Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry Expects To Play Again This Season

Warriors star guard Stephen Curry will require another surgical procedure on his broken hand but he’s optimistic he’ll play again this season, he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic and other reporters on Monday (Twitter link).

Curry is aiming for an early spring return from a broken left hand. He underwent surgery at the beginning of the month and is expected to miss a minimum of three months.

He’ll need another procedure in a few weeks to remove the pins securing the broken bones, Slater adds in another tweet.

“I have to get a second procedure done, beginning of December probably, remove some of the pins there,” he said. “So swelling is going to be of the utmost priority early in the rehab process, to give me a chance to come back and get my range of motion back pretty quickly.”

There’s also some concern about nerve damage. Curry said he experienced some nerve irritation and that will be closely monitored. He won’t be allowed to travel with the team until after the New Year

“Nerves are tricky,” he said. “They can come back quickly or over a sustained amount of time. … When you’re dealing with hands, that’s where it gets tricky.”

Curry suffered the break against Phoenix on October 30. The Warriors had gone 1-5 since the injury heading into their game with Utah on Monday.

Pacific Notes: George, Fox, Ayton, Curry

The Clippers are getting encouraging signs that Paul George might be ready for action soon, according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. George participated in a full-court, three-on-three scrimmage Saturday that lasted about 20 minutes, his most strenuous workout since having offseason surgery on both shoulders.

The team still isn’t offering a timetable for his season debut, and coach Doc Rivers didn’t provide any new information. Rivers speculated last month that George would miss the first 10 games, which would keep him sidelined for at least four more.

“At some point, someone’s going to tell me who can play,” Rivers said yesterday. “I’ve never really gotten involved in it.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:
  • De’Aaron Fox hasn’t lost faith in new Kings coach Luke Walton despite a rough start, relays Jason Jones of The Athletic. Walton wants Fox to assume more control over the team as the season wears on, and the confidence seems to be reciprocated. “We’re going to ride with him,” Fox said of Walton. “He’s been great since the day that he stepped in. I think we feel like we trust him and he trusts us.”
  • Deandre Ayton has served five games of his 25-game suspension, giving the Suns an opportunity to add another player to the roster, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Ayton is now on the suspended list, where he will remain until December 17 unless his appeal is successful. Phoenix already has 15 players with guaranteed contracts, and there has been no indication on whether the team plans to make a roster move.
  • A broken hand hasn’t affected Stephen Curry‘s desire to play in the 2020 Olympics, his father tells Marc J. Spears of ESPN. Former NBA star Dell Curry said his son is still looking forward to his first Olympic experience. “That was definitely a goal coming into this year,” he said. “He wants to play in the Olympics. This is a little setback, but hopefully it’s a goal he can strive for through his rehab.” Curry added that Stephen is “doing the best he can” after having surgery this week.

Stephen Curry Expected To Miss At Least Three Months

The Warriors are expected to be without two-time MVP Stephen Curry for at least three months, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who reports (via Twitter) that Curry underwent successful surgery on his broken left hand on Friday.

The Warriors have issued a press release confirming Stein’s report, announcing that there will be an update on Curry’s status in three months. Based on that timeline, the earliest we should expect to see the star guard back on the court is on February 1, which means he’ll miss at least the next 45 games.

It’s a crushing blow for the Warriors, who lost Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston in the offseason and will be without Klay Thompson (ACL) until at least the All-Star break. Golden State was off to a bad start this season even with Curry in its lineup, having been blown out in three of the team’s first four games.

Now, the Warriors will have to try to get by for the foreseeable future without either Splash Brother, and without the sort of veteran depth the club had during its run of five straight NBA Finals appearances. The Dubs have one of the NBA’s youngest rosters, as we noted earlier today.

The Warriors’ cap situation will make things even more difficult moving forward. The team is right up against a hard cap and can’t add a 15th man to its roster, let alone apply for a hardship exception for a 16th.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks observed earlier this week (via Twitter), Golden State still has more than eight healthy players on its roster, meeting the league’s minimum requirements, so the club is handcuffed for now. Even if that number were to dip below eight at some point, the Warriors’ hard cap means they’d have to petition the NBA to add a player, per Marks (via Twitter).

In the wake of Curry’s injury on Wednesday night, Warriors owner Joe Lacob dismissed the idea that his team would consider going into tanking mode, suggesting that tanking is “against every single thing I and we stand for.”

However, without Curry and Thompson, the Warriors have limited upside and will likely be lottery-bound, so it won’t be a surprise if they lean more into the idea of developing their young players over the course of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Owner Dismisses Idea Of Tanking

Even with two-time MVP Stephen Curry in the lineup, the Warriors were off to a worrisome start this season. Now that Curry is set to miss time due to a broken left hand, the club’s short-term outlook looks even less promising. However, team owner Joe Lacob “scoffed” at the notion that it might be time for Golden State to consider tanking the season, as ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne writes.

“It is against every single thing I and we stand for,” Lacob said. “We will fight like hell. Develop our young guys. Learn to win. You don’t get better by trying to lose. Our entire organization is about winning. And we will win. Some bumps in the road, perhaps. But we will never accept losing.”

Klay Thompson has already been ruled out until at least the All-Star break due to his torn ACL. Curry’s recovery timeline hasn’t been set, but Shelburne says team officials are preparing for him to miss a month or two. Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes that an injury like Curry’s often sidelines an NBA player for about six to eight weeks. Even Draymond Green is banged up, though he may not miss any time as he nurses a back injury.

Given the Warriors’ lack of quality depth, the team probably won’t have to deliberately “tank” in order to land in the lottery, as those injuries to their stars could be enough to derail their season. While Lacob isn’t willing to concede that it’s time to start looking ahead to 2020/21, he admitted in comments to Tim Kawakami and Ethan Strauss of The Athletic that the club will certainly keep its long-term outlook in mind.

“I’m just telling you that the bottom line is I’m not negative and I’m not going to get negative,” Lacob said in the wake of Curry’s injury. “I’m an optimist and we’re building something. You’re always looking short term and you’re looking intermediate term and you’re looking long term.

“And I think we’ve got a lot of good young players in place,” he continued. “Potentially, there’s a silver lining in all of this, who knows? And I’m very optimistic about our future. Very optimistic about our future. I think we’re going to be there at some point. Can’t say when. We’ve obviously got a lot of injuries now, but we’re going to be there.”

As we wait for an update on Curry’s diagnosis and the Warriors’ next moves, one “silver lining” worth considering if that the club will only send its 2020 first-round pick to Brooklyn if it falls outside of the top 20. That scenario looks increasingly unlikely, so the Dubs can probably count on keeping that first-round pick. And unlike most traded first-rounders, its protections won’t just carry over to the next draft — if the Nets don’t get that first-round selection in 2020, they’ll instead receive Golden State’s 2025 second-rounder.

Stephen Curry Suffers Broken Left Hand

Things have gone from bad to worse this season for the Warriors, as Stephen Curry suffered a broken left hand during the team’s game against Phoenix on Wednesday night, reports Marcus Thompson of The Athletic (Twitter link). The club has confirmed Thompson’s report.

According to Kerith Burke of NBC Sports California (Twitter link), Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said Curry will undergo a CT scan on his hand to see if surgery is required. The club doesn’t yet have an estimate on a potential recovery timetable, but it’s safe to assume the two-time MVP will miss some time.

Although the Warriors picked up their first win of the season on Monday against New Orleans, it has otherwise been a disastrous start to the season for the franchise that has won the Western Conference for five consecutive years. The Dubs were blown out in their home opener by the Clippers last Thursday, then run off the court in Oklahoma City on Sunday.

In Wednesday’s contest, Golden State’s third loss, the Suns built a 43-14 lead by the end of the first quarter, fueled by a shocking 30-1 run. Curry’s injury occurred later in the game when he drove to the net and landed awkwardly, bracing his fall with his left hand just before Baynes fell on that hand (video link).

Golden State entered this season expecting to lean heavily on Curry, Draymond Green, and D’Angelo Russell, with Klay Thompson recovering from an ACL tear and without a ton of quality depth surrounding those stars. Now that both Splash Brothers project to be on the injured list for the foreseeable future, the Warriors’ playoff chances look much slimmer.

The Warriors’ cap situation will make things even more difficult moving forward. The team is right up against a hard cap and can’t add a 15th man, let alone apply for a hardship exception for a 16th.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes (via Twitter), Golden State still has more than eight healthy players on its roster, meeting the league’s minimum requirements, so the club is handcuffed for now. Even if that number dipped below eight, the Warriors’ hard cap means they’d have to petition the NBA to add a player, Marks adds (via Twitter).

It’s too early to call this a lost season for the Warriors, especially since we don’t yet know how much time Curry will miss. But that hasn’t stopped NBA writers from drawing comparisons to the 1996/97 Spurs, who bottomed out (a year after winning 59 games) due primarily to a season-ending David Robinson injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Looney, Chriss, Hard Cap

Stephen Curry hasn’t given up on the championship dream with the Warriors this season despite the loss of Kevin Durant and long-term injury to Klay Thompson, as he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

“A championship is still the goal,” Curry said. “It’s always been. We’ve experienced it all and we’re going to keep pushing to get back there. That’s the goal. It’s the North Star. The narrative might have changed internally, but we’re still chasing the same goal.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Frontcourt injuries have made for a difficult preseason, Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes. The Warriors have gone most of the preseason without Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney and their absences have shown in preseason losses to the Lakers. “We need to get healthy,” coach Steve Kerr said. “You have to have rim protection in this league.” Kerr is hopeful that Looney, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury, can return for the season opener, Slater tweets.
  • The team is now technically $375K under the hard cap after deciding to waive Alfonzo McKinnie and retaining Marquese Chriss, salary cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. However, since Chriss’ contract doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 10th, the Warriors are essentially $2MM below the hard cap with Chriss’ deal counting $9,485 daily until that deadline, Nahmad adds.
  • Draymond Green ripped the Suns’ organization for mishandling Chriss during his time there, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Chriss was the eighth overall pick in 2016 but lasted just two seasons in Phoenix. “No one ever blames these (lousy) franchises. They always want to blame the kid. It’s not always the kid’s fault,” Green said.

Warriors Notes: Chriss, McKinnie, Hard Cap, Curry

A few Warriors players have asked general manager Bob Myers to find a spot for Marquese Chriss on the roster, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Chriss made an immediate impact Saturday in Golden State’s first preseason game with eight points, six rebounds and four assists in 13 minutes. He also fills a need for a team that’s dealing with injuries to big men Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein.

But keeping Chriss won’t be easy. The Warriors are severely limited because of a hard cap that came along with the sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell. To hold onto Chriss, they will have to either trade one of their 13 guaranteed salaries or waive Alfonzo McKinnie, whose $1,588,231 contract is non-guaranteed. A two-way deal is theoretically possible, but Chriss didn’t sign an Exhibit 10 contract, so he’d have to clear waivers for that to happen.

“I’ve heard good things, positive things from the coaches,” Chriss said. “I’m just trying to stay open-minded and keep being coached. Whether or not it works out here, I was able to come here and learn some things that I would be able to take other places. I think at the end of the day, my goal was to show them that this was where I should be and put the pressure on them.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • McKinnie is engaged in a three-way competition for the starting small forward slot, notes Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area. He’s battling Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III, who both signed as free agents over the summer. Poole suggests that McKinnie has the edge because of his experience with the team, but he may have slipped with a poor first preseason game in which he made just one of four 3-pointers and finished at minus-23.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at the hard cap and the effects it will have on the Warriors throughout the season. The team is already within $407,257 of the $138,928,000 figure, which means they can’t add a 15th player to the roster until March 3, when a pro-rated minimum salary will become small enough to fit. Slater notes that once that date arrives, Golden State could reach out to Andrew Bogut again when his Australian season is complete.
  • Stephen Curry told reporters today that he hasn’t determined how the NBA’s standoff with China will affect his Under Armour tours of the nation going forward, tweets Logan Murdock of NBC Sports.

Warriors Notes: Green, Russell, Spellman, Curry

Warriors forward Draymond Green is glad he didn’t have to deal with all the speculation regarding free agency in what would have been his walk year, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Green, who could have been one of the top free agents in a diluted market next summer, averted that issue by signing a four-year extension worth nearly $100MM in August. “I didn’t myself want to come into the season with all that,” he said. “Kind of becomes a headache.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • The D’Angelo RussellKevin Durant sign-and-trade was nerve-wracking and challenging due to time constraints, GM Bob Myers said in a radio interview with 95.7 The Game (hat tip to Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area). “So for that to happen, obviously one thing, Kevin has to leave,” Myers said. “Two, you got to get Brooklyn to cooperate and Kevin to cooperate in a four-hour window of time. You need D’Angelo to say, ‘Yeah, I’ll come.” He had other offers. A lot of times that’s like a three-team trade, they just don’t happen.”
  • Forward Omari Spellman wasn’t immediately thrilled at the prospect of moving from the Hawks to the Warriors, Slater adds in another tweet. “That was extremely tough for me,” he said. “But on the flip side, an organization that has been, let’s be honest, the best team in the league for like the last four, five years decided to take a chance on me.” Golden State traded center Damian Jones and a second-round pick to acquire Spellman.
  • Stephen Curry isn’t interested in any load management plans, Logan Murdock of NBCS Authentic tweets. Concerning his workload, Curry quipped, “48 minutes a game for all 82.”

Myers: Warriors Will Provide Klay Thompson Update At All-Star Break

After tearing his ACL during the NBA Finals in the spring, Klay Thompson has expressed doubt that he’ll be back on the court for the Warriors before the All-Star break. Speaking today to reporters, Golden State’s president of basketball operations Bob Myers confirmed as much.

He’s doing fine,” Myers said of Thompson. “We’ll have an update on him at the All-Star break.”

Assuming Thompson’s rehab process doesn’t unexpectedly speed up in the coming months, the earliest he might return would be February 20, the Warriors’ first game after the All-Star break. That would be the team’s 56th game of the season.

Of course, based on Myers’ comment that the Warriors won’t even provide an update on their All-Star sharpshooter until mid-February, it’s also possible that his return date will come even later than that.

As we wait to see how Thompson’s recovery progresses, here are a few more Warriors notes from Media Day:

  • Willie Cauley-Stein suffered a strained left foot during a recent workout and will miss training camp, Myers said today (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). Head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that Kevon Looney now looks like the probable starter at center to open the season.I had big plans for Looney anyway,” Kerr said (Twitter link via Slater).
  • Myers said that there are no plans to put Stephen Curry on a minutes limit or to have him sit out games this season for load management reasons (Twitter link via Friedell). Still, the Warriors will keep an eye on the former MVP’s minutes as the seasons unfolds.
  • Kerr said he intends to stagger Curry’s and D’Angelo Russell‘s minutes to some extent this season to help balance the Warriors’ offense (Twitter link via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated).
  • Myers admitted that it will be hard to make any changes to Golden State’s roster this season due to the team’s hard cap (Twitter link via Mark Medina of USA Today).

Stephen Curry Talks 2020 Olympics, KD’s Departure

Count Stephen Curry among the potential Team USA players who didn’t participate in the 2019 World Cup but is interested in helping the program recapture gold at the 2020 Olympics. Speaking to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (link via Nick Friedell at ESPN.com), the Warriors‘ star said that he intends to join Team USA in Tokyo next summer, health permitting.

“That is the plan, for sure,” Curry said. “You know, obviously knock on wood, you don’t want any injuries or things like that to interfere. … [I] definitely want to go. I’ve never been on the Olympic team. I’ve been on two World Cup Championship gold medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it.”

Besides Curry, a handful of other stars have spoken out in recent days about being part of the USA Basketball roster in 2020. Some, like Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker, were part of this year’s World Cup roster and have expressed interest in representing Team USA again at the Olympics. Others, like Curry and Damian Lillard, passed on participating this year but would like to play next summer.

Of course, before Team USA makes any decisions on its 12-man roster for Tokyo, we’ve got a full NBA season to play. In his conversation with Nichols, Curry offered several thoughts on the upcoming year and looked back at Kevin Durant‘s free agent decision. Here are a few of Curry’s most notable comments, via Friedell:

On Durant’s decision to leave the Warriors for the Nets:

“At the end of the day, we live in an age where choice at the forefront, and K made a decision for himself and you can’t argue that. I wish we could still play with K. He’s an unbelievable talent, unbelievable person. We accomplished a lot together. But things have changed a little bit. So you obviously wish him the best, obviously with his recovery first and foremost and things on and off the court. But we’re gonna have to battle down the road. So this should be a fun, new experience on that front too.”

On potential “load management” during the 2019/20 season:

“I want to be smart about what I’m doing. I doubt there will be any games where I’m playing 48 minutes (laugh). I could, but that’s not part of how you achieve greatness, at the end of the day, for what we’re trying to accomplish, which is a championship. So everything’s going to be in light of trying to get another banner. All the other stuff is — it’ll take care of itself.”

On the possibility of winning his third MVP award this season:

“I always say, I’m playing like I’m the best player on the floor no matter what the situation is. That’s my mentality. It might not mean I’m taking every shot, but that’s the aggressiveness that I need to play with and the confidence I need to have. So, that’ll carry me the rest of my career. And at the end of the day, winning an MVP would be special. And it’s something that I’ve experienced before and would love to experience again. I’d love to push the envelope and push the limits a little bit. [But] you won’t see anything different about how I play this season versus years past.”