Shaun Livingston

Andre Iguodala Considered Doubtful For Game 2

Warriors forward Andre Iguodala is doubtful to play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, coach Steve Kerr informed the media, including ESPN’s Marc Spears (Twitter link).

Iguodala hasn’t played since banging knees with the Rockets’ James Harden in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. In his absence, Kevon Looney has seen his role expand and Shaun Livingston has also gotten more playing time.

The Warriors have labeled Iguodala’s injury as a left lateral leg contusion/bone bruise.

Suspensions May Result From Game 1 Fracas

A scuffle in the waning seconds of Thursday night’s contest may leave some key players suspended for Game 2, writes Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson is expected to receive some form of penalty for shoving the ball in Draymond Green‘s face after being tossed out of Game 1 for committing a Flagrant 2 foul. Kevin Love may also face a suspension for leaving the bench during the incident. Love, who was quickly pulled off the court by an assistant coach, said he doesn’t believe any disciplinary action is warranted.

“I was already on the court trying to get the refs’ attention before the scuffle,” he explained.

The altercation started when Golden State’s Shaun Livingston attempted a jumper with the shot clock expiring in the final seconds of overtime. Thompson hit Livingston in the chest with his elbow as he tried to block the shot and later expressed anger that the Warriors didn’t accept the clock violation.

“I contested a shot that shouldn’t have been taken,” Thompson said. “I mean, it’s like the unspoken rule in the NBA: If you’re up 10 or 11 with about 20 seconds left, you don’t take that shot. I make the contest, and next thing I know, I was being kicked out for making a contest that we learn in training camp. I don’t know why I got thrown out.”

Livingston and Klay Thompson stepped in to prevent Green from retaliating, which likely saved him from being suspended.
Livingston defended his decision after the game, claiming that taking the shot was the right play to make.

“I say that we don’t take the turnover. I don’t take the turnover,” he said.Kevin [Durant] threw me the ball, and he threw it to me like we were still playing. J.R. [Smith] was still guarding him, you know. No disrespect. We just play the game. So, that’s what it was. … It’s the Finals. It’s all love. … It was like a YMCA pickup game in the last 30 seconds.”

Warriors Injury Notes: Curry, Durant, Livingston

2:18pm: The Warriors have issued an update on Curry after today’s evaluation, announcing that he’s making progress and will begin participating in “modified” team practices on Saturday. Curry will be re-evaluated again in one week, according to the team.

8:52am: Stephen Curry, recovering from a knee injury, is still not close to returning to action, multiple sources tell Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. According to Thompson, Curry will be evaluated again on Friday, but he isn’t believed to be in the final stages of his rehab process.

The Warriors hold a 3-0 lead on the Spurs in their first-round series, so the team isn’t clamoring to get Curry back to face San Antonio. Still, the Dubs would certainly like to have the two-time MVP back to start the second round, and that’s no lock.

As Thompson notes, the Western Conference semifinals could begin as early as April 28 if the Warriors and Pelicans finish off their first-round opponents quickly — both teams are currently up 3-0. Per Thompson, Curry’s MCL injury may need a full six weeks to heal, which would put him on track to return around May 4. Depending on what Golden State’s second-round schedule looks like, that could result in a return for Game 3 of the Western semis.

Meanwhile, a pair of other key Warriors suffered ankle injuries during Thursday’s win in San Antonio, but those injuries – to Kevin Durant and Shaun Livingston – aren’t believed to be serious. Durant told ESPN’s Chris Haynes after Game 3 that his ankle just did a “quick roll” rather than a full turn, and insisted he’s “fine.”

As for Livingston, head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that injury looks slightly worse than Durant’s, but he didn’t sound overly concerned about the veteran point guard.

“Both sprained ankles,” Kerr said. “But I think they’ll be all right.”

Nikola Mirotic, 15 Others Become Trade-Eligible

Today is January 15, which means that trade restrictions have lifted for most of the rest of the NBA’s 2017 offseason signees. While the majority of those ’17 free agents became trade-eligible on December 15, there was a small subset of free agent signees whose trade ineligibility lasted for another month.

The 16 players whose trade restrictions lift today meet a specific set of criteria: Not only did they re-sign with their previous teams this offseason, but they received raises of at least 20%, their salaries are worth more than the minimum, and their teams were over the cap, using Bird or Early Bird rights to sign them.

The most notable name in this group is Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic. He’s not the best player on the list — Blake Griffin and Kyle Lowry would be among those vying for that honor. But Mirotic is the most likely player to be dealt out of the 16 guys becoming trade-eligible today. He has been linked to a handful of teams already, including the Jazz, Pistons, and Trail Blazers.

Here are the 16 players becoming trade-eligible today:

With three and a half weeks left until this season’s February 8 trade deadline, nearly all of the NBA’s players are now eligible to be dealt. The only players still ineligible to be moved are those who signed free agent contracts later than October 15, plus certain players who signed contract extensions in the offseason.

Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (January 17), Nuggets forward Richard Jefferson (January 19), and Pelicans guard Jameer Nelson (January 22) are now the only remaining players who will become trade-eligible between today and February 8. For the full list of players who won’t become trade-eligible before this year’s deadline, click here.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Young, Livingston, Cauley-Stein, Booker

The Lakers are in the midst of another losing season and it has taken a toll on the young team. Head coach Luke Walton held a meeting for the team instead of practice on Thursday to give players a chance to air their grievances, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. 

Last week, Lakers veteran Andrew Bogut agreed that certain players on the team are frustrated and it has impacted their performance. A lot of L.A.’s focus is on the impending free agent market, where the team is expected to pursue top-notch talent. That has left some players on the roster with less playing time and the impression that they are mere placeholders.

“There’s some frustration,” Walton said. “But there’s frustration on every team unless you win every game. Whenever you lose games, there’s frustration, people want to play more as everyone in the league should want to play more.”

Entering play on Friday, the Lakers are 11-22, 13th place in the Western Conference. Much has been made of rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma this season, and left others, such as Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, in a bind. There is a likelihood that several players on the current roster will not be there after the trade deadline, thus making the team’s future clearer.

Check out other Pacific Division news below:

  • Warriors guard Shaun Livingston spoke to Logan Murdock of the Mercury News to discuss his role on the team, adjusting with Stephen Curry injured, and dealing with his own injury. Livingston said that Golden State expects to win even if one of their All-Star’s is out. “I think what we’ve been able to accomplish, it’s been expected to be honest with you. For us, as players, we believe in ourselves, we believe in our game,” he said.
  • In a wide-ranging interview with Marcus Thompson II of The Atheltic (subscription required and recommended), Warriors sharpshooter Nick Young discussed his adjustment to the Warriors and appreciation for life in Oakland.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein has played so well recently, the Kings are starting to see the development of the supreme talent they thought they drafted three years ago, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee relays. “These last games, I’m seeing what I was hoping for when I drafted Willie,” Kings general manager Vlade Divac said. “He runs, he scores, he blocks shots, he scores in the post. He does everything. And we noticed last summer how much harder he was working. There were questions, but I don’t think so anymore. If he keeps developing like this, he will be an elite center in this league.”
  • Devin Booker, who is just 21 years old, will be a key piece of the Suns‘ future and he will have input into all of the team’s decisions, including coaching and free agency signings. Scott Bordow of the Arizona Central Sports writes that Suns general manager Ryan McDonough views Booker an important “partner in the process” of competing over the next decade.

Warriors’ Shaun Livingston Suspended One Game

Warriors guard Shaun Livingston has been suspended for Monday’s game against the Pelicans for an altercation with official Courtney Kirkland, the league announced in a press release. The NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Kiki VanDeWeghe, determined that Livington deserved a one-game penalty without pay for aggressively approaching Kirkland after a non-call and bumping heads with the official.

The incident, which occurred in the second quarter of the Warriors’ victory over the Heat on Sunday, resulted in Livingston’s ejection for making contact with an official. Livingston, who re-signed with the Warriors over the summer for three years and $24MM, is averaging 4.7 PPG and 2.0 APG in 15.2 MPG in his usual role of backing up Stephen Curry.

VanDeWeghe also ruled that Kirkland would be removed from the league’s officiating rotation for one week. Kirkland moved toward Livingston and shared responsibility for the contact, according to the review.

Warriors Re-Sign Shaun Livingston

JULY 14: The Warriors have formally re-signed Livington, according to the NBA’s official transactions log.Shaun Livingston vertical

JUNE 30: The Warriors have come to terms on a three-year, $24MM contract with veteran guard Shaun Livingston, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press writes. The third year of Livingston’s new deal is only partially guaranteed, tweets Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The salaries are $8MM for each of the first two years, with a $2MM guarantee for 2019/20.

Last season, the 31-year-old averaged 5.1 points and 1.8 assists per game for the Warriors, establishing himself as a heady, reliable option off the bench for the star-studded squad.

The reported $24MM agreement falls short of what ESPN’s Chris Haynes had offered up as a possible price point for Livingston earlier this week. On Tuesday we wrote that Haynes had projected Livingston could earn in the $10MM-$12MM range annually.

Livingston’s family helped convince him to stay with the Warriors and take less money that he could have gotten on the open market, relays Marcus Thompson of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link).

The agreement with Livingston virtually ensures that Golden State will exceed the tax apron, according to cap expert Nate Duncan (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kevin Durant Re-Signs With Warriors

JULY 6: Durant has officially re-signed with the Warriors, per RealGM’s transactions log.

JULY 3: Kevin Durant has agreed to a two-year, $53MM contact with the Warriors, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com tweets. The second year will be a player option, Haynes adds in another tweet. Durant’s salary for next season will be $25MM, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.Kevin Durant vertical

Durant’s willingness to take far less than a 20% raise aided the Warriors’ efforts to retain their free agents, Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Durant, who opted out of his contract with the full intention of re-signing with Golden State, was eligible to receive a maximum starting salary of $34.65MM. Durant, who made $26.54MM last season, decided to take significantly less than the expected 20% raise that would have secured him a $31.8MM salary for next season.

That is a major reason why the Warriors successfully negotiated new contracts with free agents Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Iguodala, who was sought after by numerous clubs, agreed to a three-year, $48MM deal while Livingston agreed to stay put for three years and $24MM. In essence, as Thompson points out, Durant is gifting part of his salary for next season to his teammates.

Durant’s discount will also help ownership save some money on its luxury tax bill, depending upon how far over the tax line the franchise goes. Durant’s first-year salary will save the franchise approximately $20MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who projects Golden State will now pay $32.4MM instead of $52.4MM in luxury taxes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Iguodala Drawing Interest From At Least Seven Teams

Andre Iguodala wasn’t able to take home the NBA’s 2016/17 Sixth Man of the Year award on Monday night, but he’s on the verge of landing a nice consolation prize in the form of a lucrative new contract. According to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com, at least seven teams from around the league are expected to make an effort to pry Iguodala away from the Warriors.

The Timberwolves, Spurs, Clippers, Sixers, Magic, Nets, and Jazz are among the clubs with interest in Iguodala, per Haynes. Previous reports have suggested that the Bulls, Suns, and Hawks also may have interest in the veteran swingman, though Chicago has since entered a rebuilding phase, and Phoenix and Atlanta may opt to go in another direction.

According to Haynes, the Timberwolves and Sixers both have interest in Iguodala as a veteran leader for their young squads, while the Jazz view Iguodala as a contingency plan should they lose Gordon Hayward in free agency. The Spurs have internally discussed the possibility of trying to add both Iguodala and Chris Paul, according to Haynes, who confirms that San Antonio has explored trading Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge.

As Haynes explains, Iguodala has become one of the hottest free agents on the market this summer because teams view it as a priority to get him out of Golden State. Building a super-team to compete with the Warriors isn’t realistic for most franchises, so chipping away at the Warriors’ core by signing away one of the team’s key contributors is a more logical way to close the gap between Golden State and the rest of the league.

While earlier estimates for Iguodala’s new contract indicated the Warriors might be able to bring him back for an annual salary in the range of his current $11.1MM+ figure, a report from Shams Charania of The Vertical last week suggested that number could be much higher if the 33-year-old heads elsewhere. According to Charania, there’s a belief among teams around the NBA that Iguodala could approach $20MM per year on a new deal.

Outside of the Warriors’ stars, Shaun Livingston and Iguodala represent the team’s most important veteran free agents. Haynes says that Livingston should be popular in July as well, reporting that the veteran point guard may command a salary in the range of $10-12MM per year.

Warriors Rumors: Free Agents, Iguodala, Livingston

It has been less than four full days since the Warriors won Game 5 of the NBA Finals and captured their second title in three years, but fans and observers are already looking ahead to see how Golden State intends to keep its championship roster together. Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News takes a deep dive into that subject today, breaking down the Warriors’ salary cap options and providing a handful of insider tidbits as well. Let’s round up the highlights…

  • Multiple NBA sources have told Kawakami that it’s all about the Warriors’ Big Four and Andre Iguodala, suggesting that the team won’t break the bank for anyone else on the roster. That includes free-agents-to-be like Zaza Pachulia, David West, Ian Clark, and JaVale McGee.
  • Out of that group of the Warriors’ top five players, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Iguodala are all eligible to become free agents. Kawakami expects Curry to receive a five-year, super-max deal worth upwards of $205MM, while Durant appears willing to accept a 20% raise rather than the full max, allowing the club to stay over the cap to re-sign Iguodala and possibly others.
  • Assuming Durant settles for a 20% raise, look for Iguodala to sign a multiyear deal worth between $8MM and $12MM annually, says Kawakami. The Sixth Man of the Year candidate has suggested he expects to re-sign with Golden State and that negotiations are almost done. If another team swoops in with a massive offer, it’s possible Iguodala reconsiders his options, but at that this point, the main question appears to be how many years will be on his new Warriors contract.
  • Shaun Livingston‘s situation is “much more open-ended,” with Kawakami pegging the odds of the point guard’s return as a coin flip. Kawakami speculates that a one- or two-year deal worth $6-7MM per year would be feasible for the Warriors, but Livingston will likely do better than that on the open market.
  • As Kawakami points out, it’s worth keeping an eye on the tax apron, which is projected to be around $127MM for 2017/18. If a team wants to use its full mid-level exception and/or bi-annual exception, it can’t exceed the apron at any point during the league year. If the Warriors go over that number, they’ll be limited to the taxpayer MLE – worth about $5.2MM – and minimum salary contracts for any additional signings.