Shaun Livingston

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Looney, Cousins, Livingston

The Warriors expect Klay Thompson to be sidelined nine to 10 months with the torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered last night, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That would put his projected return sometime from mid-March to mid-April, possibly late in the season but definitely in time for next year’s playoffs if there are no unexpected setbacks.

Golden State will remain Thompson’s first option in free agency this summer, but he could listen to other teams if the Warriors don’t offer a max contract, sources tell Haynes. It’s not clear if Thompson’s injury will have any effect on what the organization plans to do.

Thompson’s was hurt in the third quarter of Game 6 when he landed awkwardly on his left leg after being fouled on a fast break. After being helped off the court, he returned to make two free throws, but wasn’t able to play any more. Thompson didn’t realize the severity at the time, telling coach Steve Kerr“Just a two-minute rest and I’ll be ready,” relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Re-signing Kevon Looney and possibly DeMarcus Cousins will be priorities this summer, Vardon adds. Looney will be looking for a significant raise on the one-year, $1.6MM contract he had this season, while Cousins could receive as much as $6.4MM from the Warriors via his Non-Bird rights if there’s not a strong demand for him in free agency. Cousins told Anthony Slater of The Athletic that he’s “open” to coming back (Twitter link).
  • The Warriors’ fighting spirit may have sunk their future, Slater notes in a full story. If Golden State had lost in the conference semifinals after Kevin Durant‘s injury in Game 6 or hadn’t pulled out a close victory in Game 2 in Toronto, the catastrophic events of the past two games never would have happened.
  • Veteran guard Shaun Livingston will seriously consider retirement, but said he could “possibly” return for another year, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Livingston, who will turn 34 this summer, has just a $2MM guarantee on his $7,692,308 contract for next season. It won’t become fully guaranteed until June 30.
  • Owner Joe Lacob wasn’t ready to address free agency questions last night, but admitted that he talked with GM Bob Myers about what the Warriors do next, relays Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “We’ll have to assess and then talk,” Lacob said. “Obviously, we still have a very good team. And a great organization. So we’ll take it one step at a time.”

Klay Thompson Has Hamstring Strain, May Play Game 3

The Warriors got some good news on the injury front Monday as an MRI confirmed that star shooting guard Klay Thompson has a mild hamstring strain, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Thompson will test out the injury over the next two days and likely be listed as questionable for Game 3 of The Finals on Wednesday night, Charania adds.

Thompson, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Game 2 on Sunday. His legs split apart while he attempted a 3-point shot. Toronto’s Danny Green contested the shot but no foul was called.

If he can’t play, the Warriors will likely lean on Shaun Livingston and Quinn Cook to assist Stephen Curry in the backcourt.

Golden State got some bad news Monday when forward Kevon Looney was diagnosed with a fractured collarbone. The Warriors still don’t know when superstar Kevin Durant will be able to return from his calf injury suffered during the conference semifinals. The prospect of playing without Durant and Thompson would be daunting as the series shifts to the West Coast and Oracle Arena.

Pacific Notes: Livingston, Nwora, Poirier, Lakers

Shaun Livingston remains undecided whether he’ll retire after the season, ESPN’s Nick Friedell tweets. The 33-year-old Warriors guard revealed last month that he was thinking of calling it quits, mainly due to knee soreness. He has an $8MM contract next season but only $2MM is guaranteed, which could lead the capped-out Warriors to release him. He’ll make a final decision once the season comes to an end, though Livingston said his balky knee is feeling better after an extended rest between series, Friedell adds.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers worked out Louisville sophomore forward Jordan Nwora on Monday, Jordan Schultz of ESPN tweets. He averaged 17.0 PPG and 7.6 RPG last season.
  • The Lakers will work out 21-year-old French center Darel Poirier on Friday, according to a Sportando report. Poirier played in the G League this season with the Wizards’ affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, and averaged 9.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 1.1 BPG over 20.2 MPG. He then joined Italian club Reggio Emilia but did not play, according to Sportando. The 6’11” Poirier participated in the G League Elite Camp earlier this month.
  • While the Celtics have their issues, the dysfunction enveloping the Lakers franchise makes Boston’s problems seem minimal, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes in his latest column.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Durant, Iguodala, Cousins

Speculation over Kevin Durant‘s future has been hounding the Warriors for months, but Klay Thompson‘s upcoming free agency is being almost overlooked, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Thompson will also be unrestricted this summer, but he is expected to re-sign with the organization. He has said publicly that he expects a max contract, which would pay him $188MM over five years or $221MM in a super-max deal if he makes an all-NBA team.

“The media, I think, give him a little bit of a break as far as over-speculating and throwing him into the fire because he hasn’t really fueled it — at all,” teammate Andrew Bogut said. “You’ve never heard him say anything bad about wanting to leave here or going to another team or being the No. 1 option. You’ve never even heard that off the record. Some players say the right thing publicly but have different feelings [in private]. He completely wants to be here and he gets it that this is a very rare situation.”

Re-signing Thompson would give the Warriors a measure of stability heading forward, regardless of what happens with Durant. He has been part of the Warriors’ core over the five years that they have been elite and ranks second only to LeBron James in the number of playoff games in that span.

“I think Klay sort of ties it all together in a lot of ways,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “There’s not one person in this organization who would ever question Klay’s agenda or motives.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Knicks fans shouldn’t start the Durant celebration just yet, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who talked to Marcus Thompson II, author of a new book titled, “KD: Kevin Durant’s Relentless Pursuit to Be The Greatest.” Thompson acknowledges that the Knicks will be strong contenders, but he believes Golden State’s chances of keeping Durant have improved.
  • Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have both been cleared to play in tonight’s Game 5, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The Warriors were upset about how Iguodala got hurt at the end of Monday’s game, accusing Chris Paul of intentionally clipping his knee from behind on a rebound, according to Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Livingston has been dealing with a sore left hip.
  • DeMarcus Cousins was jogging and putting up 3-point shots in a workout this afternoon, relays Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Cousins is determined to overcome a quad injury and return to action before the postseason is over.

Shaun Livingston Contemplating Retirement

Warriors guard Shaun Livingston is still only 33 years old, but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility that 2018/19 will be his last NBA season.

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes, while Livingston is under contract for 2019/20, his $8MM salary is only partially guaranteed for $2MM, increasingly the likelihood of his release. With potential free agency looming, Livingston is contemplating the idea of calling it a career, he tells Slater.

“Yeah. For sure. Absolutely,” Livingston said when asked if he retirement is on the table. “It’s just all the signs on the wall. And just more so from a physical standpoint. If I’m healthy and having fun, then I want to play. But physically, if I’m not … Like, I put so much work in my body just to get back to playing basketball, let alone get to this point where I’m at. So now that it’s getting harder. Like this year, I’ve struggled with injuries more than any other year I’ve been on the Warriors.”

Livingston, whose professional career was put in jeopardy back in 2007 by a horrific knee injury, made an admirable comeback and has thrived as a backup point guard for the Warriors and other teams since then. However, as he explains to Slater, Livingston has dealt with knee stiffness, soreness, and swelling this season, prompting him to consider how much longer he’ll play.

Earlier this season, Livingston said his retirement was coming “sooner than later,” though he estimated at that point that he might still have a “couple years” left. While that estimate may still be accurate, he admits that if his role gets reduced more significantly than it already has, that would be a factor in his decision. He’s currently averaging a career-low 15.3 minutes per contest.

“We’ll see. This is — like, I don’t want to come out and announce anything,” Livingston said. “I’ve been trying to stay in the moment. But it’s just, looking at it like, if this year or next year is the last year, it would probably be the cap. Even next year, like, I’m maybe playing 12 minutes right now. So it’s just, how much do I want to contribute? I enjoy feeling good. But, also, I got a young family.”

Livingston’s future could also hinge on whether the Warriors would want to bring him back – either on his current contract or a new deal – since the veteran doesn’t sound overly enthusiastic about the idea of switching teams.

“We have a great situation. So going to another organization at this point? It doesn’t sound like the greatest thing to do,” he said to Slater. “It would just have to be somewhere, to me, that made sense. Somewhere warm, somewhere close, that maybe the family would want to be in. But that’s a conversation for the summer.”

After Livingston does retire, whether that’s in 2019, 2020, or further down the road, he intends to take at least a year off before exploring a potential front-office role, he tells Slater.

Warriors Rumors: Jones, Cousins, Green, Livingston

The Warriors provided a handful of injury updates on their big men today, starting with the official announcement that Damian Jones has undergone pectoral surgery. While Jones will be able to start rehabbing in six weeks, he’s likely to be sidelined for five or six months, head coach Steve Kerr said today (Twitter link via Nick Friedell of ESPN.com). That could put him on track to return during the postseason.

Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins is expected to head to Santa Cruz sometime this month to practice with the Warriors’ G League affiliate, according to Kerr (Twitter link via Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle). Cousins could even play in a couple games for the Santa Cruz Warriors before making his debut for Golden State, which is expected to happen after Christmas.

In the short term, Draymond Green went through shootaround and is pushing to play for the Warriors tonight against Milwaukee, per Kerr (Twitter link via Friedell). While they’ll see how he looks in warmups before making a decision, it sounds like the Dubs will continue playing it safe with Green, who is coming back from a toe injury. He’ll likely sit out at least one more game.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kerr said today that the Warriors won’t use their open roster spot to add anyone for now, since they want to see how the club looks when healthy – Cousins included – before making any decisions (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).
  • Veteran guard Shaun Livingston isn’t sure exactly when he’ll call it a career, but tells Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders that his retirement probably isn’t too far down the road. “I mean, honestly who knows?” Livingston said. “A year, couple years? But I mean, it’s coming sooner than later. Handwriting is on the wall.” Andre Iguodala recently expressed a similar sentiment on his own career, though he’s nearly two years older than his longtime teammate.
  • In a conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic, David West admitted that he has second-guessed his decision to retire once. It happened when he was watching Draymond Green and Kevin Durant have their shouting match at the end of that infamous game against the Clippers last month — West felt that his presence in that moment would have prevented the incident from escalating.
  • Speaking of the Green/Durant dynamic, Warriors general manager Bob Myers weighed in on that subject during a radio appearance on 95.7 The Game, as Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. “I really think it’s behind us. I really do,” Myers said of the friction between the two All-Stars. “You have to flush it out, you have to get it all out there — get all your emotions out. There’s a healing part of it — you don’t get over it in 30 seconds — but you do get over it. And I honestly think they have.”

Warriors Dealing With Aftermath Of Green, Durant Confrontation

3:31pm: In the midst of their verbal altercation on Monday, Green challenged Durant about KD’s upcoming free agency, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who tweets that the incident has been a “simmering issue” for the Warriors today.

1:49pm: Warriors team officials were working on Tuesday to deal with the aftermath of an emotional end-of-game confrontation between Draymond Green and teammates, including Kevin Durant, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears.

As Nick Friedell of ESPN.com detailed late last night, Green and Durant exchanged heated words during Monday’s game against the Clippers after a sequence at the end of regulation — Green grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled up the floor, and committed a turnover while Durant appeared to be calling for the ball. As a result of the missed opportunity, the game went into overtime, with Golden State eventually losing to L.A.

Green and Durant both appeared visibly agitated on the court, with teammates calming them down before the start of overtime. The two All-Stars left the locker room after the game without speaking to reporters, but Wojnarowski and Spears suggest that some Warriors players “loudly confronted” Green in the locker room for his decision-making on that play.

While no one had to be separated and “no hint of physicality loomed in the setting,” according to Wojnarowski and Spears, some of ESPN’s sources described it as one of the most intense altercations of this Warriors era. A few of Green’s teammates took exception with his choice to keep the ball instead of passing it to Durant during those final moments of regulation, and Green was “forceful” in defending himself, sources tell ESPN.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic suggests (via Twitter) that most of the tension stemmed less from the result of the final play itself and more from Green’s strong defense of it and his unwillingness to acknowledge a possible mistake.

Occasional heated arguments aren’t uncommon in NBA locker rooms and this one is hardly a major red flag for the 11-3 Warriors, who still sit atop the Western Conference. Nonetheless, with Durant eligible for unrestricted free agency at season’s end and rumors already flying about his looming decision, incidents like this one figure to be put under the microscope over the course of the season. For what it’s worth, while Durant and Green didn’t speak to the media after Monday’s game, veteran guard Shaun Livingston downplayed the dispute.

“Just team spirit,” Livingston said, per Friedell. “Team spirit. Guys wanted a different outcome than what happened. Obviously, Dray had the turnover. Guys might have thought they were open or wanted the basketball, didn’t get it. Things happen like that in sports. But it was good to see some fire, some emotion.”

Stephen Curry Suffers Adductor Strain

2:02pm: Kerr said today that the Warriors were encouraged by the results of Curry’s MRI, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Curry won’t play on Saturday and it will be at least a few days before he gets back on the court, but the club is glad it’s not more serious, tweets ESPN’s Nick Friedell.

8:40am: Warriors guard Stephen Curry left Thursday’s loss to Milwaukee in the third quarter with an injury that was later diagnosed as a left adductor strain, according to the team (Twitter link). Head coach Steve Kerr confirmed after the game that Curry will undergo an MRI on Friday (Twitter link via Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group).

We’ll have to wait until after that MRI is completed and the Warriors provide an update to get a sense of whether Curry will miss time. However, as a point of comparison, Rockets guard Eric Gordon suffered an adductor strain last week and has missed Houston’s last three games.

“I’m not nervous,” Curry told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link) on Thursday night after the game. “I have nothing to go off of. If this was an ankle I could tell you four days, 12 days. But I will see tomorrow… I’ve honestly never done this before so I have nothing to go off of.”

If Curry has to miss some time, Quinn Cook‘s role in the Warriors’ rotation should expand. Golden State has also been missing Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston due to injuries, but Spears tweets that Green could get back on the court Monday vs. the Clippers, while Livingston may also return in the “near future.”

The Warriors do still have an open spot on their 15-man roster if they need to add some backcourt depth, but it seems unlikely to come to that.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Jones, Livingston, James

The new-look Lakers are off to a tumultuous start at 3-5 this season, with the team losing three separate games that have gone down to the wire. One of these tough losses came Monday against the Timberwolves, testing the patience of LeBron James and other veterans on the team.

“There’s obviously frustration that comes with it,” coach Luke Walton said at the time, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I don’t know what the level [of frustration] is, but it’s going to be a tough flight home.

“But like I told our guys, nobody feels sorry for us. It’s up to us to figure it out and start winning some of these close games. And we will. I can promise you that. We will start to win some of these. But right now we’re taking a couple lumps in the meantime.”

Walton has substituted players in and out of the starting lineup, experimenting different groups of players this season. Part of growing as a new team is having the patience and veteran leadership in turbulent times, something the Lakers possess in James.

James willed his team to a victory Wednesday, but offered a simple answer when asked about his patience earlier in the week:

“You probably don’t want to be around when my patience runs out,” James said. “I’m serious.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Exercising the 2019/20 option in Damian Jones‘ contract was an easy decision for the Warriors, Monte Poole of NBC Sports writes. Jones’ $2.3MM salary for next season is a team-friendly deal when considering his level of play at starting center this year.
  • Shaun Livingston underwent an MRI on his foot this week after dealing with soreness, Mark Medina of The Mercury News tweets. The MRI returned clean, and the Warriors plan to be cautious with his injury. Livingston is listed as doubtful for Friday’s game against the Timberwolves.
  • LeBron James needs more support around him for the Lakers to reach their true potential, The Los Angeles Times’ Dan Woike writes. James scored 29 points in a close home win against the Mavericks on Wednesday, knocking down the game-winning free throw. The Lakers have a young nucleus of talent and several veterans around James, who’s seeking his fourth NBA title.

Warriors Notes: Green, Looney, Durant, Livingston

Draymond Green may be kept out of action for the rest of the week because of pain in his right knee, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr doesn’t believe it’s a serious condition, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Green won’t play against the Kings in Friday’s game, but he will travel to Seattle with the team.

“Just being careful,” Kerr said after today’s practice. “He still had a little inflammation this morning.”

Kerr added that Green underwent an MRI, which came back clean. Free agent Jonas Jerebko is expected to take Green’s spot in the starting lineup on Friday.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Kerr was concerned that center Kevon Looney would be lost in free agency, writes Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. Looney was an unrestricted free agent because the team declined his fourth-year option of nearly $2.23MM. He re-signed with the Warriors for the minimum, which was about $700K less than his option. “When we didn’t pick up his option and then all of a sudden he had a great camp and a great start to the season and a great finish, it was a little nerve-wracking thinking we might lose him,” Kerr said. “But it all worked out in the end for us. I’d really like to see him make some money and do really well for himself. He deserves it. And hopefully that’s here.”
  • Kevin Durant plans to be open and honest about the free agency process next summer, relays Nick Friedell of ESPN. Durant said he believes he handled things the same way in 2016, even though he received a firestorm of criticism after leaving Oklahoma City to join the Warriors. “I’m like, ‘Man, there’s so much attention on me because I switched teams,'” he said. “I thought I did something wrong, but I knew deep down in my heart that was the perfect decision for me and I know that now I just got to stand on that, outwardly say it, and that will stop the speculation from a lot of people.”
  • Shaun Livingston is focused on enjoying the upcoming season without worrying that it might his last with Golden State, Poole writes in a separate story. Livingston has a partial guarantee on his $7.7MM contract for next season, and the Warriors will have to pay him just $2.2MM if they waive him before July 1. That would save the team almost $20MM in luxury tax.