Stephen Curry

Warriors Notes: Looney, Curry, Durant, Coaches

The better Kevon Looney plays, the less likely it is the Warriors will be able to afford him when he becomes a free agent this summer, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Golden State declined Looney’s option after two injury-plagued years related to a pair of hip surgeries. He responded by playing 66 games during the regular season and leading all Warriors centers with 147 playoff minutes.

Golden State could have locked up Looney for $2.3MM for 2018/19, but that wasn’t an easy decision when it had to be made in October. Not only was his career beset by injuries, but he was buried in a deep big man rotation that included promising rookie Jordan Bell.

“Our financial commitments [next year and beyond] are high,” GM Bob Myers said. “That factored in. Had we been in a different financial situation in the aggregate, maybe we make a different decision.”

There’s more today from Golden State:

  • Stephen Curry‘s time as a reserve will last just one game, according to an ESPN report. Returning from an MCL sprain, Curry scored 28 points off the bench Tuesday, and he will be in the starting lineup when the series resumes Friday. “Oh yeah, yeah, he’ll start Game 3,” coach Steve Kerr said in an interview on 95.7 The Game. “You don’t keep a guy like that on the bench for long. … He’ll be in the starting lineup.”
  • Kevin Durant is hoping for easier looks from 3-point range with Curry back on the court, relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Durant averaged 27.9 points in six playoff games without Curry, but shot just 28% from long distance. “When you get a chance to work with one of the best to ever play, it sharpens you as well,” Durant said. “Steel sharpens steel. He makes me better and I make him better.”
  • Kerr won’t stand in the way if any of his assistants has a shot at a head coaching job, relays Medina adds in a separate story. Jarron Collins is a candidate in Atlanta, while Mike Brown is among the many who have interviewed with the Knicks. “Selfishly I hope guys stay but we always want them to move on with their careers and get these great opportunities,” Kerr said in the same radio interview. “So we’ll see what happens.” Alvin Gentry of the Pelicans and Luke Walton of the Lakers were both Golden State assistants before landing their current jobs.

Stephen Curry To Return For Warriors In Game 2

MAY 1: The Warriors have confirmed that Curry has been fully cleared and will return for the team in Game 2 on Tuesday night (Twitter link via Chris Haynes of ESPN).

APRIL 30: Stephen Curry‘s return to the court for the Warriors appears imminent, with head coach Steve Kerr telling reporters this afternoon that the two-time MVP has officially been upgraded to probable for Game 2 (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).

After missing Game 1 of the Warriors’ second-round series against the Pelicans, Curry was said to be “very likely” to play in Game 2, so today’s news doesn’t come as a surprise. According to Slater (Twitter link), Curry won’t face a formal minutes restriction in his first game back. His playing time will depend on how he looks in terms of conditioning and rhythm, Kerr said today.

Curry, who has battled ankle injuries on multiple occasions throughout the season, has missed more than a month with a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee. He last appeared in a game for Golden State on March 23.

The Warriors have had little trouble winning without Curry so far in the postseason, defeating the Spurs in five games in round one and taking the first game from New Orleans in round two. Still, having the league’s best outside shooter back on the floor going forward will only make the Dubs more dangerous as they look to defend their title.

Pacific Notes: Durant, Curry, Teodosic, Lakers

Kevin Durant has already said he will re-sign with the Warriors this summer, but it will likely be for a significantly higher salary than his previous contract. During an appearance on the Warriors Plus/Minus podcast, Durant addressed his decision to take a $10MM pay cut last summer, which helped enable Golden State to comfortably re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

Durant said that money has never been a driving force behind his decisions and he is more focused on playing well and dealing with contractual matters later. However, Durant also noted that he does not want to set a precedent for himself where the team can take advantage of him in future negotiations.

“I thought that, at that time, it was a good deal,” Durant said of his 2017/18 contract. “But that’s not setting a good precedent for me if I’m like, ‘Man, I’m taking [a $10MM discount].’ Now, they’re going to start taking advantage of me. You know what I’m saying? I know it’s a business, too. So, I’ve got a business to handle as well.”

For his part, Durant has put himself in position for another significant payday this offseason. In 68 games, he averaged 26.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 5.4 APG for the Warriors.

Check out more Pacific Division notes below:

  • Per a report from yesterday, the Warriors expect to have two-time Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry for their Game 2 matchup against the Pelicans on Tuesday. Curry missed the first-round series against the Spurs — which Golden State won 4-1 — and was “50-50” heading into Saturday’s Game 1.
  • Milos Teodosic came to the Clippers this past season as one of the most popular and decorated players in Europe. While his first season was mired with injuries, his prolific passing ability was on display. Also, when healthy, the Clippers were 29-16 with Teodosic on the court, according to the Clippers’ website.
  • With the Thunder eliminated from the postseason, the focus now shifts to the Lakers pursuing top-tier free agents – including Paul George – to team up with their young studs, Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register writes.

Stephen Curry To Miss Game 1, ‘Very Likely’ For Game 2

The Warriors will not use Stephen Curry in tonight’s opening game against the Pelicans, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Coach Steve Kerr told his team about the decision this morning, adds ESPN’s Chris Haynes, but said the star guard feels great and is “very likely” for Game 2 (Twitter link).

Curry is still recovering from a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee that he suffered in a March 23 game. He missed the entire opening-round series against the Spurs, but said Friday he considered himself “50-50” to play tonight.

Kerr said he had discussions with Curry, GM Bob Myers and trainer Chelsea Lane before making the decision, relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link), with Kerr adding, “We have to protect him from himself.” (Twitter link).

“He’s very likely to play Tuesday night,” Kerr said. “… When you’ve been out five weeks and you want to play in the playoffs, I don’t think one scrimmage is enough.” (Twitter link).

Kerr hasn’t decided what Curry’s role will be in Game 2, tweets Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area. He may start or come off the bench and he could be playing with a minutes restriction.

 

Injury Updates: Curry, Porter, VanVleet, Mbah a Moute

Stephen Curry is officially listed as questionable for the start of the Warriors‘ series with the Pelicans tomorrow night, relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News.

The star guard, who is recovering from a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee, was able to go through a full-court scrimmage today for the first time since suffering the injury March 23. However, the team isn’t ready to commit to playing him in Game 1, and Curry calls his chances “50-50.”

“Still to be determined. They come up with those snazzy words for a reason – doubtful, questionable, probable,” he said. “Just trying to work my way up whatever I need to do with whatever [trainer] Chelsea [Lane], the rest of the athletic training staff and coaching staff need to see before I can get back out there.”

Curry and Lane spent about 20 minutes after practice talking to coach Steve Kerr, who said Curry will be re-examined tonight and after Saturday’s morning shootaround before making a decision.

“It’s not as simple as, ‘Does he feel good? Then throw him out there,’” Kerr said. “It’s more about, ‘Let’s give him a few days and see how he responds from it.’”

There’s more playoff-related injury news to pass along:

  • Wizards forward Otto Porter, who is out indefinitely following a surgical procedure today on his left leg, has been experiencing pain since Game 4 of the series with Toronto, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. The decision to perform a lower leg fasciotomy to address a build-up of blood flow in the contusion area was made after reviewing the results of an MRI conducted today. Kelly Oubre will take Porter’s spot in the starting lineup, with Tomas Satoransky and Ty Lawson both expected to get more playing time, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk (Twitter link). “We need Kelly on the floor,” coach Scott Brooks said to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. “Now that Otto is out, we need Kelly to give us great minutes. … It’s a great opportunity for him.” (Twitter link).
  • The Raptors will have guard Fred VanVleet available for tonight’s Game 6 with the Wizards, Lewenberg tweets. VanVleet has been limited to three minutes in the series because of soreness in his shoulder stemming from a collision on the final night of the season. “I don’t know what to expect,” said coach Dwane Casey, “but we’ll get him in.”
  • The Rockets had hoped to get Luc Mbah a Moute back for the start of their second-round series, but it appears that won’t happen, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Sidelined by a dislocated shoulder, Mbah a Moute won’t be re-evaluated until next week, although he was able to participate in the non-contact part of today’s practice, said coach Mike D’Antoni.
  • Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue still wasn’t sure of George Hill‘s  status when he met with reporters before tonight’s game, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Hill, who has been experiencing back spasms, warmed up before the game with a heat wrap on his back, notes ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Jordan, Clark, Looney, Curry

If he decides to turn down his player option for 2018/19, DeAndre Jordan will enter this summer as one of the league’s most intriguing free agents and will likely have no shortage of suitors. No teams can offer Jordan as much money as his current team, the Clippers, but his steady defense and elite rebounding should interest several clubs.

Frank Urbina of HoopsHype examines Jordan’s potential trip through the open market and identifies four possible destinations. Even without Chris Paul, who was traded to the Rockets last offseason, Jordan enjoyed a solid season, averaging 12.0 PPG, 15.2 RPG, and 64.5% field goal percentage to go with a career-best 1.5 APG.

Among the possible teams, Urbina lists the Clippers, their hometown rival Lakers, plus the Knicks and Kings. The Lakers enter the offseason with major cap space that can be used on multiple free agents; the Knicks may have a season-long void in the frontcourt if Enes Kanter opts out and Kristaps Porzingis ACL injury recovery lingers; and the Kings are rebuilding with money to spend.

Check out more Pacific Division notes below:

  • Kevon Looney has been a solid player for the Warriors, but this past October, the team elected not to pick up his player option, so he could leave as an unrestricted free agent this summer. Warriors general manager Bob Myers admitted to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic (subscription required) that in hindsight, the team should have gone a different direction. “We didn’t know. We had to go on the information we had, which is not the information we have now,” Myers said. “Maybe in that circumstance, the cap factored in as far as having to be very conscious of every dollar and saying ‘Can we replace this player? Can we afford to pay him at this number?’ When we make any decision, we’re projecting. Sometimes we project correctly. Sometimes we project incorrectly.”
  • With the Warriors set for a second-round series against the Pelicans, Ian Clark – who spent two seasons in Golden State – plans to use that experience to help his current team, William Guillory of NOLA.com writes. “It’s going to be fun,” Clark said. “Being in this position to compete against them is going to be fun. Obviously I know a lot of those guys’ tendencies, and I’m trying to help as much as possible to get the win.”
  • We noted earlier today that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr listed Stephen Curry as questionable for Game 1 between the Pelicans and Warriors this Saturday. Curry has been out since late March with an MCL sprain.

Kerr: Stephen Curry ‘Questionable’ For Second-Round Opener

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has listed point guard Stephen Curry as questionable for the team’s Western Conference semifinals opener against the Pelicans on Saturday. Kerr spoke to reporters, including Mark Medina of The Mercury News (via Twitter), on Thursday and said Curry looked good in a full-contact practice.

“Steph practiced 100%, he did everything and looked good,” Kerr said. “I would say he’s questionable for Game 1. I think what we have to do is see how his body responds the rest of the day and put him through another practice tomorrow. I think he needs to string together a few good days. It was very positive today.”

Curry, a former two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, has been sidelined with an MCL sprain since March 23. He posted 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds against the Hawks that night before teammate JaVale McGee accidentally fell on his knee. Curry missed the remainder of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs.

In 51 regular season games, Curry averaged 26.4 PPG, 6.1 APG, and 5.1 RPG.

The Warriors have fared well without Curry so far, defeating the Spurs in five games in the first round of the postseason. As they prepares to face the Pelicans though, re-adding Curry to a lineup that boasts Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green would be a major boost.

Injury Updates: Smart, Curry, Hill, Turner

Celtics guard Marcus Smart may be getting closer to a return, writes Marc D’Amico of NBA.com. Smart, who had surgery on his right thumb and has been sidelined since March 12, will be re-evaluated next week, coach Brad Stevens told reporters today.

“He’s doing everything in a workout that you can do,” Stevens said. “It’s just a matter of being cleared for live play.” He added that the Celtics intend to use Smart as soon as he is cleared for full contact.

Smart has been going through workouts with coaches, but is not permitted to do anything competitive until he receives medical clearance. Doctors are concerned with limiting the risk that his thumb will be re-injured once he returns to the court.

“I think it’s just a matter of you have to have that post-surgery healed enough to be able to take a hit even with a brace on it,” Stevens added. “That’s the hold up.”

There’s more injury-related news to pass on:

  • The Warriors welcomed Stephen Curry back to practice today, but have no intention to use him in the series with San Antonio, relays Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s coming along well, but don’t expect him to be Willis Reed tomorrow,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. Curry, who has sat out the past four weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, completed several non-contact drills today without any setbacks. Doctors will re-evaluate him next weekend in hopes of a second-round return.
  • Cavaliers guard George Hill is questionable for Game 4 after experiencing back spasms Friday night, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Hill had an MRI today after playing just 30 seconds in the fourth quarter because of back soreness. Coach Tyronn Lue said veteran Jose Calderon will probably start Sunday if Hill can’t play.
  • Evan Turner was able to start today for the Trail Blazers after having a titanium plate placed in his right shoe to protect his big toe, tweets Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest. Turner suffered a bruise in Game 2 when he was kicked in the toe while chasing a loose ball.

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.”

Injury Updates: Curry, Iguodala, Embiid, Thunder

Stephen Curry has shown “steady functional progress” on his MCL sprain and remains on target for a second-round return, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.

The Warriors provided a medical update on Curry before today’s playoff opener, including the news that he “will intensify his on-court rehabilitation in the coming days.” The team’s medical staff examined Curry yesterday and plans a re-evaluation in one week. His rehab program will consist of “more running and lateral movement.”

“When he’s ready, he’s ready,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “But he’s making progress, which is a good sign.”

Curry hasn’t played since suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain March 23. He had missed the previous six games with a right ankle injury.

“Every day has been something good, advancing the rehab process,” Curry said. “I’m looking forward to hopefully making more progress as we look towards the playoffs. It’s been an interesting two weeks so far. Just trying to get some rhythm, some strength back, some flexibility, range of motion, all that type of stuff.”

There’s more injury news involving playoff teams:

  • Warriors forward Andre Iguodala appears to be OK after taking a hard hit to his leg in the first half of today’s game, tweets Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. He was diagnosed with just a charley horse, but Kerr said it’s fortunate that Iguodala wasn’t needed late in the game.
  • Joel Embiid is optimistic about his chances to return for Game 2 or 3 of the Sixers‘ series with Miami, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Embiid underwent facial surgery March 31 after breaking an orbital bone in an on-court collision. He has to prove he can handle contact before being medically cleared to play, but he took steps in that direction this week (Twitter link). “If it was my decision I would play, but I can’t get back out on the court if I don’t have the OK from them,” Embiid said. “But everything has been going well.” He spent about 30 minutes shooting before tonight’s game wearing a black protective mask that the league hasn’t approved for game use (Twitter link).
  • The status of two injured Thunder players remains in question heading into Sunday’s playoff opener, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Alex Abrines, who has been in concussion protocol since Monday, participated in practice today but didn’t do any drills that involved contact. Corey Brewer, who suffered a right knee sprain Wednesday, went through some contact drills after missing Thursday’s practice. “We’ll see how they responded from it” coach Billy Donovan said. “They both seemed fine with what they were doing. Whether or not they’ll be available tomorrow, we’ll probably find that out in the morning.”