Alex Caruso

Injury Notes: Caruso, Bulls, Bucks, Embiid, Hartenstein

Bulls defensive ace Alex Caruso will be available for tonight’s play-in tournament game in Miami, head coach Billy Donovan said (Twitter link via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago).

Guard Ayo Dosunmu (quad) and center Andre Drummond (ankle) will be active too, Donovan added. All three players had previously been listed as questionable.

Caruso was said to have sustained a “significant” left ankle sprain in Wednesday’s play-in victory over Atlanta, but the swelling subsided over the past couple days and he told reporters on Friday morning he expected to suit up. The injury was an aggravation of a previous sprain.

Duncan Robinson, who has been battling a back issue, will be available tonight for the Heat, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Robinson was technically active for Wednesday’s loss to Philadelphia, Chiang notes, but he didn’t see any action — that might change with Jimmy Butler sidelined due to a knee sprain.

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

  • Bucks guard Damian Lillard was a full practice participant on Friday, but two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (left calf strain) was unable to do any live drills, according to a report from ESPN. Reserve guard A.J. Green, who sat out Tuesday’s practice with a left ankle sprain, was able to go through most of Friday’s practice. There have been mixed messages from Milwaukee on Antetokounmpo’s status, with president Peter Feigin saying he”definitely will not be back for Sunday,” when the Bucks will host the Pacers in Game 1 of their first-round series. Head coach Doc Rivers is still holding out hope that the perennial All-NBA First Team member will be ready though, per ESPN. “I don’t know yet,” Rivers said. “We’re still hoping. He hasn’t done anything. Would we throw him out there? Yeah, we would. For us, still we’re not sure.”
  • Speaking of Lillard, the Bucks‘ All-Star said he aggravated his Achilles tendon in Sunday’s loss to Orlando, but his adductor has been giving him the most trouble, as Eric Nehm of The Athletic relays (Twitter links). Lillard missed four games over the past few weeks with various injury designations, but he said the week off has helped him recover.
  • Sixers center Joel Embiid is officially questionable for Saturday’s Game 1 in New York with what the team is calling left knee injury recovery, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. Embiid, who missed a few months after tearing his meniscus in January, has been considered questionable for nearly every game since he returned to action at the beginning of April.
  • Since January 20, Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein has only played 30-plus minutes five times due to Achilles soreness. However, two of those instances came in his last two regular season games, and he said he’s ready for an increased workload in the postseason, according to Katz (Twitter link).

Bulls’ Alex Caruso Expects To Play On Friday

APRIL 19, 10:30am: Caruso said that he expects to be able to play on Friday vs. Miami, per Jamal Collier of ESPN (Twitter link).

APRIL 18, 4:12pm: After undergoing further evaluation on his ankle, Caruso is experiencing reduced swelling and there’s increased optimism in his availability to play against the Heat on Friday in the play-in game, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Caruso is expected to be a game-time decision.

APRIL 18, 6:45am: Bulls guard Alex Caruso has a “significant” left ankle sprain, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the injury casts doubt on Caruso’s availability for Friday’s do-or-die play-in game in Miami.

Caruso missed games on April 7 and April 12 due to what the Bulls referred to on the injury report as a left ankle contusion. The team indicated after Wednesday’s win over Atlanta that his latest injury is a re-aggravation of an earlier injury, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link).

The injury occurred when Andre Drummond stepped on Caruso’s right foot early in the second quarter (Twitter video link), sending him to the floor. According to Jamal Collier of ESPN, Caruso said that he aggravated his left foot issue while trying to keep his balance on that play. The veteran guard limped to the bench, then checked back into the game a few minutes later before eventually exiting for good until early in the third quarter.

“I do until I can’t,” Caruso said after the game when asked if he expects to play on Friday. “We’ll see how it goes the next couple days, but my mindset would be to play until my body tells me I can’t.”

Caruso is the Bulls’ top perimeter defender and helps balance a more offensive-minded starting lineup, so it would be a major loss if he’s unable to suit up on Friday. In that scenario, the team would likely have to count on another big offensive game like the one it got on Wednesday — Chicago’s four starters besides Caruso combined to score 107 of the club’s 131 points against Atlanta, with Coby White‘s career-high 42 leading the way.

As K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes, White’s career high won’t technically go into the record books, which don’t count play-in performances, but White said he’s “definitely counting it.” Head coach Billy Donovan praised the Most Improved Player candidate after the win for his all-around contributions, not just his 42 points.

“He did a good job playing aggressively, took his threes when they were there. And he made a lot of good passes to guys. I thought he played a really complete game,” Donovan said. “I know the number 42 is a huge game and really phenomenal. But I thought he played a really complete game. I thought he defended. I thought he assisted, got downhill, made the game easy for guys.”

The Bulls are already missing Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams, Lonzo Ball, and Onuralp Bitim due to season-ending injuries, so if they have to play without Caruso on Friday, they’ll lean more heavily on White and the rest of their healthy rotation players to try to keep their season alive.

Injury Notes: Giannis, Butler, Bulls, Pelicans/Kings

After Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that the Bucks are preparing to be without Giannis Antetokounmpo for the start of their first round series against Indiana, Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed on Thursday on Stadium’s Playoff Preview show (Twitter video link) that the star forward’s status “is still in doubt” for the series.

“He has been rehabbing daily with that strained calf, getting treatment,” Charania said. “He has had even some stationary workouts on the court, but he is doubtful to start the series. I’m told this injury could be anywhere from two to four weeks, potentially. We know his superhuman ability, but that clearly puts his status for this series in jeopardy.

“The Bucks (and) Giannis have to have some level of caution in being careful with this calf injury. Already this season, Giannis has had Achilles tendinitis, a hamstring injury as well, and now this calf strain. The last thing (they) would want is for him to get back, rush on the floor with a calf injury, not being 100% and then potentially tweaking that or leading to even worse injuries.”

Crucially, Charania didn’t clarify whether or not the two-to-four-week timeline he cited applies retroactively — Antetokounmpo has been sidelined since April 9 as a result of the injury, so he has already been out for 10 days. Assuming the projected recovery timeline described by Charania began on the date of the injury, the two-time MVP still has a chance to play at some point in round one.

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

  • Jimmy Butler‘s agent Bernie Lee took exception with Thursday’s reports that his client would miss several weeks as a result of his knee injury, suggesting that they were premature, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald relays (via Twitter). “We’re going to see the doctor later today,” Lee said on Thursday afternoon, “and it just blows my mind that somebody that wasn’t in the arena has somehow come up with a medical timeline of something that literally four of us, one is the person that got hurt, and me, the person that has conversations with everything, that everything gets filtered through. We don’t even know and now we’re having to live in someone else’s created reality of you know something that I didn’t know.” The Heat subsequently confirmed that Butler had sustained an MCL sprain, though the team didn’t offer any sort of timeline beyond ruling him out for Friday’s play-in game. MCL sprains are typically multi-week injuries.
  • Bulls role players Alex Caruso (left ankle sprain), Ayo Dosunmu (right quad contusion), and Andre Drummond (left ankle sprain) have all been listed as questionable for Friday’s play-in game vs. Miami. Dosunmu and Drummond, who were also both listed as questionable for Tuesday’s contest, seem like relatively safe bets to play, while Caruso is expected to be a game-time decision.
  • There are no surprises on the Pelicans/Kings injury report for Friday, though the absences on each side are notable. Zion Williamson (left hamstring strain) is the only New Orleans player sidelined, while Sacramento is missing Malik Monk (right knee sprain) and Kevin Huerter (left shoulder surgery).

Central Notes: Green, Bulls, Ball, Mitchell, Bucks, Flynn

In his first game after signing a rest-of-season contract that made him eligible for the postseason, Bulls swingman Javonte Green had the best performance of his career in Friday’s victory against the Knicks, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

The 30-year-old finished with careers highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 10-of-14 from the floor while contributing a pair of steals and a block in 33 minutes.

He’s one of those guys you want to have on your team,” DeMar DeRozan said of Green. “For him to bounce back in a tough year for him just trying to get back healthy and for him to be doing what he’s been doing since he came back is amazing. We all know what to expect from Woo. Every time he goes out there, he plays like he’s 6-9 and he does anything and whatever for the team. … He’s one of a kind. I’m glad to have him back.”

While Green provided a much-needed boost and a feel-good story, the win was marred due to ankle injuries to Coby White and Alex Caruso, who both left the game and were unable to return, Johnson adds. The two starters were able to walk on their own after the game and seemed to be in “good spirits,” though head coach Billy Donovan said the team would have to await further testing to learn the extent of the injuries.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Appearing on 670 The Score (YouTube link), LaVar Ball — the father of injured Bulls guard Lonzo Ball — projected his son could start playing 5-on-5 with full contact in August or September, as Ryan Taylor of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “I’m thinking at least four or five months. Four or five months where he can really get dialed and do what he do,” LaVar said. That projection aligns with what Donovan said about Lonzo’s recovery last month, Taylor notes. Ball, who hasn’t played since January 2022, has undergone three knee surgeries over the past two-plus years, but the team is cautiously optimistic he could return next season.
  • If the Cavaliers fail to make a deep playoff run and Donovan Mitchell declines a contract extension, would they entertain the possibility of trading him this summer? Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores that topic, listing five potential landing spots for the All-Star guard if Cleveland goes that route.
  • The Bucks were expected to be a title contender, and they’re still (barely) clinging to the No. 2 seed in the East. However, they’ve been playing their worst basketball of the season at the absolute worst time, dropping five of their past six games, including three straight to Washington, Memphis and Toronto — three teams at the bottom of the standings — with only five regular season games remaining, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic. After Friday’s loss to the Raptors, who had dropped 15 straight games, Bucks players said they’re not panicking, but they’re frustrated, as is their head coach. “The last three were against three bad teams. To me, that’s inexcusable. For all of us,” said Doc Rivers, who is now just 15-16 with Milwaukee since taking over mid-season. “As I told them, this is on me. I gotta figure out what we gotta do to play at a higher pace.”
  • Pistons guard Malachi Flynn has averaged 5.4 points on .386/.337/.749 shooting in 208 career regular season games (14.2 MPG). He had one of the most unexpected 50-point games in NBA history on Wednesday, shooting 18-of-25 from the floor while being plus-14 in 34 minutes in an eight-point loss to Atlanta. In Friday’s loss to Memphis, the former 29th overall pick fell back to Earth, notes John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link), going 0-of-12 from the field and scoring three points (all at the free throw line) while being minus-13 in 23 minutes. If Detroit issues him a qualifying offer, Flynn will be a restricted free agent this summer; otherwise, he’ll be unrestricted.

Bulls Notes: White, Green, Caruso, Terry

Coby White returned to the Bulls‘ lineup this week after missing three games with an injured right hip, but he hasn’t fully recovered from the brief absence, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Coach Billy Donovan cited “timing” as an issue after White shot 3-of-11 from the field in Saturday’s loss to Boston, and the fifth-year guard agrees that he has work to do in that area.

“At this point of the season when you miss a week it feels like a lot longer than that,” White said. “So for me I don’t want to force it. Just let the game come to me. I’m just trying to go out there and contribute any way I can right now.”

The bigger picture for White is that he has likely changed the organization’s view of the roster with his performance this season, Cowley adds. After signing an extension last summer, White has enjoyed a breakout year, averaging 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists through 68 games and becoming a candidate for Most Improved Player honors.

“Obviously the summer, him signing a long-term deal, we made the commitment to him that we wanted him to be here,” Donovan said. “What Coby has done you would want to create organizationally a runway for him to continue to grow, continue to develop. But I haven’t necessarily had the discussion where it’s been, ‘Wow, we got this guy and now we’ve got to do this.’”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • The Bulls used the hardship exception to sign Javonte Green to a 10-day contract on Saturday, Cowley confirms in a separate story. Green, who has appeared in 113 games with Chicago over the past three seasons, hasn’t been promised any playing time in this latest opportunity, according to Cowley, and he understands what’s expected of him. “Just be myself,” he said. “Obviously, the Bulls know what I bring to the table.” Green also told K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago that he’s confident in his right knee after undergoing an arthroscopic debridement in January 2023. “Just tried to strengthen the quad and strengthen the area that I had discomfort in,” he said. “That was a long process, six months.”
  • Alex Caruso is hoping to be ready for Monday’s game against Washington after injuring his left ankle Saturday night, Johnson states in a separate story. Caruso walked to the locker room after getting tangled up with Boston’s Al Horford with 6:54 left in the second quarter, but he was able to return and played through discomfort in the second half.
  • Second-year guard Dalen Terry is taking on a larger role with an injury-filled roster, notes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Terry said he has taken inspiration from watching White develop into an accomplished player. “It’s all mental,” Terry said. “It’s all just blocking out the noise and trusting yourself. Just keep faith. Keep believing in what you’re going to achieve.”

And-Ones: Scoring, NBA Cup, 2024 Draft, Two-Ways, Howard

In a memo obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA told teams the league office “did not deliver a directive to reduce scoring” during a competition committee call earlier this week, but the post-All-Star break trend “will continue to be monitored.” As Wojnarowski writes, teams are scoring about four fewer points per game on average since resuming play at the end of February.

Slower pace, style of play, competitive intensity, officiating focus have been contributing factors identified so far,” the NBA said.

According to Woj, the league also stated one focus area for the meeting was centered on offensive players “hunting for fouls and veering off paths into defenders.” That has also been a point of emphasis for officials — and a “contributing factor” in the reduced scoring output of late.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • The NBA also informed teams that it was considering a couple of changes to tiebreakers for next season’s NBA Cup, which was called the In-Season Tournament during its debut in 2023/24, Marc Stein reports (via Twitter). Changes under consideration would impact tiebreakers for point differential and head-to-head results, per Stein.
  • Unlike in 2023, when there was a consensus No. 1 overall pick for well over a year, there’s a huge variance in where players are projected to be drafted in 2024, as Michael Scotto relays in the latest aggregate mock draft for HoopsHype. Scotto spoke to several NBA executives to get a feel for some of this year’s top prospects, including Alexandre Sarr, who is ranked No. 1 in aggregate but as low as No. 7. “I think Sarr has everything to his game,” one executive said. “He needs to go somewhere that’s patient with him. He can be a really good two-way player you can build around in two years. I believe in his shooting and shot blocking.”
  • Frank Urbina of HoopsHype ranks the most successful players who have previously been signed to two-way contracts. Austin Reaves (Lakers), Duncan Robinson (Heat), Alex Caruso (Bulls), Naz Reid (Timberwolves) and Luguentz Dort (Thunder) make up the top five of the 15-player list.
  • Former NBA player and assistant coach Juwan Howard has been fired as head coach of Michigan, the school announced in a press release. Howard compiled a 82-67 record in five seasons at his alma mater, making the NCAA Tournament twice (in 2021 and ’22), but the Wolverines went just 8-24 this season and were eliminated in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

Central Notes: DeRozan, Caruso, Pistons, K. Brown

The league leader in minutes played per game is a 34-year-old. The Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan is averaging 37.8 MPG, followed by 20-somethings Luka Doncic, Tyrese Maxey and Miles Bridges. It’s a source of pride for DeRozan that he’s receiving such a heavy workload at this stage of his career.

“I love it,” the Bulls forward told K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “I love the game. As a kid when you’re young, you play until your Momma scream at you and those streetlights come on. Same thing here. You love it. You try to relish in these opportunities.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls guard Alex Caruso believes this season has probably been his best from an individual standpoint, though it depends on how he finishes, he told Johnson. “We’re only 75 percent of the way through. We have to finish strong for this to be a completed sentence,” he said. “But to this point, I think it’s up there. I think offensively it’s probably my best. I think the numbers show that. I think I’m close to 10 points a game. And I’m pretty sure I’m close to 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Defensively, it’s been different for me. I’ve been guarding big wings or posts a lot more rather than lead guards. In turn, I have more blocks than I ever have and about the same for steals. That’s been a unique challenge defensively.”
  • Due to a steady diet of roster moves, Pistons head coach Monty Williams has been constantly tinkering with the rotation. James Edwards III of The Athletic suggests that Williams should cut his rotation down to eight players, staggering the starters’ minutes to make it work. In that scenario, recent acquisitions Simone Fontecchio and Quentin Grimes, along with rookie Marcus Sasser, would be the only reserves getting steady minutes.
  • Kendall Brown‘s rookie season with the Pacers was cut short by shin surgery. Brown, a second-round pick, has shown enough this season in the G League to get his two-way deal promoted on Monday to a three-year standard contract. “It’s been a long two years,” Brown said, per Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star. “… The reward feels so much better when the path has been hard. My path has been different than a lot of other players in my class. I was just staying the course, just staying focused. Good things don’t come easy a lot of times. This is a good feeling to finally get that done.”

Bulls Notes: Dosunmu, Caruso, Terry, Phillips, DeRozan

After starting the season 5-14, the Bulls have been playing solid basketball over the past few months despite dealing with some major injuries. They’ve gone 22-16 over their past 38 games and currently hold a 27-30 record, good for the No. 9 seed in the East.

Coby White has — understandably — received plenty of recognition for helping the Bulls right the ship, but his backcourt mate Ayo Dosunmu has had an impressive season as well, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

As Johnson writes, Dosunmu has always been able to create an edge while driving, but defenders sagged off him in 2022/23, when his three-point percentage dipped to 31.2% after he shot 37.2% as a rookie. However, he’s in the midst of the most productive scoring stretch of his career because opposing defenses now have to respect his outside shot — he’s up to 41.7% from deep this season.

Over his first two seasons, Dosunmu scored 20-plus points five times. He’s matched that total since January 13 alone, Johnson notes. During that 17-game span, he has scored in double figures 16 times, averaging 15.8 PPG, 3.8 APG, 2.9 RPG and 1.1 SPG on .565/.513/.792 shooting in 33.3 MPG.

Dosunmu re-signed with Chicago on a three-year, $21MM deal as a restricted free agent last summer, which is looking like a bargain considering his improved offense and solid defense, Johnson adds.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • Head coach Billy Donovan has been relying on Alex Caruso to defend power forwards with Patrick Williams (season-ending foot surgery) and Torrey Craig (knee sprain) sidelined, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. While the All-Defensive First Team guard/forward is used to defending the opposing teams’ best players, he says it’ll be a team effort to make up for the size disadvantage. “I can makeshift for the majority of games,” Caruso said. “We’re going to have to do a better job covering up for each other. Maybe throw some more wrinkles into the game plan of coverages and giving different looks, a little more gimmicky stuff to buy us minutes here and there.”
  • In addition to Caruso, the Bulls have been getting rotation minutes at the small-ball four spot from Dalen Terry and Julian Phillips, a pair of young players eager to make their mark in the NBA, Cowley writes for The Sun-Times. “We know we’re short-handed right now, but the way the vets on this team talk to me, talk to Julian, they preach don’t be afraid of the challenge,” Terry said. “This is how you’re going to make your name in the league if you want to be here for a long time.” He had some rough patches in Sunday’s win over New Orleans, but Terry was also a team-high plus-17 in his 15 minutes, Cowley notes.
  • Chicago’s victory over the Pelicans was the latest evidence of DeMar DeRozan stepping up when the team needed him most, Cowley states in another story. The Bulls were down 12 points in the third quarter, but DeRozan responded by scoring 10 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth, including a three-pointer that sealed the victory with 30 seconds remaining. “It might not always be pretty for us, but they’re going to fight,” Donovan said. “I don’t think they’re in the business of: ‘OK, Patrick’s done, Torrey is down, we’re playing against a really big team, we have no chance. We’ll just go through the motions.’ I don’t think they have that mentality. I think DeMar thrives on that. I think he thrives on chaos. I think he thrives on uncertainty.”

Stein’s Latest: Thompson, Magic, Warriors, Caruso, Hawks, More

While he believes that Klay Thompson will ultimately remain in Golden State and eventually retire as a member of the Warriors, Marc Stein writes at Substack that the Magic have been “increasingly mentioned” as a potential suitor for the veteran sharpshooter, who is eligible to reach unrestricted free agency this summer.

Thompson is eligible to sign an extension with the Warriors at any time between now and June 30, but if the two sides don’t reach an agreement by then, he’ll become a free agent and would be able to sign with any team.

While it’s hard to imagine Thompson ending up with the Magic, they’re well positioned to put some pressure on the Warriors — with Markelle Fultz and Gary Harris on expiring contracts and Joe Ingles, Moritz Wagner, and Jonathan Isaac not on guaranteed contracts for 2024/25, Orlando could generate a significant amount of cap room in the offseason.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Despite a belief that Alex Caruso was essentially off-limits at this month’s trade deadline, the Bulls gave “real consideration” to the possibility of moving him before trade talks with the Warriors collapsed, Stein writes.
  • Stein also confirms that Chicago and Sixers had serious discussions about an Andre Drummond deal, but hears from one league source that the Bulls were only willing to move Drummond if they were able to line up another center to replace him. When no such opportunity materialized, they decided to hang onto Drummond.
  • There’s a sense that the Hawks will make a trade involving one of their starting guards – Trae Young and Dejounte Murray – sooner rather than later. “They know they have to trade one or the other,” one source told Stein.
  • While Mike Budenholzer‘s name has been mentioned in league circles as a possibility for the Nets‘ permanent head coaching job, Stein suggests that Budenholzer could very well be a top candidate for multiple jobs this spring, so he has reason to be patient to see how the head coaching market plays out.

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Quinones, Kuminga, Thompson, Green, Paul, Payton

Andrew Wiggins got his wish to stay with the Warriors past the trade deadline, so now he has to prove the team made the correct choice, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Golden State delayed its toughest roster decisions until the summer, Thompson notes, and one of them will surely involve Wiggins, who was spectacular during the run to the 2022 title, but has played a significant role in the team’s failure to meet expectations this season.

The Warriors were barely active at the deadline, with their only move being a trade of Cory Joseph and cash to Indiana for a second-round pick. Thompson points out that they didn’t acquire another wing, a rim protector or a reliable scorer to take some of the burden off Stephen Curry, which means Wiggins will be counted on to contribute in all those areas.

Wiggins was the subject of trade chatter heading into the deadline, and he understood there was a significant possibility that he might be moved. After a disastrous start to the season, he gave the front office a reason to hold onto him with improved play of late, Thompson adds, noting that Wiggins is back in the starting lineup and the unit that coach Steve Kerr uses to close out games.

“At one point,” Wiggins said, “I told myself, ‘It can’t get no worse than this. Keep swinging and you’re gonna get out of it. Sometimes in the NBA, in basketball itself, it can be a roller coaster. Roller coaster of emotions, doubt, uncertainty. But it can also be great things, success. It’s a roller coaster. I’m glad I’m feeling better. On the court, I’m in a greater rhythm.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Two-way player Lester Quinones looks like a strong candidate to have his contract converted and fill the roster opening left by Joseph, according to Andrew Slater of The Athletic. Quinones played regular minutes during the team’s five-game road trip, and Kerr cited the energy and ball pressure he brings to the defense.
  • The Warriors reportedly refused to part with Jonathan Kuminga in trade talks with the Bulls regarding Alex Caruso, and Slater asked general manager Mike Dunleavy if Kuminga is considered untouchable. “Virtually,” Dunleavy said. “I mean, as untouchable as guys can be in this league. He’s certainly at that level. I didn’t see a scenario where Jonathan wouldn’t be on our team after this deadline.”
  • Dunleavy also didn’t rule out the possibility of eventually trading Klay Thompson or Draymond Green despite their role in winning four NBA titles, Slater states in the same piece. “You know, for me personally in this situation, I’m always going to do what’s best for the organization moving forward,” Dunleavy said. “Based on that, that’s how we’re going to operate — whether it’s this deadline, this summer, in the future.”
  • Chris Paul‘s $30MM non-guaranteed contract for next season will give the front office plenty of flexibility this summer, Slater adds. The Warriors can either let Paul go, try to re-sign him at a lower price or work out a trade in which they would guarantee the amount of salary they’re taking back.
  • Gary Payton II, who has been sidelined since January 2 with a strained left hamstring, will return on Saturday, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Kerr told reporters that Payton won’t be on a set minutes restriction.