Klay Thompson

Warriors’ Kerr Talks Kuminga, Moody, Klay, Dunleavy, Curry

After telling reporters earlier in the week that Jonathan Kuminga can earn a bigger role going forward by becoming a more versatile player, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr explained his thinking in more depth during an appearance on Tim Kawakami’s podcast on Friday.

“He’s a four,” Kerr said of Kuminga. “For him to take the next step, he needs to be able to play the three as an offensive player. He can play the three defensively; he can guard, really, one through four. But offensively, to play the three you’ve got to be really skilled in this league today, you’ve gotta see the floor, you’ve gotta be able to make plays. And right now, I think he’s much more of a four than he is a three on the offensive end.”

Kerr added that there’s a path for Kuminga to claim regular playing time as the team’s primary backup power forward next season.

Asked about a report stating that Kuminga’s representatives would talk to the Warriors this offseason in the hopes of their client getting either consistent minutes in Golden State or a change of scenery, Kerr downplayed the importance of that story.

“That’s standard in the NBA,” he told Kawakami.

Here are a few more highlights from Kerr’s podcast appearance:

  • While Kuminga fell out of Golden State’s rotation in the postseason, fellow second-year player Moses Moody saw regular playoff minutes despite an up-and-down role in the second half of the season. According to Kerr, Moody earned his postseason playing time based on what he showed in practices. “Moses had a real breakthrough late in the season in the pickup games that our guys play and in 3-on-3 and the individual work,” Kerr told Kawakami. “You could see he realized a lot of things — how to use his strength, he realized how hard he had to play, how hard he had to go after loose balls, rebounds. That translates. … That’s what you look for — you look for someone who’s got perseverance and stays with it and keeps working and eventually breaks through. But you just don’t know how long that process is going to take.”
  • Klay Thompson is coming off a subpar postseason by his standards and is entering his mid-30s, so Kerr wants to talk to the veteran sharpshooter about how his game can continue to evolve. But removing Thompson from the starting lineup won’t be a consideration next season. “He’s still a great two-way player. He’s got so much left to offer,” Kerr said. “… He just had a particularly great second half of the season. He’s still a starter in this league, for sure.”
  • Kerr told Kawakami that he and Warriors executive Mike Dunleavy Jr. talk “pretty frequently” and that Dunleavy and president of basketball operations Bob Myers are “best friends.” Dunleavy is viewed as a logical candidate for a promotion if Myers doesn’t remain in Golden State. “I like to get his thoughts,” Kerr said of Dunleavy. “He had a long playing career, he’s been in the NBA his entire life, basically, with his dad being a coach and general manager and player. So Mike’s got a great feel for the league, great perspective, and he’s someone I really trust.”
  • Kerr, the NBA’s third-longest tenured head coach, credited Stephen Curry for solidifying his job security during his time in Golden State. “Generally speaking, a long-tenured coach is beholden to (a superstar) like Steph Curry,” Kerr said. “So I’m completely aware that the only reason I’ve been here nine years is that I get to coach one of the all-time great players and human beings in NBA history.”

Warriors Rumors: Draymond, Core Trio, Poole, More

While the future of president of basketball operations Bob Myers remains uncertain, the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are still likely to be on the Warriors‘ roster in 2023/24, sources tell Marc Stein at Substack.

That aligns with reporting from Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, who hears that the franchise is “in no rush” to break up the core that has won four championships together.

After Green famously punched Jordan Poole during training camp, it seemed unlikely the former Defensive Player of the Year, who holds a $27.6MM player option for next season, would remain in the team’s long-term plans.

However, he won back the team’s respect over the course of the season, according to Kawakami, who says that Curry has long considered Green his “first pick” as a teammate. Kawakami also notes that Green’s value on the open market may be limited and he’s “more valuable to the Warriors and with the Warriors than anywhere else.”

Thompson, meanwhile, will be entering the final year of his contract and eligible for a veteran extension, but there’s no indication the team has any plans to trade him at this point — quite the opposite.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Green has said he’s undecided on whether nor not he’ll pick up his player option, but either way, he wants to “be a Warrior for life.” A report from The Athletic indicated that the team intends to discuss a multiyear contract with the big man, though it didn’t specify if that would be a new deal or an extension if he exercises his option. It sounds like it might be the former — sources tell Logan Murdock of The Ringer that the Warriors would be open to a multiyear contract if Green declines his option.
  • Murdock’s story is full of interesting details on Golden State’s season. He writes that not only did Green punching Poole negatively impact their own relationship — Poole viewed Green as a mentor during his first three seasons — but it also deepened the divide between the old guard and the team’s young players. “I don’t have no answer for you,” Poole said of his relationship with Green. “Other than that, we was just on the court and teammates, and we was out there trying to win games. What I do recall saying at the beginning of the season is that, ‘We’re coming. We’re going to come out here. We’re going to play on the court. We’re going to try to win a championship.’ We were teammates. It’s just business, honestly. And that’s really all it was, it is, it has been. It’s just been business. It’s been basketball.”
  • The free agency departures of Otto Porter, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Gary Payton II (who was later re-acquired at the trade deadline) also played a factor in the divide, according to Murdock. Not only did having the veterans stabilize the rotation, but they held the respect of both the old and young players. This season, the young players grew frustrated with their lack of minutes, Murdock writes. “That’s the normal NBA, and we haven’t had to deal with normal NBA,” Andre Iguodala told Murdock last month. “We’ve been in fantasyland for so long, and this year was more like the real NBA.”
  • Poole was criticized throughout the season — and particularly in the postseason — for his shot selection, turnovers and poor defense. Yet after the Game 5 victory against the Lakers, Curry told Murdock that Poole was “the key” to bridging the present and the future, showing the Warriors still have faith in the 23-year-old.
  • Poole’s future is reportedly up in the air, as the team might explore the trade market for him if it decides to make a cost-cutting move with the new CBA about to kick in. “I don’t know why I wouldn’t be [back],” Poole told Murdock. “It wasn’t a bad year. I mean, career highs in two categories. I was able to make history with Klay and Steph. My first game-winner. It was a lot of good things that happened this season. It wasn’t a bad season. Yes, I’m in the fabric. Yes, I belong here in this organization, bridging the gap. And I’m a young guy who was drafted here. We won a championship last year, and we have another chance to do it again. And I don’t know why anybody else would feel otherwise. I don’t think anybody is thinking like that.”

Warriors Notes: DiVincenzo, Kuminga, Myers, Green, Thompson

There are questions about whether the Warriors can make it work financially, but Donte DiVincenzo would like to remain with the team, writes C.J. Holmes of The San Francisco Chronicle. Speaking to reporters Saturday, DiVincenzo said he hasn’t decided whether to pick up his $4.7MM player option for next season or decline it and seek a long-term deal, either with Golden State or another team. The Warriors are limited to a new offer starting at $5.4MM, which would be 120% of this year’s salary.

The team signed DiVincenzo last summer to fortify its bench, which was his role for most of the season. He was inserted into the starting lineup during Andrew Wiggins‘ late-season absence, and he started the playoff opener. However, once Wiggins showed he was ready to contribute, DiVincenzo went back to the bench and struggled to find his shooting rhythm for the rest of the postseason.

“What I will say is I absolutely love being a Golden State Warrior,” he said. “The guys in the locker room, the coaching staff, the training staff, from day one, it’s felt like home. … My goal this summer is to just get better. You know, to be able to take a step next year for the Warriors and try to expand even more; to be in a system I’m familiar with and just grow from there and get better as a player and as a man.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • A report after Friday’s loss indicated that Jonathan Kuminga‘s representatives might consider seeking a change of scenery for their client this summer, but the second-year forward said his exit interview with management went well, Holmes adds. “(The Warriors are) just happy with the way I have grown,” Kuminga said. “Pretty much they want me to keep adding on what I did this year, keep learning the game and just growing more, figuring out how I can impact even more on winning. And I think that’s been my goal, to just figure out how I can impact on winning.”
  • President of basketball operations Bob Myers plans to take some time to decide on his future, sources tell Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Owner Joe Lacob made several extension offers to Myers during the season that would have given him one of the highest salaries among league executives, along with an option to take some time off if he wanted to, Shelburne’s sources add. Myers’ current contract will expire June 30, and Shelburne hears that he’s not sure if he wants to stay in his job.
  • Myers’ decision may affect the Warriors’ ability to reach extension agreements with Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Shelburne adds. The organization’s financial status means both players will likely have to accept team-friendly contracts, and Myers is known for his ability to handle those type of delicate negotiations. Green said Myers’ future will definitely be a factor he considers as he weighs his own decision, according to Mark Medina of Sportsnaut.

Warriors, Draymond Green Expected To Discuss Multiyear Deal

The Warriors intend to discuss a multiyear contract with Draymond Green this offseason, according to Anthony Slater and Shams Charania of The Athletic. Green holds a $27.6MM player option for 2023/24, so if he were to agree to a longer-term deal with Golden State, he could either opt in and complete an extension or opt out and sign a brand new contract.

Green told Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter link) after a season-ending Game 6 loss to the Lakers on Friday that he has yet to make a decision on his player option and will take some time to weigh his options with agent Rich Paul.

Green wasn’t on the floor for the final 10 minutes of the Warriors’ season on Friday night, having exited the game early in the fourth quarter due to foul trouble and then being ruled out because of right calf tightness (Twitter link). But he doesn’t want that to be how his tenure in Golden State ends, telling reporters after the game that he hopes to remain with the Warriors for years to come.

“I want to be a Warrior for the rest of my life,” Green said, per The Athletic. “I want to ride out with the same dudes I rode in with.”

Head coach Steve Kerr stated after Friday’s loss that this year’s version of the Warriors was “not a championship team,” as Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports tweets. However, Slater and Charania say there’s still an internal belief within the organization that a roster built around Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Green can compete for titles, so there will be a desire to keep that core together going forward, despite the fact that they’re 35, 33, and 33 years old, respectively.

The new restrictions for taxpaying teams that will be phased in over the next couple seasons as part of the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will make it more difficult for the Warriors to carry a substantial payroll indefinitely. That will be a factor the club will have to take into account when negotiating with Green and when exploring a new deal for Thompson, who is extension-eligible this offseason.

According to The Athletic’s reporters, if Thompson is going to sign an extension with the Warriors this offseason, the expectation is that he’ll have to take a pay cut in order to secure a longer-term deal and more overall guaranteed money. He’s set to earn $43.2MM in 2023/24 in the final season of his current contract.

Slater and Charania suggest that Andrew Wiggins‘ extension could serve as a point of comparison for Thompson’s next deal — Wiggins earned $33.6MM in 2022/23 and agreed to a four-year extension that will be worth $109MM ($27.25MM per year). A new contract for Thompson could be worth more than that, but would presumably require a similar reduction in annual salary. The same thinking could apply for Green’s next contract as well.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Green, Looney, Thompson

Before he eliminated the Kings with a record-setting Game 7 performance, Stephen Curry delivered a memorable pre-game speech to his teammates, according to Marcus Thompson II and Shams Charania of The Athletic. Curry typically doesn’t talk a lot before games, but he was disappointed that the Warriors missed out on a chance to clinch the series at home and he was upset that Sacramento guard Malik Monk had called the team old. So Curry had the players’ full attention when he rose to speak.

“He is that guy,” Gary Payton II said. “So when he speaks, everybody better listen. Because 30 is usually quiet and lets his game speak for itself. But he had to say what he had to say, because he knew what type of vibe it was … and I don’t think he wanted to give this one up. So he led and we followed.”

According to Thompson and Charania, Curry expressed his belief in his teammates and assured them that they were ready to win in a tough environment. He also implored them to put personal feelings aside, which sources told the authors was a message for Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and others who have been unhappy with their roles and playing time during the series.

Curry backed up his words with a 50-point performance, the most anyone has ever scored in a seventh game.

“He’s got the same edge as any of the other greats,” Poole said. “That’s what makes him so special. Maybe his approach is a bit different than the other guys, but we know he’s a killer. Everybody in the world knows he’s a killer.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Rumors have persisted that luxury tax concerns will break up Golden State’s roster this summer, but Draymond Green told reporters, including Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, that shouldn’t be the focus right now. “Stop trying to turn the page on us so fast,” he said. “Stop trying to turn the page on (LeBron James). We get so caught up in what’s the next thing, we don’t appreciate the current. Then you get to the next thing and you’re looking back, like, ‘Man, I wish we still had that. I wish we could still see this.’ So for me and our guys, we are going to appreciate this every step of the way.”
  • Kevon Looney gets overlooked because his game isn’t flashy, but he played an important role in the first-round victory, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Looney collected 21 rebounds Sunday, including 10 in the third quarter as the Warriors pulled away with the game.
  • Klay Thompson is looking forward to his first-ever playoff matchup against the Lakers (video link from HoopsHype). Thompson was born in Los Angeles, and his father spent much of his NBA career as part of some legendary Lakers teams.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Draymond, Kings, Clippers

It seemed as though the Warriors had all the momentum after winning three straight games to go ahead 3-2 in their first-round series against Sacramento, which made their Game 6 home loss Friday night all the more stunning, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

Kawakami calls the 19-point defeat Golden State’s “most disappointing” performance since the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green started making the postseason in 2013. The locker room was understandably quiet and reflective afterward.

Still, the team remains confident it will be able to rebound and emerge victorious Sunday afternoon in Sacramento for Game 7.

It’s up to us to go to Sacramento and do everything we did tonight — but opposite,” Thompson said. “And I know we will respond. I just know this team. I know these guys. I’ve played at the highest level with them and I know what we are capable of, and we will respond like the champions we are come Sunday.”

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • It’s time for head coach Steve Kerr and the Warriors to re-insert Draymond Green into the starting lineup in place of the struggling Jordan Poole, argues Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area, who points to Green’s experience of winning in high-pressure situations and his defensive acumen as reasons why the change should take place.
  • The Kings made a “series-altering” adjustment in Game 6, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. They decided to go smaller and faster, with more shooting around De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, who both had terrific games. They went away from Alex Len as backup center and used Trey Lyles at the five, with Terence Davis, Kevin Huerter and Keegan Murray receiving more playing time, while Harrison Barnes and Davion Mitchell played less. “We knew we could run them a little bit and we took advantage of that tonight,” Monk said. “I felt it a little bit more on them. They were a little tired. We’re younger than they are. So we knew we could take advantage of that. We’re going to try to do the same thing Sunday.”
  • Confirming a recent report from Mark Medina, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank says the Clippers will “continue to build around” Kawhi Leonard and Paul George despite their injury troubles, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN relays. “Kawhi’s a ceiling raiser,” Frank said. “When you study past NBA champions, they have a top-five guy on their team, and Kawhi has shown that when healthy he can be the best player in the world. Paul is an eight-time All-Star now. So we’re going to continue to build around those guys and look for every which way [to improve around them].”
  • Both Leonard and George are eligible for pricey contract extensions in the offseason, and the Clippers will discuss the matter with their star players when the time comes, per Youngmisuk. “Those guys are great players and they’re great partners and we want to keep them as Clippers for a long time,” Frank said. “And so we’ll look forward to those conversations. And the No. 1 goal is how can we build a sustainable championship team? And those guys have been great partners, so at the appropriate time, we look forward to sitting down with them.”

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Green, Looney, Thompson

Warriors small forward Andrew Wiggins has been a surprisingly excellent two-way contributor in the team’s 2-2 series against the Kings, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The 6’7″ swingman had been away from the team since February 13 tending to personal issues, but hasn’t missed a beat in his return — he has played a total of 139 minutes in the series, a total just below those of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He’s averaging 19.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 2.3 BPG across the first four games of the series.

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • Following his very public physical training camp altercation with teammate Jordan Poole, Warriors power forward Draymond Green felt he had to work to regain his standing in the locker room, he tells Shams Charania of The Athletic. “We all know the situation,” Green said. “And I felt like I had to earn my voice. A voice isn’t given. For me, I wanted to do things to earn that back… I needed to earn respect and I needed to earn a voice. And not just because you’re Draymond… you’ve done this, you’ve done that in this organization and everyone’s just supposed to listen.”
  • Starting Warriors center Kevon Looney, who once again has emerged as a major figure in these playoffs, recently detailed how a rigorous yoga routine keeps him, well, centered, per Scott Cacciola of The New York Times. Looney, who has struggled with injuries in the past, has not missed a single game over the past two season, a fact he credits to “Jana Joga,”
  • Though Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson has yet to submit a massive offensive showing through four playoff games against Sacramento, history suggests that one is forthcoming, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “He’s in that weight room every day, training room every day,” Green said. “As far as him competing and looking like Klay? It’s April. That is who Klay Thompson is. He is one of the biggest and best winners I’ve been around, and that’s what matters most to him.”

Pacific Notes: Paul, Thompson, Davis, Hyland

A championship is the only thing missing from Chris Paul‘s Hall of Fame résumé, but the Suns guard may be running out of time to get one, writes Doug Haller of The Athletic. Paul will turn 38 next month, and his contract for 2023/24 is only 50% guaranteed at $15.4MM. The acquisition of Kevin Durant in February puts Phoenix among the favorites in the West, but there’s a chance this could be Paul’s last year with the team.

The veteran point guard said Saturday that he’s trying to block out those concerns, focusing only on the playoff challenges that lie ahead.

 “For me, I’m going to compete day-in and day-out. And right now we got a one-track mind, and that’s to focus on Game 1 against the Clippers,’’ he said. “All that other stuff, that ain’t it right now.”

Paul addressed the championship issue after the Suns were eliminated last spring, Haller adds, saying that it bothered him more earlier in his career but now he feels fortunate to be able to play at a high level for so long. However, now that playoff season is here again, he’s ready to go all out.

“When you play for a while and it doesn’t go the way you want it to, you basically wait a whole year for another opportunity at it,’’ he said. “It starts now.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Klay Thompson “has an expectation” that the Warriors will offer him a max-level contract extension this summer, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Saturday’s “NBA Countdown” (video link). Thompson has one more year on his current deal at $43.2 MM and can become a free agent in 2024 if he doesn’t get an offer that he likes. Wojnarowski notes that the extension decision for Thompson will be influenced by luxury tax concerns, the uncertain status of general manager Bob Myers, whose contract will expire after this season, and punitive restrictions in the new CBA against the highest-spending teams.
  • The seventh-seeded Lakers had to go through the play-in tournament to reach the playoffs, but they don’t feel like underdogs against No. 2 seed Memphis, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. L.A. is playing its best basketball of the season, winning 10 of its last 12 games. “I think seeding doesn’t matter,” Anthony Davis said. “Once you get in, it’s all about matchups and things like that.”
  • Trade deadline acquisition Bones Hyland could be a difference maker for the Clippers in their playoff run, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. The second-year guard averaged 12.8 points and 4.3 assists off the bench in his last nine games to help the team wrap up the fifth seed. “He’s not scared and that’s the first step in being a good player is just not being scared, not being afraid of the moment,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “He’s not afraid of the moment. He’s not afraid of the big shots.”

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Tax Concerns, Green, Curry

The Warriors haven’t determined when Andrew Wiggins will resume playing, but there’s optimism that he’ll be ready when their playoff series with the Kings begins Saturday, writes C.J. Holmes of The San Francisco Chronicle.

Wiggins has participated in two scrimmages since returning to the team last week, and coach Steve Kerr said he was impressive both times. Kerr added that Wiggins will be watched closely for the rest of the week as team officials try to determine whether he can play in Game 1, if he will start, and what type of minutes restriction he might be under.

“A lot of good, positive signs have come out of this past week, and we’ll just play it by ear as we get ready for Saturday,” Kerr said.

General manager Bob Myers expressed similar sentiments in a radio appearance Wednesday, according to Holmes, and Wiggins’ teammates are getting excited about the prospect of bringing back one of the key pieces of last year’s title team.

“He looked good,” Stephen Curry said of Wiggins’ scrimmage performances. “He, for the most part, played most of the action we had. He really hasn’t lost a step. I know it’s just scrimmaging and getting back into the pace of live basketball, but he looked pretty spry, fresh legs. And hopefully that bodes well for his return this weekend.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Even though they’re the defending champs, the Warriors may need a long playoff run to keep the core of the team together, states Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Draymond Green has a $27.6MM player option this summer on the final year of his contract, and Klay Thompson will be eligible for a new extension. Contract extensions for Wiggins and Jordan Poole will kick in next season, and a new CBA contains harsher restrictions for teams that far exceed the luxury tax threshold. Marcus Thompson notes that the team has a projected salary and tax bill for next year that could approach $500MM, which owner Joe Lacob has called untenable.
  • Green said on the #thisleague UNCUT podcast that he would like to play four more seasons and retire as a Warrior, relays Shayna Rubin of The East Bay Times. “I would love to finish my career here,” he said. “That’s been my goal since signing this current contract that I’m on. It’s looking like a more realistic thing to be finishing here. And I also don’t want to play 20 years in the NBA, I want to play 15 years in the NBA. In four more years, it’s likely I’ll be contributing at a high level and living up to the contract I’ll be on. As far as the probability, I can’t give you that because it isn’t up to me. If it was up to me, I can tell you 100 percent I would finish my career here.”
  • Curry’s new deal with Under Armour includes shares of the company worth $75MM, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

California Notes: Powell, Thompson, Kings, Lakers

Clippers reserve guard Norman Powell appears to be rediscovering his fighting form of late. In his most recent contest, a 125-118 win over the Lakers Wednesday, Powell notched a team-high 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor, per Janis Carr of The Orange County Register.

“I think it’s like my fourth game back coming off injury after missing 11 games so it was just being prepared and just staying mentally locked in and as (head coach Tyronn) Lue says, not playing so angry,” Powell said. “It just shows how much I love the game and how much I commit to it, and my preparation every single day.”

Playing in his first full season with the Clippers, the 6’3″ swingman is averaging 16.7 PPG on .476/.404/.815 shooting splits. All but eight of his 58 healthy contests have come off the team’s bench.

There’s more out of California:

  • Starting Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson has been dealing with a sore back of late, but head coach Steve Kerr said on Friday that the 6’7″ vet is feeling better and was a full practice participant today, Kendra Andrews of ESPN tweets.
  • The 48-32 Kings could be without several notable players against the Warriors tonight, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee tweets. All-Stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are both questionable with ankle injuries. Shooting guard Kevin Huerter is managing his own injury, while rookie power forward Keegan Murray has a foot ailment. The statuses of forward Trey Lyles and guards Davion Mitchell and Malik Monk are also up-in-the-air. If Sacramento wins out and the Grizzlies lose out, the Kings would be able to secure the West’s second seed by benefit of a tiebreaker, but it appears the team is happy with its current No. 3 seed.
  • Despite a clean injury sheet, the healthy Lakers‘ loss against a Clippers team missing All-Star forward Paul George exposes the club as being less than title-caliber, opines Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times. Plaschke notes that stars Anthony Davis and LeBron James were clearly playing through ailments, and the rest of the team failed to step up to meet the moment.