago, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Back in 2021, Kelly Oubre was considered a potential trade chip as Golden State hovered around .500, but the team hung onto Oubre and only made two small salary-dump deals involving Marquese Chriss and Brad Wanamaker.

According to Slater, this season’s Warriors are a better bet to make moves on the fringe like those ones than to do anything drastic. That’s why former lottery picks James Wiseman, Moses Moody, and Jonathan Kuminga are likely to remain in Golden State through the deadline instead of being moved, Slater adds. Those youngsters could be traded in the right deal, but the Warriors won’t want to sell low on Wiseman and Moody, and they view Kuminga as a legitimate playoff rotation piece.

If the Warriors make a small move to dump a contract and open up another roster spot, JaMychal Green would be the most obvious trade candidate, Slater observes.

The team already has one spot open on its 15-man roster, but the expectation is that two-way player Anthony Lamb will eventually be promoted to fill that spot. Opening up a second roster slot would position the Warriors to be players on the buyout market. Unlike last year, they could have both a roster and rotation spot to offer veteran free agents this time around, Slater writes.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Theoretically, big men like Jakob Poeltl or Kelly Olynyk would appeal to the Warriors, but the price will likely be too high for a Golden State team that already has Draymond Green and Kevon Looney in its frontcourt and only really needs an insurance policy, Slater writes. Sources tell The Athletic that the Dubs would be more interested in a “versatile multi-positional wing” to play a role similar to the one Otto Porter Jr. did last season.
  • Slater names Jalen McDaniels, Darius Bazley, Rui Hachimura, and Obi Toppin as some possible targets the Warriors could kick the tires on, but acknowledges that rival suitors would probably be in position to outbid Golden State on those sorts of players.
  • While Stephen Curry has been cleared to play in both parts of back-to-back sets going forward, Klay Thompson is still awaiting that same clearance, says Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Thompson sat out on Monday after scoring a team-high 26 points on Sunday, but the expectation is that he’ll be able to play in back-to-backs at some point this season. Assuming he misses either Friday’s game after playing tonight, Thompson’s next opportunity to play in both ends of a back-to-back would be on February 1 and 2.
  • In a conversation with David Aldridge of The Athletic, Draymond Green says he believes he’ll eventually make the Basketball Hall of Fame. “You won’t go and look at my stats and say, ‘This guy’s a surefire Hall of Famer,'” Green said. “But if you know the game of basketball, and you look at the game of basketball, then I think I have a case.”

Warriors Notes: Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Iguodala, Buyout Market

Stephen Curry‘s return could be imminent. Curry participated in Monday’s practice and scrimmages, according to ESPN’s Kendra Andrews, and he’s listed as questionable to play against Phoenix on Tuesday. Curry hasn’t played since Dec. 14 due to a shoulder injury.

Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins were also full participants while Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and JaMychal Green sat out.

Kevon Looney, Draymond Green, Donte DiVincenzo and Jordan Poole did not participate in the scrimmages because they’ve played heavy minutes in recent games (Twitter links here).

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Wiggins missed 15 games due to an adductor strain and illness. In his return against Orlando on Saturday, he scored 12 points in 19 minutes but shot just 4-for-12 from the field. He told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater that he’ll need some time to regain his best form. “It just felt a little rusty out there just trying to get my feet right, get back in rhythm,” Wiggins said. “But I know it’s going to take a little time.”
  • Andre Iguodala made his season debut in the same game and also needs to scrape off some rust. He wasn’t much of a factor in 12 minutes. However, Iguodala isn’t a crucial rotation piece like Wiggins, Slater notes in the same piece.
  • The trade deadline is a month away, followed by the buyout market. The Warriors, who have an open roster spot, need to add another piece, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic opines. What do they need the most? In Thompson’s estimation, an athletic big would be ideal. They could also pursue a wing capable of stressing defenses off the dribble.

Joe Lacob Talks Payroll, Green, Thompson, Wiseman

Warriors team governor Joe Lacob sat down for a wide-ranging conversation with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, on his show The TK Podcast, and discussed the possibility of an impeding $450MM payroll for next season’s team.

“It’s not possible without losing quite a bit of money at the bottom line, let’s put it that way,” Lacob said of being open to foot the bill for the 2023/24 season. “I can’t really answer the question right now other than to say: When have you ever known me not to be aggressive? We are aggressive. We’ll do whatever we can do if it makes sense and we’re in a winning, real championship mode.”

Though Golden State won the 2022 championship, the team stumbled out of the gate this season. Thanks in part to long-term injuries to stars Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins, the team is currently just the ninth seed in the West with a 20-19 record.

Kawakami and Lacob also discussed the erratic play of 2020 No. 2 draft pick James Wiseman, the futures of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson in Golden State, and much more.

The whole interview is well worth a read in full, but here are some other highlights:

On whether the Warriors will actually lose money this season, given their already hefty luxury tax bill for 2022/23:

“It depends how far we go in the playoffs. If we go to the finals, we should be OK. If we don’t, we’ll probably lose money… All I could tell you is we’re just trying to keep up. We have a unique situation in that we have this aging but still great set of players. We have championship aspirations, and it costs a lot of money to do that. And we’re going to try like heck to rectify our finances going forward, but not at the expense of being able to win.”

On if Golden State will retain Green, who has a player option for 2023/24, and Thompson, who will reach free agency in 2024:

“I want to keep those guys here. I want them to be here. As long as they’re playing at a very high level, rest assured they will be here. I would love obviously for some of them to sacrifice (in salary) a little bit, or what they perceive as a sacrifice, to stay and to help our organization maintain a great roster. You always hope for that. It usually doesn’t happen. And I can’t blame them because they have limited life spans as players and they want to make as much money as they can.

“… Draymond and Klay, first of all, they’re both under contract for next year, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here… In Draymond’s case, he gets to decide, he has the power. He gets to opt in or opt out, do what he wants. I’d love for him to stay.”

On how the team is weighing Wiseman’s development against the win-now needs of the roster:

“There’s always a timetable in sports, whether we like it or not… But he’s 21 years old. You have to put this in perspective. And he’s an immense talent, he’s an incredibly hard worker, he really cares. These things matter. He had a lot of really bad breaks as we all know, it’s been well chronicled… He’s also in an organization and on a team which is trying to win championships. It’s different than playing somewhere they’re just throwing everybody out there, young guys are putting up numbers, getting a lot of experience. It’s hard for our young guys to do that here.”

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Klay, Kawhi, Clippers, Kings

The Warriors provided updates (via Twitter) on several injured players on Wednesday evening. Star guard Stephen Curry will have his left shoulder reevaluated on Saturday, which is in line with what the team previously announced.

Starting forward Andrew Wiggins has begun practicing and is ramping up his conditioning after missing the past 14 games due to a strained right adductor and then an illness. He will be reevaluated later this week, per the team.

The Warriors also announced that JaMychal Green (right lower leg infection), Jonathan Kuminga (right foot sprain) and James Wiseman (left ankle sprain) will all be out at least one more week — that’s when they’ll be reevaluated.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Klay Thompson missed two-plus seasons after a couple of major injuries, first a torn ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals, followed by a torn Achilles tendon. On Monday, he scored a season-high 54 points in the Warriors‘ double-overtime victory over the Hawks, a performance he doesn’t take for granted. “It’s a huge accomplishment for me,” Thompson said, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “There were some hard days for me when I didn’t know that this would be possible in real time. I am just going to embrace the heck out of it.”
  • After missing Monday’s loss to Miami with a non-COVID illness, Kawhi Leonard is no longer on the Clippers‘ injury report for Thursday’s contest in Denver, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Paul George, who tweaked his hamstring on Monday, is listed as questionable, while Nicolas Batum is out with a left ankle sprain.
  • Can Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue find lineups that work whether or not Leonard and/or George are in the lineup? Law Murray of The Athletic explores that topic, writing that if Lue is unable to optimize the current group, trades could be in order for a team that hopes to compete for a championship.
  • The Kings have three players — Matthew Dellavedova, Chima Moneke and KZ Okpala — on partially guaranteed deals, and none are locks to have their salaries guaranteed for the rest of the season, writes James Ham of TheKingsBeat.com. It’s possible one or more might be released in the next few days (the deadline to waive partially and non-guaranteed deals before they become fully guaranteed is January 7) in order to create roster flexibility ahead of the trade deadline, according to Ham, who says the Kings figure to be aggressive in their push to break their lengthy playoff drought.

Warriors Notes: Klay, Kerr, Green, Reasons For Optimism

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson remains highly motivated to win a fifth championship and to be named to his sixth All-Star game, per Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated. Thompson has been employing a very specific motivational keepsake to keep him inspired.

According to Beck, the 6’6″ swingman uses a San Francisco Chronicle newspaper clip taped above his locker, listing the only 26 players in league history to have more championship rings than him, to galvanize his efforts.

Thompson, in his first full season back with Golden State following injuries to his Achilles and ACL, has been taking a more relaxed approach to his career going forward.

“I’m way more Zen,” Thompson told Beck of his approach this year. “I’m just appreciative of playing early in the season and being healthy and competing and feeling great. Not having a fear of injury. I mean, we want our record to be as best as it can be, but that can change. … You could change that circumstance. When I was hurt, you couldn’t change a lot of things. So being able to actually do something about it—I got a whole new mindset of what I value and what not to care about.”

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that the 2022 champs are struggling following a brutal 143-113 defeat at the hands of the Nets on Wednesday, albeit without three starters, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Golden State went 1-5 on its recent road trip. “You are what your record says you are,” Kerr said. “It was a bad road trip. We are 15-18, so we’re a below-.500 team, and we’ve got to find a way to reverse that.”
  • The Warriors grappled with mental health issues throughout their loss-heavy road trip, writes Andrews in a separate piece. “Right now, I think we are very fragile,” starting power forward Draymond Green remarked following a Friday practice. “You start going through these things and then you start believing them. Once you start believing them, it becomes who you are. The only way to break them is by being mentally tough.”
  • Though the Warriors do not seem to have recaptured their championship-winning magic just yet, there are reasons to believe the second half of the club’s 2022/23 season will be an improvement over the first, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “We understand what we need to do,” Green told Slater. “We also understand the circumstances. This won’t be the position we’re in for a long time, but it’s where we are right now. We’ve been a very good team at home. There will be a comfort for the guys. That’ll be helpful. Got to build momentum.” Kerr pointed to a miserable 0-5 road trip early in the season (Oct. 29 through Nov. 4) as the first sign of trouble this fall: “The whole trip was kind of a mess. We were trying new rotations, new guys. You can’t just say, ‘Oh, we screwed up in those five road games.’ You have to analyze what was happening. We weren’t where we needed to be. I felt like we were behind. We’ve been swimming upstream since. … If we’re 6-4 instead of 3-7, there’s a little bit more a sense of calm.”

Pacific Notes: Wiggins, Curry, Warriors, Lakers, M. Brown, Clippers

Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, who has missed the last five games due to a right adductor strain, was cleared on Thursday to resume participating in practices and shootarounds, according to the team (Twitter link).

However, Wiggins will be unavailable for a sixth consecutive game when the Warriors visit Philadelphia on Friday and Draymond Green (right quad contusion) will be out as well, per the NBA’s latest official injury report. Klay Thompson is listed as questionable due to left knee soreness, so Golden State is at risk of being without four starters — Stephen Curry, of course, is expected to miss multiple weeks as a result of a shoulder injury.

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter video link) relays, Curry spoke to reporters today about his shoulder and expressed relief that he won’t have to undergo surgery, which might’ve forced him to miss several months. Asked if surgery is a possibility after the season, the Warriors star didn’t rule it out, but said that’s not the plan for now (Twitter links via Slater).

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • With several regulars battling injuries, the Warriors recalled center James Wiseman and rookie guard Ryan Rollins from the G League, the team announced on Thursday in a press release. Neither player has seen much action at the NBA level so far this season, with Wiseman appearing in just one game over the last month while Rollins has played only 43 total minutes since opening night.
  • The Lakers are unlikely to make a trade during the next two-to-four weeks, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reports within his look at the team’s approach to the deadline. Although the club would like to get a deal done sooner rather than later, it makes sense for Los Angeles to wait out the market in case more sellers emerge.
  • Kings head coach Mike Brown has been fined $25K by the NBA for “aggressively pursuing and directing profane language” toward a referee, the league announced in a press release. The incident, which resulted in Brown’s ejection, occurred during the third quarter of Sacramento’s win in Toronto on Wednesday.
  • Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Reggie Jackson, and Luke Kennard were among the Clippers who missed Thursday’s game, but the team is optimistic they’ll all be back soon, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link), who says their absences on Thursday were more about managing prior injuries than dealing with new ones.

Pacific Notes: Sabonis, Bridges, Lamb, Thompson

The Kings improved to 12-9 with a rout of the Clippers Saturday afternoon and they seem to have added another element to their already dangerous offense, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Domantas Sabonis continued his hot shooting from three-point range, connecting on both of his shots from beyond the arc. After starting the season 1-of-12 on three-pointers, Sabonis has hit 8-of-14 in his last 10 games.

“It’s big,” he said. “The more I can keep shooting them and knocking them down, teams are eventually going to have to respect it, which is going to allow me to be even more of a play-maker. A lot of times, I can’t thread the needle because the big is so far down. Now, he has to be up, to open the room up for everybody.”

Sacramento had everyone available today as Trey Lyles returned after missing two games with an illness, Anderson adds. Coach Mike Brown likes having the extra option among his reserves and cited the performance of Terence Davis and KZ Okpala while Lyles was unavailable.

“That just makes our bench deeper,” Brown said. “Trey was playing well when he was playing. Obviously, TD stepped up and played big minutes for us. KZ played some pretty good minutes in the last game. So, it makes my decision making harder, but (Lyles) has been playing his behind off and it’s great to see.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns forward Mikal Bridges, who hasn’t missed a game since entering the league, believes he can continue that streak despite tweaking his right knee Friday night, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix will travel to San Antonio on Sunday, and Bridges is listed as probable. “I think I just hyperextended it a little bit, but I’m all right,” he said.
  • Anthony Lamb has become an important part of the Warriors‘ second unit, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. When Lamb joined Golden State in October, it marked his fourth two-way contract in less than two years, along with one 10-day deal. “He’s a versatile player,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s a quick catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter. The ball doesn’t stop when it hits his hands. When he’s open, he usually gets it off quickly. And he’s shooting it really well. He does a lot of things well that contribute to winning.”
  • Warriors guard Klay Thompson sat out tonight on the second game of a back-to-back, but Kerr doesn’t expect that to continue all season, Poole tweets.

Pacific Notes: Thompson, Kings, Clippers, New Arena

Klay Thompson broke out of his shooting slump in a major way the past couple games, particularly Sunday’s victory over the Rockets, in which the Warriors wing scored a season-high 41 points on 10-of-13 shooting from three-point range. Thompson had shot 40-plus percent from the field just once in the 10 games leading up to Friday’s victory over the Knicks, when he was 8-of-16.

I don’t care anymore,” Thompson said, per Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “I really let the trolls get to me. Like, ‘What am I doing?’ I had just a revelation where I was like, ‘Man, just be you and everything will play out.’ Criticize me all you want. But I know how great I am and what I’m capable of, and I think real Warriors fans know that as well.”

As Marcus Thompson writes, the 32-year-old’s performances have shown that the Warriors need all four of their All-Stars — Thompson, Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green — to play at a high level to win right now. That may not have been what the Warriors were hoping for to start the season, but the four veterans are clearly still capable of producing.

Golden State will be resting Thompson, Curry and Green on Monday at New Orleans, the second game of a road back-to-back, tweets Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com. Both Wiggins and starting center Kevon Looney are questionable.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • The Kings are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, the longest such streak the team has had in more than 17 years, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic. While Sacramento’s second-ranked offense is certainly clicking, head coach Mike Brown knows that the team needs to be better on the other end of the court — the Kings are just 27th in the league in defensive rating. “So in order for us to win on the road, and win at the level that I think we can win at, we’re going to have to buckle down and take on the challenge of defending for as close to 48 minutes as possible,” Brown told Amick as part of a larger quote. “Too many times so far this year, we’ve done it in short stretches and we’ve found ways to get stops at the end of games — which is a good thing when we get a little desperate. But we’ve got to string some stops together throughout the game so at the end of the day we’re not just relying on our shot-making or our ability or our offense.”
  • Reggie Jackson and John Wall are proving to be a solid point guard combination for the Clippers, notes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. The duo shared the court to close out Saturday’s victory over the Spurs, and Wall, the backup, says they’re both willing to do whatever it takes to win. “It’s a dynamic with both of us not really caring who’s starting, who’s getting the most benefit,” Wall said. “We’re just trying to feed off each other, whatever the best role for this team is. Like last game, I didn’t play well, and Reggie was playing well. He closed the game out. Know what I mean? Sometimes it’s going to be different, sometimes it can be both of us. But you’re trying to figure out ways to do whatever we can to help this team win.”
  • Steve Farmer of The Los Angeles Times takes an in-depth look at Clippers owner Steve Ballmer‘s quest for the perfect NBA arena. One interesting note from Farmer’s article: Ballmer decided the seats at the top of the arena should have the same amount of leg room as those closer to the court because he wants all fans to be comfortable and in their seats as much as possible. The Intuit Dome is scheduled to open in summer 2024.

Warriors Notes: Wiseman, Thompson, Poole, Start, Meeting

Warriors center James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 lottery, has underperformed for Golden State this season. He has been sent to develop with the club’s NBAGL affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors.

“I have been through a lot of hard times,” Wiseman told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. “I have seen the negative side of social media in terms of myself. I don’t entertain that stuff anymore because it is negative and it is all gossip. I just focus on my priorities, getting in the gym and get better, working on stuff so I can be ready for the games.”

Wiseman is currently averaging 6.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 13.4 MPG for Golden State.

“He has looked (like he’s) in over his head,” a Western Conference coach said of the big man. “You can’t have him on the floor with Draymond [Green] because [the Warriors] get real easy to guard with them together. And you can’t have him out there with a big role with the second unit because he is not good enough to carry that group.”

Deveney speculates about what the Warriors could look for were they to ultimately opt to shop Wiseman and his $9.6MM contract this season. As far as return pieces are concerned, Deveney floats names like Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr., Jazz swingman Malik Beasley and Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks, to help shore up the club’s bench depth, though it’s unclear whether all of those players would be available.

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • The Warriors have had an uneven start to their championship defense so far this season, stumbling to a 7-9 record out of the gate. Tim Kawakami of The Athletic ranks a variety of approaches Golden State could try to improve, ranging from promoting Jordan Poole to the team’s starting shooting guard spot over Klay Thompson to offloading Wiseman for defensive help on the perimeter.
  • Prior to a solid Friday night win over the Knicks, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (YouTube video link) stated that the Warriors were not planning to make significant personnel changes this early in their 2022/23 season. “Despite the fact that the Warriors are 12th in the West, they’re only four games out of first place,” Woj said. “I don’t think there’s a real fear that there’s a couple of elite teams that are just going to run away with this conference. That certainly buys the Warriors time, and I think they want to know are the problems they have… fixable internally?… They are not looking at potential dramatic upheaval.”
  • The Warriors held a team meeting Friday ahead of their Knicks win in an effort to right the ship, reports Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “Draymond definitely held the floor,” Thompson said. “He’s such a great motivator. We all responded well.” JaMychal Green expounded on what was discussed: “We addressed a lot of things that needed to be addressed, and I think we are starting to get it together. We had that hard conversation that a lot of people don’t want to have, but we had that conversation, and it was much needed.” Green added that the team conversation “addressed the elephants in the room.”