Shaun Livingston

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.

Warriors Notes: McCaw, Livingston, Durant, Kerr

Patrick McCaw will probably accept the Warriors’ qualifying offer before training camp opens, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. A restricted free agent, McCaw has been waiting all summer for a team to offer more than Golden State’s QO of $1.7MM.

A disappointing second season contributed to McCaw’s current situation. His 2-point and 3-point shooting percentages both declined, and his scoring and rebounding numbers didn’t improve, even with a slight increase in playing time. Still, McCaw will likely remain in the rotation if he returns to Golden State, which may not be guaranteed if he signs elsewhere.

Both parties have leverage in the standoff, Slater notes. The Warriors can match any offer that McCaw receives, while he and his representatives know that the team can only offer minimum deals to potential replacements. With 13 players under contract, Golden State plans to give the 14th roster spot to McCaw while keeping the final one open.

Slater passes along more Warriors info in his mailbag column:

  • Golden State will have to make a decision on Shaun Livingston‘s partially guaranteed contract for 2019/20 by June 30, and the team’s choice may reflect how negotiations are going in other areas. Livingston has a $2MM guarantee on his $7,692,308 deal and could be a welcome source of savings for a team that’s already well over the cap with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant both heading toward free agency and Draymond Green eligible for an extension. Livingston will turn 33 next week and it could be an easy decision if his game declines this season.
  • Damian Jones is the best bet to start at center when the season begins. Jordan Bell is the most talented candidate and will probably inherit the job once DeMarcus Cousins leaves in free agency, while Kevon Looney‘s reliable defense puts him in the discussion. Slater expects Jones to win the job unless he has an awful preseason, with Bell eventually taking over until Cousins is healthy enough to return in January or February.
  • Durant hasn’t made any decisions about his future, but he may be looking for a long-term deal next summer. The Warriors will have his full Bird Rights for the first time since he joined the organization and he may want security at age 31, whether that means a five-year contract with Golden State or a four-year deal elsewhere.
  • Coach Steve Kerr was able to make it through last season without major health issues, but the pain resulting from his back surgery hasn’t gone away. Kerr had to take two leaves of absences in the wake of the operation, but his recent contract extension is a sign that the issue is under control.

Pacific Notes: Beasley, James, Livingston, Temple

In a somewhat surprising move, the Lakers plan to sign veteran forward Michael Beasley to a one-year, $3.5MM deal, using a significant portion of their room exception. Beasley enjoyed a rejuvenated season with the Knicks in 2017/18, averaging 13.2 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 74 games (30 starts).

Beasley reportedly had opportunities to sign with teams that offered more playing time, but a tough free agent market made the $3.5MM salary hard to pass up, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. Also, Beasley has familiarity with LeBron James, as he played alongside the four-time NBA MVP with the Heat.

Since the Lakers signed James away from the Cavaliers, the team has further added Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and now Beasley. While it may not be the super team fans had hoped for, it’s an interesting conglomerate of talent.

Check out more Pacific Division notes:

  • Speaking of James, he made his first public appearance last Sunday to watch his new team in action at NBA Summer League. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report spoke to several Lakers’ executives who were on hand and discussed the prospect of James in Los Angeles and his role on the team. One executive actually believes the Lakers’ best lineup would be with James at center.
  • Shaun Livingston has been a valuable reserve for the Warriors as the team has dominated the NBA the past half-decade, winning three championships in the past four years. Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required) spoke to Livingston during his basketball camp in New York City, where Livingston addressed the Warriors’ success and the perception that Golden State has “ruined” the league with their super team.
  • Ever since Zach LaVine‘s offer sheet was matched by the Bulls, the Kings have not made any major additions to the team this offseason. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes that the Kings’ low-key approach thus far is okay and helps the team in the future.
  • The Grizzlies sent $1.5MM to the Kings as part of the trade for Garrett Temple , tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That figure is the equivalent of Deyonta Davis‘ salary, which would therefore be covered by Memphis if the Kings choose to waive him.

Clark Crum contributed to this post.

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.