Stephen Curry

Warriors Notes: Trade Talks, McCaw, Curry

Although many trade rumors have swirled around the NBA in recent weeks, the Warriors haven’t been the subject of many of them. The defending champions obviously have no plans to break up their core, and there are no glaring holes that must be addressed before next Thursday’s deadline. Still, that doesn’t mean general manager Bob Myers isn’t doing his homework on potential deals.

According to Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group (Twitter link), Myers said today that he’s “pretty active” and has spoken to about two-thirds of the people around the NBA. Even if Golden State doesn’t complete a trade within the next week, Myers wants to do his due diligence, Medina adds.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • If the Warriors do make a trade, is second-year shooting guard Patrick McCaw a prime candidate to be moved? Tim Kawakami of The Athletic examines that question, noting that McCaw has struggled with his three-point shot this season, making just 25.0% of his attempts, and hasn’t developed at the rate the Warriors hoped. If Golden State wants to add one more reliable shooter off the bench, McCaw – a restricted free agent this summer – could be a logical trade chip, Kawakami writes.
  • After the Clippers traded Blake Griffin just a few months into a five-year mega-deal, Stephen Curry was asked about his own five-year contract, which – like Griffin’s – doesn’t include a no-trade clause. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Curry said that he and the Warriors discussed the NTC possibility during negotiations, but he doesn’t regret not pushing for one. “They try to set a precedent that nobody gets one around here,” Curry said. “But you would hope situations that happened with Blake don’t happen with this team.”
  • Earlier today, we passed along an ESPN report suggesting that LeBron James won’t rule out the possibility of meeting with the Warriors in free agency this offseason.

LeBron, Curry Finalize Teams For NBA All-Star Game

Stephen Curry and LeBron James have finalized their teams for the 2018 NBA All-Star game.

Team LeBron’s starting lineup includes James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Kyrie Irving. James’ reserves will be comprised of Bradley Beal, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Kristaps Porzingis and John Wall.

Team Curry’s starting lineup includes Curry, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid. Curry’s reserves will be Damian Lillard, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Al Horford.

While James’ team includes just one current teammate (Love), he selected his former teammate Irving to start the game. It will be the first time James and Irving are on the same team since Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals.

“To be able to team up back with Kyrie is always special, along with Kevin Love,” James said after the rosters were finalized (via NBA on TNT). “For us to have another weekend to bring back the memories that we had when we were all together [is special].”

James’ team will also reunite Durant and Westbrook for the second time in as many All-Star weekends. Both men suited up for the Western Conference last season but were on the court for a combined 82 seconds, per ESPN’s Royce Young.

Meanwhile, Curry’s team boasts two of his Warriors teammates in Green and Thompson. While James’ team has the size advantage, Curry’s team has more shooters. All told, Curry said he is happy with his picks, particularly the four men he will start with.

“I got a good history with DeMar and James playing on Team USA world championship teams with them,” Curry said. “Joel is obviously a future All-Star for plenty more years to come, this is his first go-around. Maybe one day that weekend he’ll take over my Twitter account and say some jokes for me.”

Warriors Notes: Curry, Looney, Bell, Young, McGee

Stephen Curry is a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and his shooting ability is one of the main reasons why. He obliterated his own record for made three-pointers during his unanimous MVP season two years ago, but he is actually having a better season from a shooting perspective in 2017/18.

Micah Adams of ESPN breaks down Curry’s field-goal selection and how the 29-year-old is compensating for shooting a lower percentage from beyond the arc compared to his 2015/16 season by taking better overall shots. Instead, Curry’s field-goal percentage (49.5%) and free-throw percentage (91.8%) are among the best totals he has posted in a season.

All told, the Warriors‘ point guard has averaged 27.7 PPG, 6.5 APG, and 5.3 RPG in 31 contests this year. Curry missed 11 games earlier in the sesason due to an ankle sprain.

Check out other news from the Warriors organization below:

Pacific Notes: Curry, Warriors, Walton, Rivers

In Stephen Curry‘s absence, the Warriors did not stop winning as they won nine of the 11 games they played without their two-time Most Valuable Player. Despite their winning ways, the Warriors are a completely different team with a different mentality when Curry is healthy, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post writes.

Without Curry, the Warriors still have shooting prowess of Klay Thompson, the versatility of Draymond Green, and the natural talent of Kevin Durant to guide the team. However, with Curry in the mix, he draws so much attention — mixed with his skill — that opposing teams struggle to adjust.

“He brings something different than anybody ever has, to be honest with you,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr tells Bontemps. “There are plenty of guys who dominate the game in different ways. You think of Shaq overpowering people, or Michael Jordans combination of power and skill and tenacity. But nobody has ever tilted the floor the way Steph does at such a deep range and with such incredible ballhandling skills.”

Curry scored 38 points with an NBA season-high 10 three’s made in his on-court return on Saturday. The 29-8 Warriors remain the top seed in the Western Conference and a healthy Curry only increases the odds that they will finish the regular season with the NBA’s best record for a fourth straight season.

Check out other Pacific Division news below:

  • There have been reports of the Warriors looking to trade one of their big men as JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulias names have come up in rumors. Danny Leroux of The Athletic (subscription required and recommended) examines how trading one of those players would impact the team’s salary cap.
  • The Lakers‘ losses have piled up in recent weeks but head coach Luke Walton is adamant about maintaining his decision-making and coaching style consistent, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. “The guys know every decision I make might not always be right,” Walton said. “But every decision I make is answered with, ‘What do I believe is best for the team?’”
  • Austin Rivers‘ strained right Achilles tendon — while not season-ending — is only the latest blow to a Clippers team that has faced a drove of season-altering injuries, Elliot Teaford of the Orange County Register writes.

 

Stephen Curry Will Return Tonight

After missing 11 games with a sprained right ankle, Stephen Curry will be back on the court for the Warriors tonight in Memphis, according to Marc J. Spears on ESPN Now. Coach Steve Kerr plans to limit him to 20-25 minutes and use him in “six or seven minute bursts.”

Golden State managed a 9-2 record without Curry, who suffered the injury December 4 in New Orleans.

Curry underwent a third and final re-evaluation on the ankle Friday and received medical clearance from team doctors, relays Chris Haynes of ESPN. He participated in a three-on-three scrimmage Thursday, followed by a practice focusing on five-man drills with no defenders.

“Oh yeah, he’s excited. He’s fired up,” Kerr said. “The process was just going along with the medical staff’s recommendation and just the daily progress that he was making, combined with the schedule the way it works out tomorrow should be a good game for him to play. I wouldn’t want him to play on a back-to-back with his ankle healing. It appears he is good to go and then we don’t play again for a while. Should be a good time for him to go for it.”

The two-time MVP was averaging 26.3 points through 23 games before the injury. Curry signed a $201MM super max deal over the summer, so the Warriors wanted to protect their investment and make sure he was fully recovered.

Injury Updates: Curry, Griffin, Paul, Hill

Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is expected to return on Saturday during a home game against the Grizzlies, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com reports. Curry will miss his 11th straight game on Friday because of a right ankle sprain but he participated in drills and a 3-on-3 scrimmage during practice on Thursday. “If all goes well, I expect him to play Saturday, but even if it goes well, I’m not expecting him to play (Friday),” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told the assembled media.

In other injury-related news around the league:

  • Blake Griffin practiced on Thursday after practicing with the Clippers’ G-League team on Wednesday, but it’s still uncertain whether he’ll play on Friday against the Lakers, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Griffin has missed 14 games due to a sprained left MCL. Griffin said he would defer to the team’s medical staff. “That’s why we have the team doctors,” he said. “That’s why we have the training staff that we do. They have done a great job so far putting together … a rehab plan and pushing me and getting to this point.”
  • Rockets point guard Chris Paul is expected to play either Friday against the Wizards or Sunday against the Lakers, coach Mike D’Antoni told Jeff Goodman of ESPN (Twitter link). Paul missed his third consecutive game on Thursday due to an adductor strain.
  • Pelicans forward Solomon Hill rejoined the team to watch their victory over the Nets on Wednesday, but he’s not close to returning from the torn hamstring he suffered in August, William Guillory of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Hill was expected to miss 6-8 months and that hasn’t changed. “It’s not going to get any quicker or anything like that.,” coach Alvin Gentry said. “We’re just going to have to let it play out. He’s still got a ways to go before he’s able to get back on the court and actually play.”

Injury Notes: Johnson, Curry, Hardaway

James Johnson, who re-signed with the Heat on a four-year, $60MM deal, will be out of the lineup indefinitely because of ankle bursitis, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.

Johnson missed three games earlier this month because of the ailment and tried to play on Saturday against New Orleans. He had to leave the contest before halftime and the Heat are now expected to closely monitor him until he returns to full health.

“My foot wasn’t functional at the time,” Johnson said of leaving the game. “But I think it was way better just not coming back out at halftime than it was when I just had to leave the court, for sure. So I feel improvement. I see improvement on it. So, like I said, just day-to-day treatment as much as I can.”

Here’s more injury notes from around the league:

  • Stephen Curry will remain out until at least Friday and coach Steve Kerr said the point guard needs to go through as many as three more practices before he plays in a game, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com tweets. Curry went through 4-on-4 drills over the weekend and the team will see how handles more activities before clearing him to return.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. has been “moving more every day,” Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays on Twitter. Begley adds that the shooting guard has not yet been cleared to run, though the Knicks expect him back with the team at some point next month.
  • Devin Booker has missed the last nine games with a groin injury, but he’ll be back in action for tonight’s contest against the Grizzlies, according to Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic (Twitter feed). The Suns have gone 3-6 with Booker sidelined.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Curry, Bell, Fox

The business side of the NBA may be distracting the Lakers as the trade deadline draws near, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Coach Luke Walton criticized his team’s effort after Saturday’s loss to Portland and suggested that some players were “pouting” on the bench. Veteran center Andrew Bogut, who was part of two financial-related trades last season, said that reaction is understandable.

“Pouting? Possibly. Guys are frustrated,” Bogut said. “There are some injuries right now, different rotations. Guys are frustrated, obviously. You would be lying to say that there are guys that are not frustrated on this team. Everyone knows what is going on with the salary-cap situation next season and all that. That is just distractions that we can’t let affect us. That is part of the league, the business decisions that front offices and coaches make. So if that is distracting guys, that is going to be like that your whole career. That is just the nature of this league.”

The Lakers reportedly want to clear enough cap room to offer two maximum contracts in free agency, which means players with high salaries beyond this season such as Luol Deng and Jordan Clarkson are expendable, along with Julius Randle, who will have a $14.5MM cap hold this summer. Bogut said he has discussed the situation with the team’s younger players and urged them to not let it affect their performance.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry is making progress in his return from an injured right ankle, but won’t be ready for the Christmas Day game with the Cavaliers, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Coach Steve Kerr said the “magnitude” of the game can’t affect the team’s judgment, and it would be “completely irresponsible” to let Curry play.
  • The Warriors may have showcased their frontline of the future Friday night when rookie Jordan Bell started at center alongside Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, Slater writes in a separate piece. Bell became the first Golden State center in nearly four years to post a 20-point, 10-rebound game, continuing his impressive start since being taken with the 38th pick. “The reason he had 20 and 10 is because he had so much space,” Kerr said. “The Lakers were playing every passing lane, so he was just roaming and had plenty of easy hoops. We were kind of waiting to see that combination.”
  • Kings rookie De’Aaron Fox has a partial tear in his right quadriceps muscle, the team announced on its website. Fox suffered the injury December 14 and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. The fifth pick in this year’s draft is averaging 9.4 points and 3.7 assists through 29 games.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Green, Durant, Cook

Stephen Curry‘s sprained right ankle might keep him sidelined into 2018, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Plans were for Curry to be re-evaluated tomorrow, but he still isn’t able to play. He is likely to sit out at least another week and miss the Christmas Day clash with the Cavaliers. His absence could extend even longer, as the Warriors want to make sure he is 100% before activating him. The team has won eight straight games, so there’s no rush to bring Curry back.

“This is the first time I’ve been home for like a week straight,” Curry said. “It’s a different challenge because things are a little slower, but I’m still frustrated with the healing process and all that stuff, having to figure out that. That’s a grind mentally more so than physically to get up every day and be like, ‘I’ve got to go through some pain to get my foot worked on. I’ve got to ride the bike to stay in shape.’ All that stuff is a different mental challenge.”

There’s more news from the Bay Area:

  • Draymond Green‘s right shoulder injury is becoming an unexpected problem, relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. The star forward sat out the past two games and will have his condition re-evaluated today. “At first it didn’t seem like it would be more than a few days,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s a little bit concerning that he hasn’t made bigger strides, but I still don’t think its a major level of concern.”
  • One of the first people to reach out to Kevin Durant after he announced his decision to join the Warriors last year was former Laker Kobe Bryant, Medina reveals in a separate story. Bryant told Durant to shut out the public reaction and trust his own judgment. “Having Kobe there to support me through that situation, it felt like him telling me, ‘All right, your skills are good enough to be among some of the best,’” Durant said. “‘You just have to keep working to stay there.’”
  • Quinn Cook, who joined the Warriors on a two-way contract after being waived by the Hawks in October, relates that experience in a podcast with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. He had a two-way offer from Golden State before deciding to go to Atlanta for training camp on a partially guaranteed contract. “To be part of the standard franchise in basketball right now is very humbling for me and a big opportunity,” Cook said.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Booker, Jordan

When Stephen Curry and the Warriors brought Kevin Durant to the Bay Area they did so with situations like the one the team is going through right now in mind. Marcus Thompson of The Athletic writes that having Durant available to lead the way while Curry recovers from an ankle injury can be a game changer for the franchise.

Prior to Durant’s arrival, the Warriors struggled to win with Curry on the sidelines, let alone dominate. Having the two available to support each other – as Curry did when Durant was out toward the end of last season – could extend both of their primes.

As Thompson writes, we may not remember this particular stretch of games where Durant filled in for Curry but the fact that we’ve seen the two stars willingly share the offensive load at different times over the course of the past two seasons will benefit the team for years.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • While he’s still expected to miss two-to-three weeks with an abductor strain, Suns guard Devin Booker is already up and walking, Jose Romero of the Associated Press writes.
  • The Clippers may look to move DeAndre Jordan at the deadline if they’re not pleased with their chances of competing in the Western Conference. This ESPN Insider piece explores four possible trade scenarios, including one that would see Jordan land with the Bucks in exchange for Jabari Parker, Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova.
  • Former Raptors coach Jay Triano has the personality to develop young basketball players, something that will come in handy as he serves as the interim head coach of the Suns. DeMar DeRozan witnessed as much during the coach’s tenure in Toronto from 2002-11. “There’s a personality about Jay that’s so positive, it makes you want to be at work, makes you want to do all the things that he asks from you,” DeRozan told Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. “[He’s] kind of a player’s coach. The things he was doing, it was so long ago and I was so young, I didn’t understand. I thought the whole league was like that. Now looking back on it, Jay was definitely one of them guys.”
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