Kevon Looney

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Kuminga, Wiggins, Payton, Looney

Klay Thompson wasn’t ready to talk about free agency after Tuesday’s play-in loss at Sacramento, but it’s a topic that will dominate the Warriors‘ offseason, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Asked about his plans at a post-game press conference, Thompson reminded reporters that it’s only April 17 and a lot can happen by the start of July.

Although Thompson mostly avoided the subject, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and coach Steve Kerr were vocal about the need to bring him back. Thompson appreciates the support after all they’ve accomplished together.

“It means a lot,” Thompson said. “I mean, we’ve been through the highest of highs and lows. Whether it’s losing a championship, winning a championship, missing the playoffs, we’ve been through everything together, so that does mean a lot. It makes me grateful to have the times I’ve had with them. Like, that was pretty historic stuff.”

A source told Andrews that having a chance to win will be Thompson’s priority as he considers his next contract. His preference is to remain with Golden State, and Andrews expects that he will if the team finds a way to show its appreciation for his years of service.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • At today’s exit interviews, Jonathan Kuminga seemed surprised when he was asked about a potential rookie scale extension this summer, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Kuminga said he’ll let his agent handle extension talks, but added, “I love it here.” Kuminga also got a question about his mid-season meeting with Kerr in which he expressed dismay about a lack of playing time. “Sometimes people don’t know you if you don’t speak,” Kuminga said. “Sometimes people don’t know what’s going on in your mind if you don’t actually get to see it. I don’t know what’s going on in my coaches’ mind if I don’t get to ask them questions, and questions is communication.”
  • Slater notes that Golden State explored trades involving Andrew Wiggins before the deadline and is likely to try again this summer after the worst offensive season of his career. It could be tough to find a taker with three years and $85MM left on his contract, and Wiggins preferred to avoid trade speculation. “I take care of what I can take care of,” he said. “What’s out of my control, I don’t worry about it. All I can do is work hard, train hard and do what I can do.”
  • Gary Payton II was frustrated to miss the play-in loss with a calf strain, Slater adds. Payton has a $9.1MM player option for next season, and he hinted that he would like to use that as a springboard for a long-term contract. “I would love to come back and run it back,” Payton said. “Better yet, just redo my whole deal and stay here for a little bit longer. We’ll figure it out.”
  • Slater suggests the Warriors might part with Kevon Looney, who only has a $3MM guarantee on his $8MM salary for next season. Looney indicated that he prefers to stay with Golden State, but acknowledged that the decision is out of his hands. “When you don’t make the playoffs, you lose, stuff usually happens,” he said. “So I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I should be prepared for the next step.”

Warriors Notes: Curry, Jackson-Davis, Looney, Next Season

The offensive burden on Stephen Curry is greater than ever, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic writes. The Warriors currently don’t have a steady No. 2 scoring option and they’re 18-20 this season when Curry scores fewer than 30 points.

“We can’t expect to just ride Steph game after game after game,” coach Steve Kerr said, adding, “… We’ve put the burden of this franchise on his shoulders for 15 years.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • In a subscriber-only story, Kerr tells The Indianapolis Star’s Dustin Dopirak how former Indiana University star Trayce Jackson-Davis has impacted the team in his first season. “Trayce is just incredibly mature for a rookie,” Kerr said. “He’s a little bit like the bigs who came into the league way back when I came in. Lots of college experience. Already grounded in the fundamentals of the game. It’s easy to throw stuff at him, sort of NBA stuff that he hasn’t seen before and expect him to pick up on it because he’s got this great fundamental base.” The second-rounder is averaging 7.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 14.9 minutes through 57 games. He missed Tuesday’s game in Miami due to knee soreness, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.
  • Kevon Looney said he learned valuable lessons from Dejan Milojevic, the assistant who died suddenly in January. “Deki was a great coach. He was brutally honest, but he always had a smile on his face,” Looney told Hoops Hype’s Sam Yip. “He’s always joyful. He made coming into work that much better, and that much more fun. I had the best years of my career learning from him, learning different footwork, learning the different nuances of offensive rebounding, and learning how to finish. He wasn’t the biggest guy, but he scored a lot of points overseas, he was one of the best scorers in his league, and he was undersized. So he taught me different things about leverage, pump-fakes, angles, and different things like that.”
  • While the Warriors haven’t given up this season, they may be looking at next season to make one last push for another championship with this core group, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic opines.

Western Notes: J. Green, Doncic, Warriors, Suns, Jazz

Josh Green‘s sprained right ankle is expected to sideline him for at least a couple weeks or so, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd told reporters, including Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link), on Sunday.

Green had been a key part of Dallas’ rotation in recent weeks, averaging 10.2 points per game on .522/.438/.826 shooting in his past 24 games leading up to Thursday’s contest in Oklahoma City, which he exited after just four minutes when he injured his ankle.

The Mavericks did share some more positive injury news on Sunday, announcing that Luka Doncic will be available vs. Denver this afternoon after missing Thursday’s game due to a hamstring ailment (Twitter link via MacMahon).

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Western Conference:

  • Moses Moody, Kevon Looney, and Dario Saric were all DNP-CDs on Saturday for the Warriors, while Gary Payton II played just seven minutes as head coach Steve Kerr tightened his rotation, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Payton figures to be “peppered into the mix” going forward, Slater says, but Moody is being pushed out of the rotation and Looney and Saric are on the outside looking in. “It is tough,” Stephen Curry said. “Loon, Moses, Dario, probably in that order — especially Loon and Moses — there’s probably going to be times where they’re going to be needed. They’ll be ready. That’s the challenge they face. But this time of year, building an identity of how we want to play, that (tightened rotation is) huge.”
  • Kevin Durant said he’s “excited” for Isaiah Thomas to join the Suns and head coach Frank Vogel called the veteran guard a “hell of a player,” per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Vogel noted that adding Thomas will help Phoenix preserve the four active games remaining on Saben Lee‘s two-way contract.
  • Jazz head coach Will Hardy was upset by how his team played on Saturday vs. Minnesota, telling reporters after the game that there were far too many instances of players attempting to force the issue themselves when teammates were open. “Stats don’t mean s–t. I don’t care about your individual stats,” Hardy said, according to Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. “I don’t care how many points you score. I don’t care what you post on Instagram. It doesn’t matter. It’s a team sport, play to win. And we have to nip this in the bud now because — I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again — there will not be free minutes in this program. So you’re either gonna start learning and you’re going to start playing the right way and you’re gonna start participating with your teammates, or you’re not gonna play.”

Pacific Notes: Booker, Young, Bol, Looney, Reddish

Devin Booker returned to the Suns‘ lineup on Monday night and the team’s big three carried it to a six-point win over Cleveland, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic notes. Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal combined for 88 of the club’s 117 points. Booker scored 27 points after missing four games with a right ankle sprain. Phoenix is 15-9 with all three stars in the lineup.

“They’ve got a great ability to pierce single coverage or drop coverage in pick-and-roll and when they start bringing two to the basketball, they’re all willing passers,” Suns head coach Frank Vogel said.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Veteran forward Thaddeus Young has only played in two games since the Suns signed him off the buyout market. “If the matchup fits, then we’ll use him, but for now he’s behind Drew (Eubanks) on the depth chart,” Vogel said, per Rankin (Twitter link). Bol Bol has received steady, if limited, minutes this month. He’s averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 11.2 minutes over six March outings. Regarding Bol’s minutes, Vogel said it’s about either matchup or being able to go zone to protect him on the defense, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports tweets.
  • Warriors center Kevon Looney’s consecutive games played streak lasted 254 games in the regular season and 289 including playoffs — second in the NBA behind only the Nets’ Mikal Bridges. It ended not because of injury but due to losing his rotation spot. He was a DNP-Coach’s Decision against the Bulls and Spurs. “I still get to carry it a little bit. I was available. I can still say I didn’t get hurt. Knock on wood,” Looney told Anthony Slater of The Athletic as he knocked on his locker. “I’m still taking care of my body. Still feeling good. Still available whenever they call on me again. I’ll be ready.”
  • Lakers forward Cam Reddish won’t play against the Kings on Wednesday due to a right ankle sprain, Khobi Price of the Orange County Register tweets. LeBron James (left ankle) is listed as questionable.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Looney, TJD, Myers

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype spoke to eight executives around the NBA to get their predictions for Klay Thompson‘s next contract. Of those eight execs, three projected Thompson would make $18-20MM annually on his next deal, while the other five have the Warriors veteran in the $20-25MM range. Half of those executives also expect Golden State to try to line up Thompson’s next contract with Stephen Curry‘s by signing him to a two-year deal, Scotto notes.

Those predictions line up with the offer the Warriors reportedly made to Thompson before the 2023/24 season began. Shams Charania of The Athletic indicated back in December that Golden State had put a two-year, $48MM extension on the table, but that Thompson passed on it. A handful of the executives who spoke to Scotto believe the 34-year-old’s value has dipped a little since then.

“I see him at around $18-20 million a year,” one exec said. “I’m not sure he’ll accept that because he sees himself much higher. If all offers are equal, I think he goes back to Golden State. I feel like his relationship with Steph and being able to play in one place is important to him.”

According to Scotto, seven of the eight execs who weighed in on Thompson’s future believe he’ll ultimately stick with the Warriors, though at least one of those seven had some ideas for potential suitors who could put some pressure on Golden State.

“I think other teams would sign him. If you’re Detroit, wouldn’t you love that level of maturity and experience? (Pistons head coach) Monty Williams wants a grown-up,” the exec said. “If you’re the Magic, don’t you want a grown-up? They need a legitimate shooting guard. Jalen Suggs is a combo guard. I think Gary Harris could be gone this summer. Let the point guard position be a combination of Anthony Black, Suggs, and Cole Anthony. Orlando likes size, which Klay has, and he’d give them shooting.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Warriors center Kevon Looney told Scotto that he and his teammates haven’t discussed Thompson’s contract situation at all with him, but Looney made it clear that he doesn’t want Klay going anywhere. “We know we want Klay to be here forever,” he said. “He’s a Warrior for life no matter what. Even if he did go somewhere, he’s still going to be a guy that has a statue and jersey in the rafters. … Hopefully, he gets to stay forever. That’s one of my goals as well. Hopefully, this core gets to ride it out.”
  • Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis showed in Wednesday’s win over Milwaukee that he deserves serious consideration for postseason minutes in a crowded Warriors rotation, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. The big man had 15 points (on 7-of-8 shooting), six rebounds, and four blocks – including three on Giannis Antetokounmpo shot attempts – and was a +20 in 19 minutes of action. “We’ve got to get Trayce more minutes to get him ready for the playoffs because he needs reps. He needs more time,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “You can see what he did (on Wednesday). He has an ability to finish and to block shots that gives us a different look.”
  • Former Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers was the subject of a tribute video and received a standing ovation from fans in Golden State after being introduced by his three daughters during Wednesday’s game vs. the Bucks (Twitter video links via NBC Sports Bay Area and Kendra Andrews of ESPN). Myers, who was making his first public appearance in the Chase Center since leaving the Warriors in 2023, was working the game as an ESPN analyst.
  • In case you missed it, we’re waiting for an update on the severity of Stephen Curry‘s ankle injury, which forced him to exit Thursday’s loss to Chicago early. Curry is having imaging done on his right ankle on Friday, tweets Andrews.

Warriors Notes: Paul, Wiggins, Moody, Rotation, Curry, Kerr

Playing on Tuesday for the first time since January 5 after recovering from a left hand fracture, Chris Paul helped lead the Warriors to a victory in Washington, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. In 22 minutes off the bench, Paul contributed nine points, six assists, four rebounds, and four steals. The Warriors, who won the game by 11 points, outscored the Wizards by 17 during Paul’s time on the floor.

“All season long, he’s been such a high performer,” head coach Steve Kerr said after the win. “All of our best lineups, he’s in.”

As Slater notes, the Warriors initially expected to finally have their full rotation available on Tuesday, but Andrew Wiggins missed the game for personal reasons. Kerr, who didn’t offer any specifics on when Wiggins might rejoin the team, inserted Moses Moody into the starting lineup in his place. Although Moody had been out of the rotation, Kerr didn’t want to alter his new second unit, which now features Paul playing alongside Klay Thompson.

When Wiggins returns, Golden State will have no shortage of rotation options, with Moody and Lester Quinones likely among those on the outside looking in. Slater suggests that Stephen Curry, Brandin Podziemski, Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green, Gary Payton II, Wiggins, Paul, and Thompson will all be candidates for closing lineups, with Dario Saric, Kevon Looney, and Trayce Jackson-Davis vying for minutes too.

“Steve said he’ll try to figure it out,” Paul said of potentially playing a reduced role in a crowded rotation. “Said sometimes he might mess it up. But we got a really good group of guys on this team, and we’ll need different things every night. But one thing about me, though, is I know who I am and what I’m capable of. Ain’t no question about that. I’ll always be ready. I think he knows that.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • While Paul figures to spend a little time playing alongside Curry, the plan is to have him on the court for all of the non-Curry minutes, according to Slater. The two-time MVP has shot just 31.5% from the field over the past three games, including 21.6% on three-pointers, so CP3’s return should allow the team to reduce his workload and have him play off the ball a bit more. “Steph has looked tired to me the last couple games,” Kerr said after Sunday’s loss to Denver, per Slater. “It makes sense. He did the All-Star Game stuff, not getting much of a break — three games in four nights. He looks a little tired. These stretches happen.”
  • Kerr said on Tuesday after officially finalizing his two-year contract extension that he felt “very comfortable” signing a relatively short-term deal, writes Kendra Andrews of “We’re in a really unique situation where we have an era that’s winding down and another that’s coming,” Kerr said. “We’re trying to make them merge and make the most of that this year and next year … let’s keep it rolling for another couple of years and then reassess it.”
  • Asked during an appearance on the Club 520 podcast which of the Warriors’ four championship teams was his favorite, Green cited the 2021/22 squad, since it wasn’t viewed as a title favorite entering that postseason. “2022 wasn’t really a championship team (compared to) the championship teams I’ve been on,” Green said (hat tip to “After every series, me and Steph would be walking to do an interview after we won a series, and we’d walk and laugh like, ‘Yo, how are we winning these series right now?'”

Fischer’s Latest: Wiggins, Paul, Portis, Looney, Kuzma, Stewart, Beauchamp, Hield, Bogdanovic

The Mavericks and Bucks are mulling whether to make a serious run at the Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reports.

Wiggins’ name has been prominently mentioned in trade rumors, due to his subpar production, the Warriors’ disappointing record and a contract that runs through the 2026/27 season.

Dallas is willing to part with either Grant Williams or Tim Hardaway Jr. for salary-matching purposes to acquire a frontcourt player who can shoot and also make a difference defensively. The Mavs are also willing to include their 2027 first-round pick for the right player, Fischer adds.

As for the Bucks, they’d have to include Bobby Portis to cobble salaries to match Wiggins’ $24.3MM. It’s a tough call for the Bucks, considering Portis’ steady contributions in recent years. Fischer notes that Portis was one of Golden State coach Steve Kerr’s favorites during the FIBA World Cup run with Team USA.

Here are several more interesting tidbits from Fischer:

  • Chris Paul, whose $30MM contract for next season is non-guaranteed, is unlikely to be dealt by the Warriors. Jonathan Kuminga is off limits. However, Kevon Looney and his $7.5MM contract could be swapped out, depending what need Golden State ultimately wants to target. Looney’s contract for next season is only guaranteed for $3MM.
  • The Wizards are unwilling to deal Kyle Kuzma unless they get multiple first-rounders for him. The Mavericks and Kings have known interest but would likely need to find a third team to facilitate such a deal. Washington has made it known it’s looking for draft capital in any trade.
  • Along with previously reported interest in the Hornets’ P.J. Washington, the Mavericks have their eyes on Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart. The latter signed a four-year, $64MM extension last offseason. Dallas also showed interest in Magic big man Wendell Carter but Orlando doesn’t seem inclined to move its starting center.
  • The Bucks are willing to include MarJon Beauchamp and the 2024 second-round pick that the Trail Blazers owe them in trade discussions.  The Bucks and Sixers have also contacted teams that hold plenty of draft capital, such as the Thunder and Pelicans, regarding potential future first-round pick swaps or packages of second-round picks in exchange for extra first-round selections.
  • Speaking of the Sixers, they’re interested in Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield. Hield would upgrade their offense and his $18.5MM expiring contract wouldn’t impact their desire to have more cap space than any other team this summer. Picking up more first-round capital, as mentioned above, would facilitate their ability to acquire a wing like Hield or the Pistons’ Bojan Bogdanovic.
  • The Celtics are willing to use their $6.2MM trade exception for bench help. Otto Porter Jr. and Lonnie Walker are among the names Fischer has heard as potential Boston acquisitions.

Grieving Warriors Return To Practice

The Warriors returned to practice on Monday for the first time since the sudden and traumatizing death of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr told ESPN’s Kendra Andrews and other media members that the team was too devastated to play last week after Milojevic suffered a heart attack during a team dinner on Tuesday night. A majority of the players and staff members attended the dinner in Salt Lake City.

Subsequently, the league postponed two of the Warriors’ games. Last Wednesday’s contest in Utah and Friday’s matchup against Dallas will be rescheduled for later dates.

“It’s the saddest thing I have ever been a part of in the NBA,” Kerr said. “… The last five days have been full of the shock. The emotion, the extreme outpouring of love from all over the world.”

Counseling has been offered to the players and staff, particularly to those who witnessed the event.

The Warriors will return to action on Wednesday when they play a home game against the Hawks. The franchise is planning a tribute to Milojevic and will also honor him throughout the season.

“Wednesday will be unbelievably emotional,” Kerr said. “There is no handbook for this. We will honor Deki the best way we know on Wednesday night. We will be there to play a basketball game. We will find a way to mourn and grieve and play all in the same evening.”

Center Kevon Looney found it necessary to change his practice routine.

“There’s a whole different vibe to practice not having him here,” Looney said. “He was an integral part of our team, an integral part of my day-to-day routine. It’s definitely different.”

Warriors Notes: Kuminga, Podziemski, Curry, Green

Draymond Green is expected to return from his suspension this week, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr will have to keep finding minutes for Jonathan Kuminga, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Kuminga is coming off the best back-to-back scoring performances of his career, delivering 28 points on Saturday in Milwaukee after putting up 24 points on Friday at Chicago. Despite seeing his role change frequently throughout the first half of the season, Kuminga has reached double figures in scoring in 19 straight games.

“I wouldn’t say (that statistic) impressed me,” Kuminga said. “I had all summer to go out there and work out, get better, come back and help the team. Obviously, things haven’t gone the right way (in wins and losses). But you can see a lot of progress. … In the past, I’d just put my head down. But now … if I attack and I don’t have nothing (there), I can’t score, kick the ball to someone who’s open.”

Green is expected back by Monday at Memphis or Wednesday at Utah, which will complicate rotation decisions for Kerr, who is already trying to balance Kuminga, Kevon LooneyTrayce Jackson-DavisDario Saric and Andrew Wiggins. Kuminga seems like the only potential star in that group, and Slater notes that he has become Golden State’s best interior scorer, posting 284 points in the paint for a team that doesn’t have anyone else above 200.

“We’re showing him clips every day trying to get him to get to the rim,” Kerr said. “Especially without the ball. He wants to attack. Which is great. But we’re trying to get him to understand if he gets to the dunker spot, finishes his cuts rather than staying at the foul line, it improves our spacing and he’ll pick off two or three buckets per game getting to the dunker, going to the offensive glass and running to that spot in transition or after a screen. His tendency now is to linger on the perimeter. I want him at the rim. He’s one of the best in the league finishing when he gets the ball in the paint.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Milwaukee native Brandin Podziemski put up 23 points and 10 rebounds in his first career game in his hometown, Slater adds. He was the only Warriors player with a cheering section at Fiserv Forum. “Ran into my seventh-grade English teacher pregame,” Podziemski said. “She said she’s glad I went to military school or else I’d be a troublemaker. … I was actually here the day this building opened. I was a sophomore in high school. I got to meet Giannis (Antetokounmpo).”
  • Stephen Curry sat out Saturday on the second game of a back-to-back, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “He’s just wiped out right now,” Kerr said. “He’s basically been healthy all year and we’ve been relying on him heavily. He’s worn out. He needs the night off.”
  • Green has acted as an unofficial assistant coach since rejoining the team this week, but the Warriors need him back on the court, observes Shayna Rubin of The San Jose Mercury News. Since Green began serving his suspension, Golden State’s defensive rating has been 123.8, which is the second-worst mark in the league during that time, ahead of only Detroit’s 125.1 rating.

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Kuminga, Green, Myers

The Warriors haven’t been effective with Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga on the court together, but their athletic potential is so tantalizing that coach Steve Kerr tried the combination again Sunday night, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Kerr employed his 13th different starting lineup of the season, using Wiggins and Kuminga as the forwards, but the results were disappointing again as Toronto jumped to an early 24-12 lead that Golden State was never able to overcome.

“We’ve talked about trying to get (Wiggins and Kuminga) together,” Kerr said. “Theoretically our two longest, most athletic players. We have not been a good defensive team this year, so we wanted to try it. It hasn’t connected, really. But we’re experimenting. We’re trying to find a two-way lineup that can help us. But obviously that lineup didn’t click.”

Kerr pulled the plug on the experiment by intermission, as the Raptors scored 76 first-half points and held a 27-point lead. He replaced Wiggins, Kuminga and Trayce Jackson-Davis with Brandin PodziemskiDario Saric and Kevon Looney to start the third quarter.

“I didn’t want to go back to the same lineup,” Kerr said. “The only thing I was interested in in the second half was just competing. What that means — you can say compete, but what does that mean? It means talking on defense. I didn’t hear anything. It was silent in the first half. We needed to have some talk, some chatter. So I went with that lineup because I felt they would give us that.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kerr will have to juggle his rotation even more when Draymond Green returns, Slater adds. Green, whose suspension was lifted Saturday after 12 games, was in the arena with his teammates Sunday night. Green is expected to miss at least one more game while working on his conditioning, according to Slater, but he should be back on the court by the end of the week.
  • With the trade deadline now just a month away, the front office is facing a crucial decision on Kuminga, who likely has the highest value of any of the Warriors’ available players, notes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Kuminga’s athleticism makes him an intriguing prospect for rival teams, and he’s only 21 with another year remaining on his rookie contract. There are no signs that management will consider breaking up the long-standing trio of Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Poole adds.
  • The NFL’s Washington Commanders have hired former Warriors general manager Bob Myers as part of their search team for a new head of football operations and head coach, per Adrian Wojnarowski and Adam Schefter of ESPN. Myers, who left Golden State when his contract expired last summer, will be part of an advisory committee that also includes former NBA star Magic Johnson. Myers will continue his studio work with ESPN on NBA games.